Two directors were re-elected to new three-year terms at Hardy Telecommunications’ Annual Meeting of Members on October 6 at East Hardy High School.
Those directors re-elected were Loring E. Barr, representing South Fork serving area 1; and Victoria O. Dyer, representing Lost River serving area 3. Both were unopposed in their bids for re-election.
Senior Accountant Don Whetzel gave a presentation on the finances of Hardy Telecommunications, Inc., and HardyNet LLC for 2016. General Manager Scott Sherman reported on various company projects in the past year, including Hardy’s OneNet Fiber-to-the-Home project. As of September 1, 2017, OneNet has been made available to 5,574 homes around the county. Of those homes, 2,844 people have subscribed to a OneNet package, for a take rate of more than 51 percent.
Scott said the biggest challenges facing Hardy Telecommunications are the underfunding of the Universal Service Fund and the ever-increasing price demands of TV content providers. He said Hardy has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past few years that it had earned under USF regulations, but the federal fund doesn’t have the money to pay its obligations, so Hardy loses that money under “budget control mechanisms.” On the TV side, he gave the example that Hardy currently is negotiating with a TV channel that is demanding a 560 percent price increase in one year. Hardy has to balance its desire to offer a wide range of programming with its goal of keeping TV costs affordable for customers.
The meeting started a half-hour earlier than in past years to accommodate the EHHS football schedule. About 450 people attended the meeting and enjoyed a meal featuring barbecue pork, prepared and served by the East Hardy High and Middle School Band members and Band Boosters, EHHS FFA, EHHS Prostart, and Boy Scout Troop 81. We sincerely appreciate their help in making our annual meeting a success. We also send a special thanks to EHHS Band Director Bob Thompson. Thanks to all who attended!