Hardy Telecommunications was honored as “Business of the Year” by the Hardy County Chamber of Commerce at the group’s Annual Meeting February 2 in Moorefield.
Hardy Telecommunications General Manager Scott Sherman accepted a plaque after being introduced by Becky Yokum, office manager for Summit Community Bank’s Moorefield branch. Sherman thanked the chamber for the honor and gave special mention to the company’s customers.
“Without their continued support, we would not be here,” he said.
Scott said Hardy’s mission has not changed much since it was first incorporated as Hardy Telephone Company in 1953.
“As our mission statement says, we are customer-owned, committed to innovation, and dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in the communities we serve,” he said.
In announcing Hardy Telecommunications as the “Business of the Year”, Mrs. Yokum said the organization always remembers that it was started to serve Hardy County because no other telephone provider wanted to come into the area. The rural setting and low population deterred the major telephone companies. With that background, the company never forgets its role in helping the community.
“Hardy Telecommunications was the first provider in Hardy County to offer digital switching and DSL Internet. More recently, it has expanded its services to include selling personal computers and being an authorized retailer of Sprint wireless service. Now, Hardy Telecommunications is preparing to venture into high-definition digital television and faster Internet speeds with Hardy OneNet, our county’s first fiber-to-the-home network, which will put our area’s telecommunications on a level with anywhere else in the country,” she said.
Hardy OneNet Fiber-to-the-Home will provide fiber-optic connections directly to residents’ homes in Hardy County. The project was awarded a $31.6 million grant/loan combination from the federal government’s broadband stimulus funds. The project will take about three years to complete.
Scott also mentioned the significance of Hardy OneNet to the company and the county’s residents.
“Our recent announcement to do fiber-to-the-home is a great example of our commitment to … the citizens of Hardy County,” he said. “Those grant-assisted projects will clearly make Hardy County the envy of a lot of communities around the country, and I think we will be able to count ourselves in a very elite group of rural areas that have communications infrastructure that rivals the largest and wealthiest areas in the country.”
Hardy OneNet also will greatly increase the business capabilities of Chamber of Commerce members.
“It is when I look around this room that I remind myself why a little company like Hardy Tel decided to accept a $9.5 million loan to make it happen. Tonight’s chamber recognition is a wonderful acknowledgement to our commitment to serving our community,” Scott said.