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TMCNet:  VTCI dedicates new headquarters in Raymondville

[January 23, 2013]

VTCI dedicates new headquarters in Raymondville

RAYMONDVILLE, Jan 23, 2013 (Valley Morning Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Business and local government leaders gathered Tuesday to inspect the new Valley Telephone Cooperative Inc. corporate headquarters.

Located on a 9.69-acre site at 881 E. Hidalgo Ave., the 15,000-square-foot building is hurricane-proof and was built to conserve energy, Chief Executive Officer Dave Osborn said.

The new facility became operational as a new network of fiber optic cable and satellite dish equipment is growing in the 20 counties served by VTCI, he said.

Wind-resistant glass, concrete block and steel framework protect the $2.5 million building and equipment inside from wind and building the structure 34 feet above ground level protects it from flooding, Osborn said. Haraway Construction of Harlingen was the contractor, he said.

"I've always been proud to be in telecommunications, but I've never been prouder than I am today," Osborn said.

"It's paid for. We paid as we went," he said of the company's new offices.

"The last new headquarters building we built was in 1979," Osborn said. "That was a long time ago, 1979. ... There was no such thing as the Internet then or electronic switching." Its emergency generator will power the entire complex, Osborn said.

"Willacy County is very likely going to be the first all-fiber telecommunications-served county in the state of Texas," Osborn said. "Because, even in other places where they already have it like Dallas, there are vast areas that they don't cover." VTCI has a total of 166 employees in its 20 counties and will add 12 to 14 more workers in the next 12 to 15 months, Osborn said.

Ranches and homes in rural areas are now served with Internet and telephone service by VTCI with small rooftop satellite dishes, Osborn said. Those located on roads where fiber optic cable has been installed can also get cable TV through the system.

About 100 customers are being added a month and the only situation limiting the company's growth is there aren't enough contractors to bury more fiber optic cable than is already being installed, he said.

County and city leaders, along with Chamber of Commerce and other community and business representatives, attended Tuesday's program.

Justice of the Peace George Solis said VTCI has been supportive of local community organizations.

"VTC has been wonderful for us," said Solis, who is a district official with the American Legion. ___ (c)2013 Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas) Visit Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, Texas) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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