Owning a Phone Company for Fun and Profit – A Look Back at 1970’s Directcom

One of our favorite customers found this newspaper article about the Lee May family and the roots of Direct Communications in her personal archives, and turned them in to us today. This appears to have been published between 1976 and 1979, presumably in the Power County Press or Idaho State Journal. Read for a fascinating and entertaining look at how life was in rural telecom in the 1970’s.

Click to Enlarge: Owning a Phone Company for Fun and Profit - newspaper article published about Direct Communications in the 1970's.

Leonard May and Lee May

What We Did in 2011

2011- Although this year was one of increased uncertainty for the rural telecommunications industry, with the FCC and federal administration threatening to cut major funding sources for rural areas under the guise of the national broadband plan, Direct Communications as a company made some important strides forward to strengthen our company, get to know our customers better, improve our products and offerings, focus on our core business, improve our competitive position in the markets we serve, and acquire new customers and revenue sources.

Overall, 2011 was a very good year. Our employees and customers should feel satisfied that we made a real difference to our communities, and improved the quality of life in both Idaho and Utah during 2011. That is what makes even us in marketing sleep well at night. We spent the year expanding our fiber network to the vital institutions that serve your rural areas, like schools, hospitals, city, county and government buildings, doctors offices, libraries, small and large businesses, and of course, homes.

We were excited to upgrade to a new Metaswitch IP switch in our Idaho exchanges at the beginning of 2011. Direct Communications was the first telephone company in Idaho to implement a digital switch several years ago, and this new central switch replacement was another pioneering step for rural telecommunications in Idaho. The old digital switch was about the size of an average living room. The new switch is about the size of a small refrigerator. A major difference between the new one and the old switch, besides the size, is that this new switch was developed to take advantage of all the newest computer and internet advancements, especially in its ability to use IP protocol, to talk to modern electronic devices, like IP phones, computers, routers etc., and work on a fiber-optic network.

In Eagle Mountain, the year began with some great publicity as Direct Communications was awarded the 2010 Best Business of the Year by the Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce. https://blog.directcom.com/2011/01/19/direct-communications-awarded-2010-best-business-of-the-year/

After months of work, Direct Communications was able to open the doors to their new building on Campus Drive in Eagle Mountain in February, 2011.  Our grand opening was held in June, along with the ribbon cutting of the Eagle Mountain City business incubator program. The building has 8 “pods”, or office spaces, approximately 2500 square feet each.  Direct Communications houses four of the pods, Beyond Limits Physical Therapy occupies one pod, and the Eagle Mountain City incubator program has the remaining three pods.  After working in two separate areas for several years, Direct Communications was excited to have all of their employees at the same location. This new building signified an important coming-of-age for DCCV, which began as a start-up in the back of the fire station in 2006, and employees who remember all sharing a single bathroom and welcoming potential customers into the reception desk/storage area/stairwell, now had their own offices with hardwood trim—an unimaginable prospect 5 years ago. For more about the building see https://blog.directcom.com/2011/10/06/opening-ceremony-ribbon-cutting-for-new-direct-communications-building-in-eagle-mountain/

We began the year with a couple of new marketing initiatives to launch our new brand position and tagline of “faster streaming broadband” and started by giving away a year-long subscription to Netflix streaming to all new customers in January.  In February we gave away a Roku streaming media player to all new customers. In June, to coincide with Pony Express Days, we gave away a Wii to new customers, which enjoyed about the same success as the Xbox promotion the previous year. All of these device promotions were designed to migrate customers towards using streaming video as their primary entertainment source, because that not only increases the value of our service from a commodity to a premium product, but also, once they become dependent on their internet for video entertainment purposes, they are less likely to leave us for a wireless competitor. We conducted a couple of customer survey during the year, and found that 66% of our customers said they now use online streaming of video as their primary entertainment source.

Also during June, we announced new broadband speeds for all customers, with our basic speed starting at 8Mb, and our fastest speed on offer at 50Mb. This was designed around our main wireless competitors offerings, which had 7Mb as their top speed. Of course, by the end of the year they had also reacted and changed their packages to advertise 10Mb and 15Mb speeds.

After Pony Express Days we cut back on advertising until December, when we rolled out a Kindle Fire as a Christmas promotion, which emphasized making the internet fun—since the new Kindle could stream video, download apps, and play games. The Kindle promotion ended up being our most successful marketing campaign of 2011.

However, 2011 was an interesting year for marketing with the maturing of social media, which for the first time played an important part of our integrated marketing, and opened up a new target media market for us, since we could now target internet customers living only in Eagle Mountain and we began spending a significant portion of our advertising budget on facebook ads.

We began the year by splitting our facebook page into two separate pages for Idaho and Utah, to make it more relevant to each market. Acquiring fans was a slow process at the beginning, until we learned the only sure way to entice more customers to our page was with online promotions for facebook fans.  By the end of the year we had over 500 customers on our Eagle Mountain facebook page. See  https://blog.directcom.com/2011/06/14/first-winner-of-directcom-monthly-facebook-fan-contest/

Navigating social media has been a learning experience for us, and we have had to learn to take the good with the bad, as dissatisfied customers also like to use our page as a soapbox, but overall it has been a positive experience for both the company and our customers, and we actually implemented a lot of good suggestions made by customers on our page through our interactions this year.

We presented on the subject of social media at the annual Utah Rural Telephone Association meeting in St George.

Direct Communications Cedar Valley’s own Brenda Caldwell was named Utah Valley’s Raddest Receptionist by Utah Valley BusinessQ Magazine, and Brenda was featured in the Fall 2011 issue. https://blog.directcom.com/2011/09/29/directcoms-brenda-caldwell-named-utah-valleys-raddest-receptionist/

Probably the most significant change during 2011 was the sale of our wireless internet business to Digis, after being one of the first companies in southeast Idaho to offer wireless internet over 10 years ago. We made this decision primarily so that we could focus on our core business of growing our fiber optic network in Idaho and developing our wired internet products, including our cable and DSL technologies. The money from the sale would be reinvested into developing the products where we have a real competitive advantage. Read more about this move at: https://blog.directcom.com/2011/10/13/sale-of-wireless-internet-assets-to-digis/

Immediately after the sale of our wireless business, we launched the ESPN3 broadband channel for our high-speed customers in Idaho. 2011 turned out to be a great year to offer ESPN3, because BYU football, which many of our customers follow, went independent largely on an ESPN broadcasting contract, and so most of their games were streamed online on ESPN3 this year.

We were also kept very busy working with the three major national mobile phone providers to construct and deliver fiber optic service to most of the cell phone towers in the area, so that they could offer more data to their customers, and we also now wholesale broadband service to most of our competitors in the area. Without an extensive fiber optic network, our rural economy in Idaho would not be able to function in this information age. As our tagline claims, we are the future of broadband technology in the rural areas we serve.

Direct Communications Sponsors Young Cyclist Trevor Mingo

Trevor Mingo

Direct Communications sponsored young cyclist, and Direct Communications customer, Trevor Mingo, in this year’s Lotoja Classic, which is the longest one-day bicycle race in the country, at 206 miles. This race runs through Bear Lake County, although it starts in Logan, Utah and ends in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Direct Communications support of this event goes back several years as the broadband company has provided free internet service at several stations along the route.

Trevor won the event for his age group in 2010. He commented on this year’s race:

“Lotoja is by far the most difficult athletic event I’ve done. But it is also the most rewarding event I’ve ever done. I’ve had a lot of encouragement from my family, especially my Dad. It is pretty awesome to cross the finish line with him and my cousin Derek. It requires a lot of hours training.

My best time was 2010 of 10.5 hours, when I finished 1st in my division. I got 2nd in 2009. This year I finished 7th. I would have done a lot better, except I had to stop to buy a new rear tire, and lost some serious race time.

Thank you Direct Communications for your support!”

Trevor and Darwin Mingo sporting Direct Communications logos

According to the official event website, www.lotojaclassic.com, “Lotoja is a European-style road classic that is unparalleled in distance and beauty. At 206 miles, LOTOJA is the longest one-day USCF-sanctioned bicycle race in the country. LOTOJA participants come from all over the U.S. to test their physical and mental stamina on the course that climbs and descends three mountain passes in the first 110 miles. The race starts in Logan, Utah and finishes in the shadows of the Teton Mountain Range at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Lotoja will celebrate its 30th year in 2012. Lotoja raises funds for charity like Huntsman Cancer Foundation, ASD Connections (Autism Spectrum Disorder Connections), Teamgive (support of those suffering neurlogical disease), NAC (National Ability Center) and Common Ground (Outdoor adventures for youth and adults with disabilities).

Derek, Trevor and Darwin

Opening Ceremony & Ribbon Cutting for New Direct Communications Building in Eagle Mountain

 

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After months of hard work, Direct Communications was able to open the doors to their new building on Campus Drive in Eagle Mountain in February, 2011.  Our grand opening was held in June, along with the ribbon cutting of the Eagle Mountain City business incubator program.

In attendance were board members of the Lehi Chamber of Commerce, Eagle Mountain City Economic Development officials, the Mayor and the new business incubator tenants who will be starting up businesses as part of the partner program between the City and Directcom to encourage the growth of local businesses in Eagle Mountain

The building has 8 “pods”, or office spaces, approximately 2500 square feet each.  Direct Communications houses four of the pods, Beyond Limits Physical Therapy occupies one pod, and the Eagle Mountain City incubator program has the remaining three pods.  After working in two separate areas for several years, Direct Communications was excited to have all of their employees at the same location.

The private-public partnership between Direct Communications and Eagle Mountain City to create the incubator program is unlike any other project in the nation.  Mayor Heather Jackson called it “complete and utter innovation.  We have figured out our destiny, and we are opening our arms and inviting everyone here.”  The program allows participants to lease office space for three years, at no cost during the first year.  Business are given phone service and free internet services from Direct Communcations , along with a reception area, conference room, copy and fax equipment, av equipment, a break room, and janitorial services.  “We help startups with the hopes that they will move into our City,” said Ifo Pili, Eagle Mountain City Economic Development Director.

Direct Communications is proud of the hard work and dedication they give to their customers.  As Diane Bradshaw, Administrator for Direct Communications said, “having a new, professional building gives us the opportunity to show the customer we are dedicated to Eagle Mountain and are invested in our community.  Customers love coming in to pay their bill and check out our new facility and our employees love coming to work everyday to our beautiful offices.  Direct Communications is here to stay!”

Don’t Let Washington Take Away Your Rural Broadband.

 

The FCC has proposed radical changes that could deprive millions of rural Americans, including you, of broadband access.

Please help by contacting Washington officials and letting them know about your opposition to any plans that would undercut Internet access in your rural community. Go to http://saveruralbroadband.org/?_c=zygmku1m2t5yi9 to send a letter to your two senators, your representatives, and the Obama administration. The more letters we send, the more Washington will know that rural Americans are demanding the same access to quality broadband as big- city dwellers.

For the last century in America, the telecommunications industry has been guided by the principle of Universal Service.   This vital national goal means that the value of the entire network is enhanced by everyone being connected.  This is accomplished through ensuring  those living in remote or rural areas have  access to comparable communications services available in urban areas at comparable rates.  Have you ever wondered how your local phone company can afford to bury a line out to the farmer living many miles out of town or even miles from his nearest neighbor? The construction and maintenance of a single line to a remote home can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but you might pay only $30 per month for that service.  The only way to balance that equation is with Universal Service Funding. In the old days the big telecom companies like AT&T used to help cover the costs to run small rural networks like Direct Communications through an access recovery system, in which they would pay rural companies a fee each time they transferred a call to a rural network.  This was done because they recognized that their own networks were more valuable if connectivity was ubiquitous.  Further, universal connectivity enables everyone to participate in the American experience and larger economy. In the 1980’s, the Federal Government took over the management of redistributing access funds to rural companies, and the FCC established an agency called NECA to collect money into a Universal Service Fund (USF) pool from customers all over the country, via a USF fee on every phone bill.  These monies are then distributed to rural telecom providers  to help cover the costs to build out networks in areas where the density is low enough that there is no viable business case for telecom services. Families in Bear Lake, Arbon, Rockland and Eagle Mountain, Utah, have home telephone service, DSL, other advanced telecom services and even fiber optic broadband service in their homes because of Universal Service Funds.  This is how we recover our cost of doing business.

Over the last decade broadband internet has replaced landline telephone as the service customers value most. Broadband is the future of communications. Broadband is the means by which our knowledge based economy functions. Cell phone towers function on broadband. People work from home on broadband. Rural customers email, bank, shop, study, work, talk, write, watch video, access news and information through rural broadband networks. Broadband is becoming the most important utility to any home. You need broadband, and you deserve to have the same opportunities as every other American, because your access to broadband will either limit or enhance your opportunities. Rural communities will not grow without broadband access. Jobs will not be sustained without good broadband access. Small towns will die.

Be aware: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is proposing a new broadband plan that may impact your service. They are advertising this as a plan to bring broadband access to more people, but that is only part of the story. The real story is that they are going to take away funding from rural customers like you because they have decided people living out in the country don’t need to have the same quality or speeds as people in the big cities.  This issue is obviously one that is highly politically charged.

The plan is to ensure that people in big cities get 100Mb service.  This throughput was chosen simply because some Members of Congress believe some reports in which the US is lagging behind smaller and more urban countries like Denmark and Belgium with respect to average download speeds.  These reports fail to account for the fact that the USA is a vast and relatively sparsely populated county and burying  fiber across the great plains and over the Rocky Mountains is more time consuming and expensive than deploying facilities in a country such as in Belgium. As a consequence the FCC’s stated goal is “100 mb to 100 million homes!”  That sounds great, but what about the other 40 million US homes, what does the FCC propose for them?  For people like us living in rural areas, they feel we should be content with 4Mb service!   To restate: The FCC plan proposes speeds 25 times slower in rural areas than in urban areas.

Are our needs any different to people in cities? Don’t our children need the internet for their education just as much as kids in cities? Because of our isolation, and the great distances we have to travel to get anywhere from rural America, we would propose that people in the rural areas need broadband even more than people living in cities. Why does the FCC plan make rural consumers second class citizens?  Further, this stated goal of fostering a digital divide is in violation of the Telecom Act of 1996.

You deserve comparable speed at affordable prices.  That is the law!

Don’t let the FCC keep our rural community on the slow side of the digital divide.

We as a rural telecom industry are fighting this planned legislation to ensure our customers can keep their speeds. We have made such great progress over the past few years in bringing fiber optic broadband to homes, schools, hospitals and public services in our rural communities. We already offer speeds up to 20Mb to most homes, and now, some people in the government want to take that away from you, because they have no political interest in rural areas.

Contact your congressional representatives! Urge them to support regulatory action that ensures equal access to broadband for all Americans. To learn more about this issue, contact your local telecom provider or visit http://saveruralbroadband.org/?_c=zygmku1m2t5yi9.

Winners of Directcom Monthly Facebook Fan Contest

Chris Gibbons of Eagle Mountain receives his Apple TV from Brenda Swift of Direct Communications .

Chris Gibbons  became the first lucky winner of Direct Communications monthly facebook fan contest in Eagle Mountain. The prize for February was a new Apple TV media player.

On hearing about his prize, Chris simply stated on our facebook page: “Sweet, thank you!”

To win the prize for February, facebook fans of Direct Communications had to answer the question: “What was the price Direct Communications paid the City to purchase Eagle Mountain Telecom back in 2006?” (Official answer- $6.3 million) The first customer to reply to the post with the correct answer in the comment field was chosen as the winner.

The goal with these monthly giveaways is to encourage participation on our facebook page, and also try motivate more customers to sign up as facebook fans. Each month during 2011, we will be awarding a prize to a customer on facebook, both in Idaho and Utah. We now have separate facebook pages for Idaho and Utah customers so that we can be more relevant with our updates and responses.

Kathy Barkdull of Idaho--winner of our Idaho February facebook contest, with her new ROKU streaming media player. She will be watching online video in style.

As marketing director of Direct Communications, I am excited about these new social media tools like facebook, which are a very useful way to communicate with our customers. Not only is it instantaneous, but also interactive, which is really a revolution for mass communications. I also like the fact that customers opt into this communication–they are pulling a feed from us because they want to keep up to date with their service, instead of us just pushing out information into cyberspace blindly. We clearly need and want more customers as facebook fans.

Our February facebook fan contest for our Idaho customers asked them to reply to this post: “Comment on this post with your customer testimonial: “Why I choose Direct Communications.” Our marketing committee chose a winner at the end of the month, which was  Kathy Barkdull,  for her testimonial: “We started with Direct Communications because no one else would bring a phone line to our remote area. But we stay with Direct because of the great service and the opportunity to have state of the art technology and have the ability to live in the country 20 miles from the nearest town.”

Our Eagle Mountain customers are extremely active, involved customers. They like to be part of the service process and want to know what their ISP is doing. One new use for facebook has been the ability to notify customers of internet outages, and the progress of fixes in real time, even while the customers’ home internet service was down. Most of our customers already have smart phones, often with a facebook app installed, and many have used that mobile connection to voice their opinions and suggestions during outages. This interactive process has resulted in some improvements in how we notify customers. For example, several customers on facebook asked for a more effective notification of scheduled nighttime maintenance outages, because they were working nightshift remotely using their internet. As a result of this feedback, we started a scheduled outages mailing list that people who needed to know could subscribe to.

Social media is simply proving a long-standing concept of marketing, that the more touch points and open lines of communication you have with your customers, the better off your operation will be in the long run.

This Apple TV giveaway was the first time the company had attempted to use facebook to host a contest of this sort, and was a learning experience. As soon as the question was posted, about 14 responses came in within the first 20 seconds. Identifying a winner was tricky, because with each refresh, a different person was shown as being the first to respond. Once a minute had passed, facebook again reordered those responses. A few customers suggested that because they were on different facebook servers, the time wasn’t synched and different people we shown as being first depending on which server they were on a the time. In the end, I chose a winner based on the response that I saw first, and not whom facebook put at the top after a minute had passed, and all the responses were listed as being posted “1 minute ago.” We also decided to award consolation prizes to two other winners, Mike Jeide and Daniel Strong, who both had legitimate and popular claims to being first, especially since they were showing up at the top. We offered them both 6-month Netflix gift subscriptions. Daniel suggested: “I think this is a fun idea to have giveaways like this and there are always going to be issues with the first time of anything. Maybe next time around wait like 10 – 20 minutes and then give it to the first correct answer. But until next time, congrats Chris.”

Jackie Candland suggested: “Maybe in the future…do a drawing from the first 10 answers.”

So, if anyone else is looking to do a quick-response contest on facebook—consider these factors and suggestions—it’s not an exact science, and we probably won’t try a quick-draw contest again.

We currently have a little over 600 facebook fans on our corporate fan pages. Considering how connected and tech savvy our customers in that market are, we would like to have a lot more, because most of our customers probably have active facebook accounts. Like us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/directcom.eaglemtn for your chance to win next month. Only current customers are eligible to win, and only customers who are facebook fans of directcom will be able to post comments, so join our community.

Congratulations to Todd Ferreira, the winner of March's Roku.

In March in Eagle Mountain, we held a customer testimonial contest. This was a chance to gather some good comments we could use for marketing purposes, as well as keep the judging purely subjective, after the difficulties in February with the quick-post contest. We received about 20 great testimonials, with praise for our service like:

Samuel Schwendiman:

  •  I chose and keep choosing Direct Communications because of their seamless stream ability. We are always streaming Netflix or Hulu and have never had a problem with bandwidth or buffering. Sometimes my girl is watching something on my iPod Touch and my wife is watching something different on the laptop and it works great. We’ve never had any problems.
    Carol Murray Cahoon:
  •  I use Direct Communications because the sound is crystal clear through the phone. I never have to worry about losing internet or phone service even when the wind blows so strong here. My family loves playing online games and streaming video through our xbox. I couldn’t ask for a better service than Direct Communications.

  • Todd Ferreira:
    I chose Direct Communications because after 6 months of dealing with [wireless ISP] and their dropped calls, dropped Internet, phone calls cutting out, and terrible technical support, I was fed up. Since switching from [wireless ISP] to Direct Communications the phone calls are crystal clear, the Internet is lightning fast ( even at 3mbs) and the support group at Direct Communications is GREAT! Thanks for the service.

Again, this was a difficult month to choose a winner, so we turned it over to a marketing committee for a vote, and they choose Todd Ferreira as the winner of March’s Roku for his comment.

Sandra Allen-early morning sunrise over Bear Lake, from my front yard.

In April we asked customers to submit original  photos of the local scenery or community for our annual phone directory publication, but didn’t receive any submissions from Eagle Mountain customers that met with the qualifications needed for print purposes. However, on our Idaho fan page, we carried the competition over two months–April and May, and received several good pictures from residents in our phone exchanges. We chose Sandra Allen as the winner of our Idaho May facebook customer contest, for her original photo submissions of scenes around Bear Lake.

In May in Eagle Mountain, our contest was a push to get customers to refer their friends to our page. We posted the following on our page: May 2011 Facebook contest: Refer your friends in Eagle Mountain to our fan page. Post a comment on our wall saying: “My friends list yourselves here.” Tell each of your referrals to comment once on your original post by saying “I live in Eagle Mountain and I love Direct Communications”. Person with the most new friends (comments) listed under your post wins a Wii.”

Congratulations to April Butterfield Simister--the winner of our May Facebook fan contest. Ben Hayes presents April with her Wii for referring the most friends to our Facebook page.

The winner, April Simister,  referred 44 friends, the runner up, 34 friends. That month we added nearly 100 new fans to our page, which was our most successful monthly contest to date.

What We Did This Weekend: 2011 Pony Express Days Report

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The 2011 edition of Pony Express Days is now over for our tireless employees involved in marketing, but the real work is just beginning for our techs, who have a whole lot of new installs to take care of in the next couple of weeks. After months of preparation, and a mailing blitz, our first night of involvement in the city’s annual festival started  Fri May 27 with the opening night of the PRCA Rodeo, where, as an official sponsor, we set up display booth with banners advertising our big announcement for this year, which was our new 50Mb speeds, and the free Wii for new subscribers. On Thursday afternoon we set up a table with brochures and flyers at the rodeo ground, strapped everything down with packaging tape, and hoped the wind would be kind to us this year.

Diane Bradshaw presents an Xbox 360 to Kloe Thompson, the lucky winner of the 2011 calf scramble.

On May 30 – Monday, was the Final Night of the PRCA Rodeo, and our big event, because we were the sponsor of the calf scramble. Diane Bradshaw, our office manager, gave free t-shirts to all the kids who participated, and a free Xbox to Kloe Thompson,  the lucky winner of the calf scramble.

On Tuesday, as part of our effort to keep in touch with our business customer’s needs, we hosted a 1-hour focus group to learn from them how we could improve our services and products for local businesses at our new office conference room. We gave local business owners $20 plus lunch to hear their opinions. We asked them questions like:

  • What can we do as the local broadband provider to make Eagle Mountain a more attractive destination for business development?
  • How much speed do you think you will need in the next couple of years?
  • Do you employ a dedicated I.T. person?

That evening at 6pm we held a similar focus group for current residential customers to try gauge how we were doing as a company, and were pleased to hear from them how far they thought we had progressed as a company over the past few years. We have been hosting these focus groups for several years, and each year the complaints have decreased, and this year our customers had nothing but compliments to share, even though we tried to stress that we really wanted them how we could improve. One important piece of feedback we did get was that even though we were being involved in the community, donating to schools and athletic teams, the general public was not getting this news, and they explained how they get information from the school newsletters, PTA groups, Crossroads Journal and so forth. Also, we learned that not a lot of them use our homepage after they had got the information they needed to make the switch to us, so we need to use that space purely for advertising for potential customers.

On Wednesday evening we held a focus group for residents who were not our customers to try find out why they would use a different ISP, and what we could do to be more attractive to them, and received a lot of good market information that we will be using to improve our products. An encouraging nugget from that session was that the participants said that even though they may not be using our service, everything they had heard from their neighbors about our company was positive, and they had heard we had great customer service, and that we always treated people well, even in billing disputes. We will continue to hold these focus groups, so if you want to participate next year, contact Ben Hayes at 801 789 2808.

Ben Hayes at our 2011 pony express days vendor booth

On Thursday afternoon we set up our vendor booth at park, and kept that open till 10pm each night till the end of the celebrations on Saturday night. Our promo this year was the free Wii for new subscribers, plus the 50Mb broadband speeds, so we tried to decorate the booth with advertisement that would leave nobody in doubt as to what we were offering. We had a new Wii hooked up to the TV that we were giving away as a prize, and had the Wii playing Netflix, so that people passing by could see the streaming broadband in action. The booth seemed not quite as busy as last year with new sign-ups, but I did notice that most people seemed to know exactly who we are now, if they were from Eagle Mountain—nobody was confusing us with DirecTV, and we didn’t get any customers stopping by to complain like they used to several years ago at the fair. So, our network improvements are definitely being effective

On Friday morning we sponsored a team at the Special Needs Charity Golf Tournament at The Ranches Golf Club, the proceeds of which went to the EM City Exceptional Kids Club (special needs activities program). Our company team managed a score of 4 under par, which was a way off the winning 13 under par, but any day that I get to play golf for work is a fantastic morning at the office for me. Our General Manager, Kip Wilson, is really a good golfer with real golf shoes and everything, and a 330-yard drive.

Hopefully they showed our pre-show ad at the Movie in the Park that Friday night at the Silverlake Amphitheater.

On Saturday morning we sponsored several of our employees and their spouses at the 5K and Kids’ Fun Run—you would have noticed them wearing our “faster steaming broadband” t-shirts.

Soon after the 5k was time for the main even we had all been planning for—the Grand Parade. Each year this event seems to get longer, and this year was no exception. We lined up in our spot, #76 this year, at 9am; the parade started at 10am, and we didn’t pull into the parking lot at the end of the parade until after 12pm. During the parade we gave out several hundred dollars worth of candy, plus over 200 frisbees, 300 t-shirts, and 100 bananas. The bananas came about kind of by sheer coincidence –last year Troy, our gorilla man, threw out some bananas his mom had given him into the crowd because he didn’t want to eat them, and people went crazy for those bananas from the monkey. We took note, and this year came prepared and had the ape throwing bananas from the roof of the truck on purpose, and they were probably the most popular item we gave away. Strange but true—marketing is truly a fun occupation. We try to ration the kids in the trucks to space out the Frisbees and t-shirts, and wish we had enough to give everybody on the sidelines something, but unfortunately just don’t have the budget to that that—hopefully you all came away with a good haul from all the local businesses that were represented at the parade.

The thing that most people will probably be talking about was the visit from Master Chief from Halo, who decided he wanted to walk along with our parade float because he was a Direct Communications customer himself. This was a perfect fit for our brand, because any self-respecting gamer would obviously want our fiber optic service with its low latency and ridiculously-fast upload and download speeds. So many kids wanted to come up and high-five Master Chief, that it really slowed down our vehicles’ progress, and we were soon far behind the rest of the parade—we couldn’t see the next float down the road. Anyway, he was fantastic, a real trooper, made a lot of little and not-so-little boy’s days, and hopefully enjoyed himself in Eagle Mountain that day. We really enjoyed having him join us. We need more passionate people like that in the world.

After the parade it was back to the booth, where we had a lot of people switching from wireless services to our fiber-optic broadband, and we listened to their stories of terrible service on wireless with great sympathy, and welcomed them to our better network with open arms, and sent them away happy with a free Wii for their troubles. This is a very satisfying moment for anybody in sales or marketing—when you see somebody making a positive change their lives, something that you know is going to make a real difference to their family and quality of life. We generally save them money, give them faster broadband, a more reliable service, and open up a whole new world of streaming video to them. All it takes is them discovering the truth about how internet service works, and giving them an incentive to make the switch, because it is hard work to switch service providers. Most people we talk to are willing to make the switch right there on the spot at the booth, which is a huge contrast to several years ago, when nobody really knew who we were.

Kip Wilson presents JASON & JENNIE OMER with their new TV during Pony Express Days 2011.

A little after 3pm on Saturday afternoon we held the drawing for our smart TV with VIZIO INTERNET APPS. This drawing was open to current customers in our Eagle Mountain Utah exchange area only. This TV with WiFi built in is the future of video. No wires, no bulky receivers, set-top boxes or media players–streaming access is built right into the TV, and you just hang it on any wall and start watching online video over your home internet network. Kip drew out the ticket, we checked our billing records to make sure the winner was a current customer in good standing, and called them up to pick up their prize at the booth. They showed up within a few minutes, we checked their ID, took a picture, and we posted the announcement of the winner of the TV to our Facebook page literally within a minute of the little ceremony. Congratulations again to JASON & JENNIE OMER, winners of our smart TV drawing for Pony Express Days 2011.

During the first two days of Pony Express Days we signed up over 50 new customers, talked to hundreds of people one-on-one, and hopefully were seen out there being involved in the community by just about everybody in Eagle Mountain, so overall I would consider this year’s event another success.

Thank you letter from Eagle Mountain City expressing appreciation for our sponsorship of Pony Express Days.

Win an Internet enabled-TV

Win an internet-enabled TV with VIZIO INTERNET APPS®.


During Pony Express Days, we will be giving away a smart TV with VIZIO INTERNET APPS to one of our lucky customers in Eagle Mountain, so you can watch online video in style. Will it be you? Come into our office today to enter your name into the drawing.

If you haven’t seen a TV with WiFi built in before, come in and have a look at this product–this is the is the future of video. No wires, no more bulky receivers, set-top boxes or media players–your streaming access is built into the TV, and you just hang it on any wall and start watching online video over your home internet network.

According to http://www.vizio.com/discover/via,  “VIZIO INTERNET APPS® is your passport to experiencing a whole new world of online content. Using the latest wireless technology you can easily connect to the Internet and stream your favorite movies and TV shows, listen to music, change your status on Facebook, send a Tweet and get the latest news, sports and weather. It’s your entertainment, your way.”

This drawing is open to current customers in our Eagle Mountain Utah exchange area only, and Eagle Mountain residents who become current customers by signing up during the drawing period. We will have one ticket box at the booth at Nolan Park and another at the office for customers who come into the office. The ticket collection will begin in May at the office, and will end at 3pm on Saturday June 4th. Winner will be announced at Pony Express Days at the Park. Winner must consent to have picture taken and published for Directcom marketing purposes. Directcom is not responsible for installation or support of TV.  All warranties and technical support are through manufacturer.  May require extra hardware to stream to TV. Actual TV may be different to model shown in picture. New subscribers may sign up for service at our booth to qualify for the drawing. Drawing closes June 4, 2011 at 3pm. Must be current Direct Communications customer in good standing. Winner consents to sign release waiver to have picture and name published by Direct Communications for commercial publicity and/or promotional purposes. Prize cannot be traded for cash, or returned for service. Direct Communications will not be held liable for warranty, service or maintenance of TV, or for any other liability resulting from customer use or ownership of TV.

TV description

VIZIO 32″ Class with VIZIO® Internet Apps™
1080p LCD HDTV

Full HD 1080p
2-year Warranty

VIZIO’s 32” Class (31.55 inch diagonal) LCD HDTV with VIZIO Internet Apps™ puts the best of the web right on your TV screen, giving you the convenience of on-demand movies, TV shows, social networking, music, photos and more at the push of a button. With built-in WiFi (802.11n) for easy set-up, the E322VL also boasts full 1080p HD and delivers superior picture and audio quality at an amazing value.

This stylish HDTV delivers superior audio using SRS TruVolume™ and SRS TruSurroundHD™ for advanced virtual surround sound and has three HDMI ports to connect up to three HDMI devices to your HDTV. The E322VL also exceeds ENERGY STAR® 4.1 Guidelines to reduce energy consumption and has built-in ambient light sensing technology, which automatically adjusts backlight levels to the brightness of its surroundings.

Features:

manufacturers warranty -2 years

Screen Size: 32″ Class (31.55 diagonal)

Resolution: 1920 x 1080

Dynamic Contrast Ratio: 50,000:1

Brightness: 500 nits

Response Time: 5ms

Refresh Rate: 60Hz

VIZIO® Internet Apps™

802.11n Wireless Networking

Viewable Angle (HxV): 178° x 178°

Tuner: ATSC/Clear QAM Tuner

Energy Star 4.1

Weight: 36.38 lbs (w/ stand), 34.61 lbs (w/ out stand)

Dimensions (WxHxD): 31.18″ x 22.44″ x 7.05″ (w/ stand), 31.18″ x 20.83″ x 3.52″ (w/ out stand)

Audio:

Speakers: Built-in 10W x 2 Speakers

SRS TruSurround HD™

SRS TruVolume™

Inputs/ Outputs:

HDMI x2

Component YPbPr plus Stereo Audio x1

Computer RGB x1

Composite Video x1

RF Connector for Internal Tuner x1

USB Ports x1 (JPEG only)

SPDIF Digital Output x1

Stereo Audio Output x1

A Look Back At Pony Express Days Over The Years

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Pinned to my cubicle wall I still have an old screen-printed T-shirt with a red arrow and the tag line “The Right Direction.” This is a memento from a Pony Express Days long before my time—when the Ranches was only a mini-golf course, before fiber heard of in Eagle Mountain, and before the FCC approved the sale of Eagle Mountain Telecom to Direct Communications. Still, we showed up at Pony Express Days faithfully to try win goodwill with the residents by doing things like handing out free Idaho potatoes with the tag line “Free Taters for Out of Staters.” (We still have a few of those custom printed bags up in the attic too.” Each year since then, we have sponsored Pony Express Days, because it’s a great time to feel and be part of the community, and this is the premiere celebration for Eagle Mountain City. Pony Express Days is my biggest week on our annual marketing calendar. We serve a lot of small communities, and go to many county fairs, city celebrations and parades, but there is nothing else like it. The sound of thousands of kids lining the street screaming out for Frisbees, and high-school marching bands; the smell of sunscreen in the desert heat, the excited teenage beauty queens waving from their floats, the annual traffic-jam in Eagle Mountain—who would ever want to miss it?

My first Pony Express Days was 2006. Direct Communications Cedar Valley was a start-up company—operating out of the fire station attic in the city center, and the marketing budget was very small. However, we ordered some cool stuff—350 beachballs and 350 Frisbees. Blowing up all those beachballs to throw out of the back of the truck must have left somebody breathless—I can’t remember who was the lucky person who was assigned that job. In those days we also gave out color t-shirts rather than white ones, and there weren’t a lot of other businesses occupying booths at the park. Still, we didn’t get a whole lot of visitors to our booth—a few curious onlookers and kids wanting balloons.

2007 was memorable because of our foray into the mobile phone world. We tried to use Pony Express Days as a launchpad for our great new cell phone product, Direct Mobile, which was actually just a version of Verizon Wireless, but without any of the latest and greatest handsets. It was doomed to failure from the outset. We didn’t sell a single cell phone at the booth, and that product didn’t make it to the next Pony Express Days. That year was also unique because we gave out sunglasses with neon frames—perhaps you still have a pair lying around in a kids toy chest in your basement.

2008 was exciting because we really were able to start talking about fiber to the home, and our marketing campaign centered around “A new Dawn in the evolution of broadband technology.” For this our ads featured a spoof of “2001 Space Odyssey” with an ape discovering fiber amongst the carcasses of wireless antennas and other outdated  communications stuff like old phones. We shot a video ad at my home in Idaho, which my kids still talk about, because they were terrified of the “monkey costume.” They were excited when I first put on the body suit, but then when I put the head mask in place, one of them actually fell on the floor, covered her eyes and was rolling around screaming until I took it off again to show her it was still me. She wouldn’t come outside for several days in case the “monkey costume” was still out there. That ad screened before the Movie in the Park at the Silverlake Amphitheater, and to go along with that, we handed out battery-powered fiber-optic wands to all the kids in the audience so that they could see how fiber-optics worked. That was an awesome sight, and what a great setting, with hundreds of fiber wands being waved about in the dusk, at the outdoor theater, with our ad playing on the big screen, and Utah Lake in the background. I’m sure nobody remembers that like the marketing director though. The next day we introduced a much friendlier-looking gorilla suit as part of our parade ensemble, and we have kept that going ever since just for fun. We did have one person call in afterwards and complain that the gorilla scared her kid, but most people loved it. So if you wonder why there is a gorilla at Pony Express Days again this year and what it has to do with the internet—it goes back to 2008 and our “fiber odyssey.”

2009 was the beginning of really busy times at Pony Express Days, and hard work at the booth. That year we launched the free ephone bundle, and starting speeds of 3Mb for $29.95, which was a really great deal. Each year the back of the truck was filling up more with little girls as we employees grew our families, and that year there was standing room only. The kids just love to throw out candy to the other kids though and see them scrambling for Frisbees. We gave out silicone wristbands for the first time that year too, and as a promotion, gave away a free ipod with a broadband subscription. I think we closed about 30 sales that day, and we thought we had hit the big time.

2010 Pony Express Days

By 2010, people had really begun to catch onto the idea that they could have our better broadband service without the additional expense of a regular landline, and also online video and gaming was beginning to grow, so we tried to ride that wave with our Xbox promotion. If we could get people to watch more online video, we felt we would have a permanent customer. We want our customers to use our broadband as the primary source of entertainment in their homes. Xbox was a perfect promotional item for that marketing strategy. Our unique competitive advantage is that as the only wire-line broadband provider in the area, we are able to provide the higher speeds and unlimited bandwidth needed for high definition video streaming. Our wireless competitors fear streaming—we needed to encourage it. So, we paired our “Amp Up your Broadband” campaign with a free Xbox, and had our best Pony Express Days ever. We gave away over 160 Xboxs to new customers.

So, what will we be doing in 2011? A lot has changed since 2005. Most people in Eagle Mountain know who we are now, our fiber-optic network is purring, and each year we get fewer rude comments and obscenities yelled at us during the parade, and more smiles. The parade is bigger and lasts longer. The booths are now always full and are incredibly expensive. Our schedule of events we are involved in during the week leading up to the final Saturday has grown each year—we work all day and hold focus groups each night. We will be doing many of the same things, throwing out t-shirts and Frisbees, talking to as many people as we can, but we will also have a couple of new, big things to announce.

Stay tuned—we are certainly planning for another fun year, and have some very good news for everybody.

DirectCom Cleans Up in Community


When a city water main broke outside the Family First  Dental Plaza in Eagle Mountain on Wednesday April 20, Direct Communications crews sprung into action to help clean up. This was apparently a city irrigation line which had  burst and the flood waters were running into the dental office, when Dr Gardner ran into the Direct Communications office asking if anybody had reported “the flood” which was running across the parking lot and into the other office buildings. Rolly Adair, Directcom Operations Manager, called in our new vacuum truck, which is designed to be able to suck up mud and water, and which will be used during the construction of fiber lines throughout the city, to suck up the excess waters from around the neighboring businesses buildings. Kip Wilson, General Manager, said of the incident: “Helping out with the tools we had on hand is just part of being a good neighbor. It was good to see what our equipment could do in a crisis.”

Directcom employees cleaning up flood water in front of dentist office with their new vacuum truck

Direct Communications at Bear Lake High School Career Day

Direct Communications at Bear Lake High School Career Day

Donna Passey represented Direct Communications at the first annual Bear Lake High School Career Day on March 22nd at the high school. Presenters were divided up into different groups that were similar. Direct Communications spoke as part of the media and communications group. There were four presenters in this group and each was given about 10 minutes to discuss their business, what type of employees were needed and the qualifications. Students listened and were very polite and given time to ask questions. Direct Communications also gave out pencils, flyers on their services, and frisbees.

Principal Allan Schwab said, “This was a great way to expose students to some of the many opportunities awaiting them. I believe our students got a lot out of this, but I also believe it was a very good way for our community to come into the school and interact with the students. We need to work together to educate our kids, and this was a great event for that.” Plans are already in place for next year’s career fair.

Renee Davis, Bear Lake Montpelier Chamber of Commerce explained the goal of the career fair: “We are looking to our business owners and community leaders to step up and take advantage of this great opportunity to give back to our youth. Our vision is to provide a forum to bridge the gap between  local business owners and our future work force. We want to give our kids a place to go to connect with professionals in their fields of interest.”

Direct Communications employs local residents in the communities we serve, and currently have 6 employees who reside in the Bear Lake area.

Farewell to the Oxford Community Center

Oxford Community Center

Last week we closed the doors of the Direct Communications Oxford Community Center after two years of serving that community with a free internet and computer center. However, our high-speed internet service will continue to be available to residents at their homes.

Oxford, Idaho, is a very small town nestled right up against the mountainside in a pretty valley west of Preston. A drive through Oxford is almost like a drive through time. At the center of town is a small dairy still in operation, and certain things are probably no different than they were 120 years ago. The house we rented to house the community center was probably built over 100 years ago, but there weren’t a lot of available options. Next to the center were a couple of horses running in a pasture, and cows grazing on the hill behind us. However, even in very small rural American towns like Oxford, broadband technology is everywhere, and this is a clear indication that the existing programs in place to bring broadband to rural america are working.  There is a brand new cell phone tower overlooking the town. A fiber optic line runs directly through town—part of our fiber loop running between Downey and Preston, which Direct Communications laid in 2008. This fiber route to Oxford was financed in part by RUS funds, and part of the agreement with the RUS was that we would provide an opportunity for the residents there to experience high-speed internet service. Two years ago, Leonard May and I knocked on the door of each home in town, to find out who would be interested in having fiber to the home, since we were already laying a fiber line through the area. We didn’t get a overwhelming response—in fact—thinking back, I can’t remember a single person who was very interested. So, our plans to install fiber to the home were shelved. However, we installed a wireless access point in town feeding directly from our fiber and opened the community center with help from Dana Cox, whom we hired as our agent in Oxford, and who would manage the center for the next 2 years.

Dana also hired Phyllis Murphy, along with a couple of other local Oxford residents to keep the center staffed and always open from 12pm-6pm each weekday and on Saturday mornings. We installed countertops and set up 10 new computers with high-speed internet connections, a phone, and a printer. Dana kept a log of all the people who visited the center, and I was initially surprised at how many people visited each day. The Oxford Community center was well used. Dana was a wonderful representative for us in the community, and we would like to publicly thank everybody who staffed the community center. We hope that those who visited the center had a good experience and will have a positive lasting impression of Direct Communications.

Residents of Oxford who want to continue using high speed internet should call us to install wireless internet at their home at 208 237 9729. Regular rates will now apply.

Direct Communications awarded 2010 Best Business of the Year

Direct Communications was awarded the 2010 Best Business of the Year by the Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce awarded top businesses in the community at the annual awards luncheon on January 11, 2011.

Best Business of the Year 2010 went to Direct Communications, a phone and internet provider in Eagle Mountain.  Diane Bradshaw, office manager for Direct Communications in Eagle Mountain, accepted the award for the company and shared some of the projects that the company has spearheaded in 2010 with local schools and organizations. Direct Communications has partnered with Eagle Mountain City, Lehi Area Chamber and the Eagle Mountain City Board for Economic Development to start a business incubator program that will launch in next few months.

Leonard May, President, Diane Bradshaw, office manager, and Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director with 2010 Business of Year Award.

Kip Wilson, general manager for Direct Communications, stated: “We appreciate the work of the Chamber, and really commend Diane for her efforts in the community. We will continue to do whatever we can do to encourage the growth of local business in and around Eagle Mountain because we want a strong local economy that creates more opportunities for all of us.”

Brigham Griffin, marketing director said: “I think it’s significant that a business from Eagle Mountain was recognized this year, and everybody in Eagle Mountain should feel proud about this award. What this means is that local business in Eagle Mountain has come of age, residents of Eagle Mountain are supporting local businesses, and we had a great year of growth in 2010 because our customers were turning to their local broadband provider for their needs. So, thank-you to all our customers in Eagle Mountain for your support, and we will strive to live up to this award.”

Diane Bradshaw, office manager for Direct Communications in Eagle Mountain, accepted the award for the company.

The Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce serves Lehi, Eagle Mountain, Saratoga Springs and the surrounding communities.

Read news coverage of the event:

http://m.heraldextra.com/mobile/business/article_3ac19d6d-d68f-5bc0-9c15-a1afcca43de4.html

http://www.lehiareachamber.org/articles.php?id=75

For more Information contact.

Eagle Mountain Economic Development Director Ifo Pili, Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications, Eagle Mountain Mayor Heather Jackson

Donna Milakovic

Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce

PO Box 154

Lehi UT 84043

801-836-0836

[email protected]

www.lehiareachamber.org

Direct Communications Is New 2011 Allinger Community Theatre Sponsor

12/22/10 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

 The National Oregon/California Trail Center recently announced the addition of Direct Communications as a new 2011 season sponsor of events at the Allinger Community Theatre.

Oregon Trail Center in Montpelier Idaho

Oregon Trail Center in Montpelier Idaho

Direct Communications, a family‐owned broadband company headquartered in Rockland, Idaho serves the Bear Lake valley with High Speed Internet, mobile phone, cable television and other traditional telephone services. Direct Communications has been focused over the past few years on upgrading the local communications network to fiber optic cable, and residents around Bear Lake Valley can now receive broadband speeds up to 20Mb.  More information about Direct Communications can be found at http://www.directcom.com/

Direct Communications currently hosts the Oregon Trail Center website at http://www.oregontrailcenter.org  as well as provides the Center’s e‐mail and Internet services.  In the near future, the Oregon Trail Center will work with Direct Communications in broadbanding the Center and also work toward being a Wi‐Fi hot spot for the community and tourists.

Returning as 2011 theatre season corporate partners are Bear Lake Memorial Hospital, Rocky Mountain Power, Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, Clover Creek Inn and Zions Bank.  Theatre events for 2011 are currently being planned.  

The kick‐off concert will be “North to Alaska” featuring Thayne Andersen on Friday, January 14th.  Andersen will perform a one man show with a mix of music, poetry and jokes.  He currently resides in Lava Hot Springs after living for 26 years in Alaska and has performed for U.S. troops overseas.

“Sasquatch – Legend Meets Science” with Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, Ph.D. of Idaho State University will be presented on Friday, February 11th.  Meldrum is nationally recognized as one of the foremost experts on Bigfoot.  His book of the same name and the related Discovery Channel special are both extremely popular due to Meldrum’s scientific approach to the subject. 

Oregon Trail Center

Oregon Trail Center

Patrons can purchase these tickets on‐line now at www.oregontrailcenter.org, in person at the Oregon Trail Center, or by calling the Center’s box office at (208) 847‐3800. 

For more information, please contact:  Executive Director Becky Smith @ (208) 847‐3800

320 North 4th Street, P.O. Box 323, Montpelier, ID  83254

Ranches Academy Purchases New Playground Equipment with Donation from Direct Communications.

Eagle Mountain, Utah (December 03, 2010)

Direct Communications, Eagle Mountain’s local internet service provider, donated a generous amount to each of the local schools in Eagle Mountain this fall, to show their commitment to education in Eagle Mountain. The Ranches Acdemy, which is a free public charter school located in The Ranches community of Eagle Mountain, Utah, decided to use their donation to purchase new playground equipment for their students.

Thank-you notes from students at the Ranches Academy to Direct Communications

 Eagle Valley Elementary, Hidden Hollow Elementary, Pony Express Elementary, Ranches Academy, Vista Heights, Rockwell Charter High School and Westlake High School each received an undisclosed amount from Direct Communications during the month of September 2010.

Donation to Ranches academy in Ealge Mountain Donation to Ranches academy in Ealge Mountain

Kip Wilson, general manager for Direct Communications, said: “We are absolutely committed to improving life in Eagle Mountain and that means supporting the local institutions that are going to help develop the community. People care about education here, so donating to the schools will hopefully demonstrate our dedication to the top community priorities, including youth development and the success of Eagle Mountain.

A significant portion of the donation to the High School will be channeled to Westlake football. Jason Walker, Head Football Coach for Westlake High School stated: “This donation from Direct Communications is a huge help to our athletics program here at Westlake High School.  It will help to ensure that we have safe, quality equipment for our student-athletes, to help them practice and compete at the highest level possible.  We also use a portion of the donation to pay for after-school tutors to help our student-athletes succeed in the classroom, as well as on the field.  We could not provide such a positive experience for our student-athletes without the help of generous donors like Direct Communications.

Diane Bradshaw, Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain presents donation to Michael O'Connor, Athletic Director of Westlake High School. Diane Bradshaw, Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain presents donation to Michael O’Connor, Athletic Director of Westlake High School.

Further, as part of their donation, a portion of the funds will be set aside to help fund an Athletics Department Scholarship to help students who might not otherwise be able to attend college.  Direct Communications donation is the catalyst of what we hope to be a tremendous help to students now and in the future.”

Direct Communications has a long history of partnering with local school districts, especially in remote rural areas. In many rural towns in Idaho, Direct Communications was instrumental in bringing the first high-speed internet access to rural school districts. Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, explained: “Education and high-speed internet go hand-in-hand. So, as a broadband provider, supporting education is a good fit for us. Studies show that students without internet access at home are falling behind the curve today. Not only is the education market thirsty for better broadband access to improve educational opportunities for their students, but we also find that the more educated people are, the more likely they are to subscribe to our higher speed internet services. We want our schools to be strong, because that makes our communities strong and keeps our company healthy.”

Principal Keith Conley of Eagle Valley Elementary School said: “Thank you for this wonderful donation. This kind of support is so greatly appreciated. When businesses and good people donate to our school, we are able to do things for our students and staff that otherwise could not happen. We will use this donation to help fund our after-school programs. At Eagle Valley Elementary, we sponsor several after school programs to provide a wide array of activities. Among these programs, we offer Knowledge Bowl, Geography Bee, Japanese & Spanish Language Culture, Choir/Drama, Reading Remediation, Math Meet, Student Council and Family Night. Teachers advise these activities and parents volunteer as well. We provide very modest stipends and help to purchase items for the students.

This marvelous donation will go a long way in helping us to continue our tradition of providing meaningful and fun activities for our students and community. Our students, staff and community express gratitude to Direct Communications and Diane Bradshaw, for helping the Eagles at Eagle Valley Elementary School.”

Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications presents a donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications presents a donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

Diane Bradshaw, local Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain, is also involved in the Utah Scholars Program, and regularly gives presentations throughout the Alpine School District.  “As a parent I wanted to find a way to help support our local schools, as well as improve our business profile. People need to know that we are heavily invested in Eagle Mountain—we are invested in the children and invested in the community. One way we can give back meaningfully is to get involved in the schools.”

Bradshaw can be found each quarter at Westlake High School, giving away prizes to recognize students for academic achievement.

It is hard to miss the signs of Direct Communications involvement around the sports fields at Westlake High School, especially the 40-foot banner facing the football field, touting the relationship between the Thunder and the local broadband company. For example, at the homecoming football game, Direct Communications will be giving away prizes to the crowd, including an Xbox. Walker said again: “Our sincerest thanks to Direct Communications for their generosity and investment in our students.  We appreciate their support and look forward to working with them in the future.”

For more information contact Direct Communications at 801 789 2800 or visit www.directcom.com/eaglemtn

Directcom donated to Rockwell Charter High Directcom donates to Rockwell Charter High in Eagle Mountain. Donation to Hidden Hollow Elementary

Direct Communications Makes a Move

DirectCom's new pocatello office reception area

During this rough economic time when most companies are looking to downsize, Direct Communications found it the perfect time to expand into a larger facility.  On October 31st Direct Communications moved from 485 W Chubbuck Rd, Suite B to 345 W Yellowstone Ave, Suite B in Pocatello, Idaho.   While Direct Communications was a proud resident in Chubbuck, the increase in staff and cramped work space made it apparent that a larger location was forth coming.   When we entered the office doors on Yellowstone, we knew we had found our perfect fit to make it our new home.  With a little muscle, paint, and new furniture, Direct Communications’ move was done in a flash.  As you enter our Pocatello office you are greeted by a friendly member of our sales staff.  There is a soft, leather couch to relax as you ponder the possibility of purchasing cellular phone service,  or enjoy watching the flat screen TV as it navigates through some free on line tools to enhance your web browsing  experience. 

Office on Yellowstone and Maple in Pocatello

DirectCom Office on Yellowstone and Maple in Pocatello

Direct Communications’ cozy, relaxed atmosphere is a reflection of their home town values and their commitment to bring the latest broadband technology to southeast Idaho.  Direct Communication will like to proudly invite everyone to visit us at our new home located at 345 W Yellowstone Ave, Suite B, Pocatello, ID 83201.  Our office hours are Monday through Friday 8am through 6pm.

Direct Communications donates $1000.00 to Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25.

On October 25, 2010, Direct Communications donated $1000.00 to School District 25.  This was in conjunction with a June 25, 2010, Direct Communications fundraiser for local education.  The goal was to show appreciation to the teachers in District 25.  Costa Vida donated the food for the event, and several local businesses donated raffle items to raise money for the school district.  Direct Communications introduced Amped Up Wireless in the area, and pledged to donate $100.00 for each new install of the product during the launch. 

Anya Beauchat, Sales Office Adminsitrator for Direct Communications in Pocatello, presents donation check to School District 25.

Anya Beauchat, Sales Office Adminsitrator for Direct Communications in Pocatello, presents donation check to School District 25.

This story was covered by KPVI News 6, who aired a segment on the 6pm news about the donation. To see the video, visit:

http://www.kpvi.com/story.php?id=30362&n=15206

                With the combined efforts of all involved, we were able to raise $1000.00 to donate to School District 25.  Anya Beauchat, Sales Office Manager of Direct Communications, said “We are proud to be donating to a school district, where not only some of the employee’s children attend, but also to a district where teachers and staff consistently go above and beyond.”  She adds, “Through this donation, Direction Communications would like to both thank, and honor, School District 25 for providing our children with the skills and tools they will need to ensure the future growth of Pocatello.”

                When contacted for comment, Shelley Allen the District’s Education Foundation Director said, “We are fortunate to live in a community that values education and partners with education. It was wonderful of Direct Communications to think of the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District’s students, for giving, when planning their celebration.”  She added, “This donation benefits our kids, and is greatly appreciated.”

                Direct Communications presented a check on October 25, 2010 at 9:00 a.m during the school district Cabinet Meeting at 3115 Pole Line Road, in Pocatello.

Direct Communications Office Halloween 2010

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I have many fond memories of the Directcom office Halloween celebrations. Some people really put a lot of thought and effort into their costumes, and I can’t wait to see what they will wear each year. Most of us dress up, and stay in our costumes all day while we sit at our desks, answer phones and go about our daily work. Hopefully as you our customers browse through these photos, you will be able to recognize some of the faces of the people who serve you and make sure your internet is always on. You will see that we are just regular people like you, who like to dress up and enjoy the fun moments of life. We certainly don’t think of ourselves as just another utility corporation—we are your friends and neighbors who live and work beside you in your communities. In the past years we have always taken the entire office staff to parade through the local school so the kids can get a laugh from our costumes. This year will be the first time we will have to skip that tradition, because the school is out today, so we will miss that.

Every year we do this, I am reminded of some past classic costumes from former employees, who will never be forgotten. Who could ever top Rowan’s impersonation of J-Lo? He went all out that year—even shaved his arms and legs. Or Linda as the Octomom? (That was an original homemade costume.) Or Howard dressing up as Maleficent from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. To see some classic costumes from past years click here.

Direct Communications Supports Eagle Mountain’s FC Blaze

Direct Communications provided a donation this month to the FC Blaze, Eagle Mountain’s local competitive soccer team, as part of their commitment to giving back to the local community and supporting growth opportunities for youth in Eagle Mountain.

fc blaze logo

fc blaze

Branden Reall, President of FC Blaze, said:

“On behalf of the FC Blaze Competitive Soccer Club in Eagle Mountain I would like to thank Direct Communications for your very generous sponsorship. Your commitment to helping the FC Blaze in our community is sincerely appreciated.

Each year the FC Blaze continues to grow. Through the program, we have seen more young players grow and we have enjoyed good success in the past year.  The goal of the FC Blaze is to continue to make a difference in the community and lives of its players. With the help of donations from supporters such as you we will continue to see improvements.  We will continue to update you as our season progresses.

Thanks again for your generous support.”

Kip Wilson, General Manager of Direct Communications has stated on several occasions that the company is absolutely committed to improving life in Eagle Mountain, and that means supporting the local institutions that are going to help develop the community.

The FC Blaze soccer club was established for the specific purpose of creating a local competitive soccer program whose goals are to instill good character, self esteem, good sportsmanship, and strong physical abilities.   Their intent is to complement the communities and surrounding schools by providing additional levels of competition. For more information on competition soccer, the club, and other information, please visit http://www.fcblaze.org/

FC Blaze from Eagle Mountain U12 Team

FC Blaze from Eagle Mountain U12 Competition Team

DirectCom Lays Fiber-to-the Home in Arbon Valley

Fiber lights

Fiber optic cable connects the world.

Why is fiber optic cable being run to your home in Arbon?
We have been using fiber optics for our backbone network for a number of years—we  were one of the first companies in Idaho to use a digital switch, and helped build the first state-wide all fiber-optic sonnet loop, which ties the entire state of Idaho together into a network that goes back to the national backbone. However, not many telephone companies provide fiber all the way to the home yet—we were the first telephone company in Utah County to do that, so we thought it was time to offer it to our exchange here in Arbon.

Is it an expensive venture? How much does it cost to install fiber optics? Time? Labor?
Today, the price of the fiber optic cable has come to down the point where the cable itself isn’t any more expensive than the traditional copper, and of course at the same time, copper is increasingly expensive, with no hope of ever going down again, the way the world economy is headed. The real expense with fiber is in the electronics. The entire phone switch and head end must be upgraded to support the new fiber network, and on the customer end, the box (we call it a ONT, or optical network terminal) that fits onto the outside of the home, is very  expensive, because it’s a far more sophisticated system than the old copper devices. The great thing about this new ONT though, is that it supports the new technology that people are using more and more in their home, like home networks. Anybody who builds a house now will want to install CAT-5 network cable to each room, so they can network all their computers together, distribute their internet connection to each room, and many security, intercom and advanced entertainment systems all need network cable thesedays. On our ONT, there is a place you can plug your main Ethernet, or CAT-5 cable, right into the fiber-optic network, so you don’t have to use the old phone line or phone jacks. It’s engineered for the future. There is a little more labor involved in actually burying the fiber than there is with copper, which is just ploughed in directly, because fiber-optics must be run in conduit, but the long term benefits are clear and the investment profitable. Also, from what we have seen so far, there is less maintenance required on a fiber network than copper, so over time it will save us money.
 
What are the advantages of fiber optics? What changes would an average citizen see in their lives because of its use?
The most important factor is bandwidth. The fiber line running to a home from the main cable contains usually about 12 strands of fiber, but those 12 strands could probably carry all the information in Idaho. So, the capacity is huge—we have the ability to provide up to 100MB per second to each home. Fiber optics are the future of communications, and copper will someday max out on the bandwidth people will require. In the future, your telephone company will also be your cable company, and all media will be delivered as internet data. The advantage of this of course is that the possibilities for different content and the boundaries for broadcasting will be unlimited. Every person could someday broadcast their own TV station of our their home—just call up Grandma and say—change the channel to IP address such-and-such, and watch your grandchild blow out her birthday candles.

Fiber optics carry an all-digital signal, and is better suited to today’s digital communication devices. Also, there is no interference from electric lines or magnetic fields like you experience with copper, so the signal is clearer, which will result in a better conversation. There is no resistance in the fiber optic cable like metal lines have, so the signal can travel infinitely, because it’s light, not an electron flow, so we can now serve customers who live far away from the central phone office with products like DSL, which is vital in the rural areas. Fiber optics will open up whole new markets of people who previously were too far to pick up a DSL signal over copper. Ask all the farmers if they would like that. Having fiber to your home is a great modern feature that will increase the functionality and value of my home. Here in this little pocket in the hills, is a show-piece of the future.

How has communications in Arbon Valley changed over the last 100 years?
In our office in Rockland we still have the original little Rockland phone switch on display—the current president, Leonard May, used to sit at that switch as a child, which was housed in his family’s own home, and act as the operator, and manually change plugs around to switch the calls. An alarm would ring each time there was a call, and somebody in the family would have to wake up to connect the caller. He bought the company from his father in 1974, and from 300 local subscribers then, we now serve over 10,000 customers with a range of communications products from VOIP phones to DSL to cable TV.

 How many homes are hooked up to fiber optics in Idaho?
There aren’t any other phone companies in Idaho Falls, Blackfoot, Pocatello, or anywhere down to the Utah border, deploying fiber to the home yet. Direct Communications is leading the way, and we have hooked up several homes from Bear Lake to Rockland to fiber.

How is fiber optics installed?

Xbox Winners from 2010 Eastern Idaho State Fair Announced

 Direct Communications has been supporting the Eastern Idaho State Fair for many years. In the early 90’s Garrin Bott,  could be found offering the first satellite TV product in southeast Idaho at an outside booth. Today, Directcom has moved inside to the commercial building, where for the past several years they have been offering High Speed Internet service to fairgoers. The products and promotions we run may have changed over the years, but the fair has remained relatively unchanged—like an old familiar friend that turns up each year at the same time—if your friends smell like sweet funnel cake and grease.
Donald Sherrif

Leslie Quinn from the Directcom Sales & Marketing Department presents Donald Sherrif with his Xbox 360.

Grady-Granski

Leslie Quinn of Direct Communications presents Xbox drawing winner Grady Granski of Idaho with his prize.

This year we were offering a new product recently launched in the Pocatello area—Amped Up Wireless. This wireless high speed internet product features the fastest upload speed currently available in Southeast Idaho—3Mb. I found it personally satisfying to finally be advertising speeds at the fair that were faster than our old competitor down the next isle in the building, Big Dog, who for the past few years had a top advertised speed that was faster than the economy-priced wireless products we were reselling at the fair. This year we had our own network product running off our own fiber in Pocatello, and we wanted to make a big deal about it, so we offered several Xbox’s as booth prizes. Our prize winners from our drawing for 2010 included  Phillis Henson, Donald Sherrif, Grady Granski and Terri Swallow, and Cathy Van Tassell, all from Idaho.

Congratulations to our winners—have lots of fun streaming video and entertaining yourself with your new Xbox 360. This is an entertainment machine that works better the faster your internet is, so it’s a great product to be paired with the premium internet service we offer.

Cathy_Van_Tassell-xBox-winner-2010

Brandon Jolley, DirectCom Installation Manager, presents Cathy Van Tassell with her Xbox.

I also want to thank Anya Beauchat, our sales office administrator for all her hard work setting up the fair booth and supervising the sales staff, and all of our sales associates who covered the shifts over that long 10-day period. Our top sales-generating employee at the fair this year was Leslie Quinn, who was almost brand-new to the company, so she did a good job. The general public might not appreciate how challenging working a booth at an 10-day event like the State Fair can be—it’s not quite the same as working in a sales office—it’s a very intense, full-throttle, auction-like event going on 12 hours per day from 10am to 10pm, in a very hot, dusty, cow shed, where you talk to all kinds of people from all walks of life, and you are competing for attention with hundreds of other businesses peddling their wares—some of whom work and plan all year to move inventory in those 10 days. It’s probably more like the old medieval street-market or middle-eastern bazaars. Most people don’t come to the fair shopping for long-term services like high-speed internet, so that adds to the challenge.

Phillis Henson

Anya Beauchat, Sales Office Administrator for Direct Communications, presents Phillis Henson with her Xbox 360

Anyway, most years the Eastern Idaho State Fair has been a very worthwhile event for us, where we have generated a lot of leads and signed up several new customers.

Leslie Quinn of Direct Communications presents Xbox drawing winner Terri Swallow of Idaho with his prize.

Leslie Quinn of Direct Communications presents Xbox drawing winner Terri Swallow of Idaho with his prize.

Direct Communications to donate $100 of each sale in July to School District #25.

Direct Communications to donate $100 of each sale to Pocatello/Chubbuck School District #25.

 Pocatello, Idaho (Tuesday, June 22, 2010) Direct Communications, a local internet service provider, will host a benefit event for School District #25 on Friday, June 25th, 2010, at the Direct Communications Chubbuck office located at 485 W. Chubbuck Rd. Suite B, and will donate $100 of each sale of its new Amped Up Wireless Broadband service during the month of July 2010, to School District #25.

In continuation of their loyalty to southeast Idaho communities, Direct Communications is excited to announce an event to benefit School District #25 scheduled for June 25th, 2010, 11 am-6 pm.  This event will include live entertainment with local bands, games, cotton candy, prizes and more for children in the area as well as free food donated by Costa Vida. Free massages will be provided by Sunsations Spa. Many prizes will be given out at the event, including a free Xbox 360.  Parents can receive information from Direct Communications knowledgeable staff regarding free services available through the internet, as well as the new Amped Up internet product available from Direct Communications. 

Direct Communications will begin the event with a ribbon cutting in conjunction with the Pocatello Chamber of Commerce for the new Direct Communications Chubbuck office located at 485 W. Chubbuck Rd. Suite B, and the festivities will commence directly following.  In support of our schools and children, a donation jar will be available and Direct Communications will commit to donating $100 of each sale that day and through the month of July to School District #25.

The general public is invited to attend this event that is set to be both beneficial, informative, and fun for children and adults.

Jeremy Smith, general manager for Direct Communications, said: “When we were looking for ways to get involved in the community, we examined what issues were important right now to families in the Pocatello area, and of course the number one issue everybody was talking about was funding for local schools. We thought this would be a good way to show our support for the community and the issues they care about, and hopefully make a positive lasting impression.”

Shelly Allen, community relations specialist for the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District #25, said: “It’s partnerships like this with local businesses that will help us provide a quality education to students in our area. Any proceeds from this event will go directly to the Education Foundation and will benefit both students and their teachers.”

Direct Communications has a long history of partnering with local school districts, especially in remote rural areas. In many rural towns in Idaho, in places like Aberdeen, Montpelier, Paris, Grace, Thatcher, and many others, Direct Communications was instrumental in bringing the first high-speed internet access to rural school districts. Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, explained: “Education and high-speed internet go hand-in-hand. Not only is the education market thirsty for better broadband access to improve educational opportunities for their students, but we find that the more educated people are, the more likely they are to subscribe to higher speed internet services. We want our schools to be strong, because that makes our communities strong and keeps our company healthy.”

Shelly Allen added: “We really appreciate Direct Communications thinking of us and involving us in their planning for this product launch and open house.”

Anya Beauchat, local Direct Communications office administrator for the Pocatello sales office, and organizer of this benefit event said: “As a parent I wanted to find a way to help support our local schools. I hope a lot of people will come out to our event on Friday and show their support for our local school district.”

For more information about the open house on Friday or to contact Direct Communications for product information, call Anya Beauchat at 208 237 9729 or visit www.directcom.com

Direct Communications supports Eagle Mountain Schools

Direct Communications supports Eagle Mountain Schools   

Donation to Ranches academy in Ealge Mountain

Donation to Ranches academy in Ealge Mountain

Eagle Mountain, Utah (Thursday, September 23, 2010)

Direct Communications, Eagle Mountain’s local internet service provider, donated a generous amount to each of the local schools in Eagle Mountain this month, to show their commitment to education in Eagle Mountain.

Eagle Valley Elementary, Hidden Hollow Elementary, Pony Express Elementary, Ranches Academy, Vista Heights, Rockwell Charter High School and Westlake High School each received an undisclosed amount from Direct Communications during the month of September.

Kip Wilson, general manager for Direct Communications, said: “We are absolutely committed to improving life in Eagle Mountain and that means supporting the local institutions that are going to help develop the community. People care about education here, so donating to the schools will hopefully demonstrate our dedication to the top community priorities, including youth development and the success of Eagle Mountain.

A significant portion of the donation to the High School will be channeled to Westlake football. Jason Walker, Head Football Coach for Westlake High School stated: “This donation from Direct Communications is a huge help to our athletics program here at Westlake High School.  It will help to ensure that we have safe, quality equipment for our student-athletes, to help them practice and compete at the highest level possible.  We also use a portion of the donation to pay for after-school tutors to help our student-athletes succeed in the classroom, as well as on the field.  We could not provide such a positive experience for our student-athletes without the help of generous donors like Direct Communications.

Diane Bradshaw, Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain presents donation to Michael O'Connor, Athletic Director of Westlake High School.

Diane Bradshaw, Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain presents donation to Michael O’Connor, Athletic Director of Westlake High School.

Further, as part of their donation, a portion of the funds will be set aside to help fund an Athletics Department Scholarship to help students who might not otherwise be able to attend college.  Direct Communications donation is the catalyst of what we hope to be a tremendous help to students now and in the future.”

Direct Communications has a long history of partnering with local school districts, especially in remote rural areas. In many rural towns in Idaho, Direct Communications was instrumental in bringing the first high-speed internet access to rural school districts. Brigham Griffin, Marketing Director for Direct Communications, explained: “Education and high-speed internet go hand-in-hand. So, as a broadband provider, supporting education is a good fit for us. Studies show that students without internet access at home are falling behind the curve today. Not only is the education market thirsty for better broadband access to improve educational opportunities for their students, but we also find that the more educated people are, the more likely they are to subscribe to our higher speed internet services. We want our schools to be strong, because that makes our communities strong and keeps our company healthy.”

Principal Keith Conley of Eagle Valley Elementary School said: “Thank you for this wonderful donation. This kind of support is so greatly appreciated. When businesses and good people donate to our school, we are able to do things for our students and staff that otherwise could not happen. We will use this donation to help fund our after-school programs. At Eagle Valley Elementary, we sponsor several after school programs to provide a wide array of activities. Among these programs, we offer Knowledge Bowl, Geography Bee, Japanese & Spanish Language Culture, Choir/Drama, Reading Remediation, Math Meet, Student Council and Family Night. Teachers advise these activities and parents volunteer as well. We provide very modest stipends and help to purchase items for the students.

This marvelous donation will go a long way in helping us to continue our tradition of providing meaningful and fun activities for our students and community. Our students, staff and community express gratitude to Direct Communications and Diane Bradshaw, for helping the Eagles at Eagle Valley Elementary School.”

Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications presents a donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

Diane Bradshaw of Direct Communications presents a donation to Eagle Valley Elementary in Eagle Mountain, Utah.

Diane Bradshaw, local Direct Communications office manager for Eagle Mountain, is also involved in the Utah Scholars Program, and regularly gives presentations throughout the Alpine School District.  “As a parent I wanted to find a way to help support our local schools, as well as improve our business profile. People need to know that we are heavily invested in Eagle Mountain—we are invested in the children and invested in the community. One way we can give back meaningfully is to get involved in the schools.”

Bradshaw can be found each quarter at Westlake High School, giving away prizes to recognize students for academic achievement.

It is hard to miss the signs of Direct Communications involvement around the sports fields at Westlake High School, especially the 40-foot banner facing the football field, touting the relationship between the Thunder and the local broadband company. For example, at the homecoming football game, Direct Communications will be giving away prizes to the crowd, including an Xbox. Walker said again: “Our sincerest thanks to Direct Communications for their generosity and investment in our students.  We appreciate their support and look forward to working with them in the future.”

For more information contact Direct Communications at 801 789 2800 or visit www.directcom.com/eaglemtn

Directcom donated to Rockwell Charter High

Directcom donates to Rockwell Charter High in Eagle Mountain. Donation to Hidden Hollow Elementary

Direct Communications Opens New Retail Store in Preston

Direct Communications, Preston’s local cable company, recently opened a retail and customer service location at 138 S State, Preston, and would like to extend an invitation to all residents of Preston to visit their new location, try their products on display,  and see what new services are available to them.

Brendon Larsen, 17, of Preston, one of the sales representatives working at the new store, explains that the store actually opened in March, but it wasn’t until they put the new sign up outside the store that people really began walking in. “Usually people will see the sign, and recognize the name because a friend told them about their cable TV or internet service from Direct Communications. Most of our business comes through referrals.”

While the space inside the storefront is small, judging by the range of services on offer this is a company with large ambitions.

“We have our entire digital cable lineup playing on the big screen TV, so people can browse through our channels, see the picture quality. We have a computer setup so people can sit and try our high-speed internet. Right now we have our connection at the store set at 5Mb, and we are seeing fairly consistent speeds. We also have our digital VOIP phone set up, which uses our cable internet connection to make calls, and that is actually the only phone line we use at our businesses, so people can test that out, make a couple of calls and see how it compares to traditional phone service.”

Brendon says working at the new store has been a good job for him, and talking to people about communications services is something he enjoys compared to other things he might be doing. “It pays well, and will look good on my resume when I apply for college.”

Jeremy Smith, General Manager for Direct Communications Cable, explains why the company decided to open a retail location in Preston.

“Ever since we purchased the Preston TV franchise from Comcast, we have been looking for ways to improve customer service, and bring a local flavor to the cable network. We know we have a lot of competition from national providers, so we thought a physical location in Preston would help bring our services to the people, increase convenience and create value, because we can show we are a local company, where you can walk in talk to a local representative anytime, face to face. Hopefully that is still worth something today.”

Brendon says current customers use the store to come in and pay their bill, saving them the cost of mailing it in, and to make quick upgrades or changes to their service. “They sometimes come in with technical questions—if I can’t give them an answer right away, I at least can refer them to the right person in tech support immediately.”

The store is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm.

“If new people come in, and try our products, they will usually sign up for service. Actually, I had a salesman walk in the other day, trying to sell me a newspaper or magazine subscription, and he ended up walking away with internet service from us.”

Direct Communications has been providing internet service to Preston residents since 1999, and offers Telephone, Internet and cable TV services throughout southeast Idaho.