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News A Message From Our President & CEO

A Message From Our President & CEO

To the Twin Valley and SKT Communities and Customers:

Last fall, Twin Valley shared its plans to acquire SKT, and I’m pleased to announce that the deal is done, bringing together the two largest family-owned broadband and communications companies in Kansas. SKT is now a part of the Twin Valley group of companies, which is owned and operated by the Foster family and also includes Twin Valley Telephone, Twin Valley Communications, and ISG Technology.

I bet you’re wondering what this means for you and your community. Let me start by telling you how much we have in common before I outline what you can expect from us going forward.

More Than 80 Years Dedicated to Rural Kansas

Both companies have a rich history of providing cutting-edge communication technology to rural Kansans — SKT for more than 80 years and Twin Valley for nearly 75 years. Each has its own story, but at the heart of it all, there are common threads. We get really excited about technology and providing quality, reliable service. We both have a long history of involvement in our communities, whether it’s sponsoring a local town improvement project, volunteering, or supporting a youth development program. Our customers are our neighbors. Our kids go to school together. We see each other at the grocery store, ballpark, and Sunday School. Because we live in the communities we serve, we’re personally invested in helping them prosper.

The Pledge – Your Lifelong Provider

As the fourth generation of the Foster family to lead the Twin Valley group of companies, we are excited to bring our vision for growth to the SKT communities. Driven by the fundamental idea that a small-town lifestyle does not require the sacrifice of high-tech amenities, our goal is to be your lifelong broadband and communications provider. To ensure that we’re always your top choice, we’ll lead Twin Valley and SKT into the future guided by the TVT Pledge — a pledge to you and the communities we serve, built upon a foundation of these core areas of focus:

TVT Pledge The Most Reliable Network

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With a progressive mindset and the latest technology, Twin Valley and SKT will provide rural Kansans a reliable, modern connection to the world. This will require strategic improvements to the broadband network and continued development of a highly-skilled workforce.

 

TVT Pledge Accessibility Regardless of Income

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We understand that access to quality, affordable high-speed internet means more to you than the ability to binge watch all your favorite shows. Broadband is essential for local businesses and economic development within our communities. For individuals and families, quality of life is directly tied to internet access for remote work and education, telehealth services, security, online shopping, video chatting, entertainment, and more. Twin Valley and SKT will improve internet accessibility by providing options at a good value for all income levels.

TVT Pledge Quality Customer Service with Hometown Values

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Small-town values and strong work ethic are embedded in our DNA. We will provide hometown customer service in every customer interaction. That starts with having empathy for our customers. We’ll listen to you, treat you with neighborly care and respect, and respond quickly and efficiently. That also means we’ll work hard to be at the top of our game to provide a better customer experience, and we’ll share our customer service scores with you to confirm it!

TVT Pledge Targeted Community Outreach Initiatives

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To support local economic development, Twin Valley and SKT actively participate in area chambers of commerce and other business organizations. The companies provide free internet service to city government, emergency services, libraries, and other community organizations — together totaling more than $100,000 in value every year.

Annually, both Twin Valley and SKT pour tens of thousands of dollars into supporting community events and projects. Going forward, we will establish targeted community outreach initiatives that align and support our communities in meaningful ways.

This pledge will evolve in the coming months as we discover it together. That starts with getting to know each other better and finding out what’s important to you and what earns your business. At a host of local events and meetings, you will see SKT and TVT employees in your communities. Those conversations will reveal what our pledge needs to be to create the greatest value for you and your community. And just as we measure our internal business performance, we will measure and share back with you how we are performing to that pledge — the TVT Pledge.

A Strong Track Record of Network Improvements & What Comes Next

Both Twin Valley and SKT have a history of network improvements, and we’ll continue that dedication to technology with our pledge to provide the most reliable network. Over the last three years, SKT has upgraded every community’s broadband infrastructure, including a fiber build to more than 1,000 homes and businesses in the Clearwater area. One of Twin Valley’s most impactful projects came when it acquired exchanges with more than 6,000 phone lines and only 200 “high-speed internet” customers among them. I use the term “high-speed” loosely, because at the time, each connection was less than half a megabit per second. We invested in those communities, and today, thousands of homes and businesses have fiber internet with connections capable of up to a gigabit (1,000 Mbps).

Using that same approach, we’ll evaluate the SKT service area and make a plan to move forward. The changes aren’t going to happen overnight, but investment in SKT’s network will accelerate. We have a bright future ahead and would appreciate your continued support in this new era. Together, we’re going to expand broadband access and make a difference in the lives of rural Kansans.

In fact, we’ve already made an impact in Belle Plaine, where SKT recently launched faster internet speeds. Working together, we bumped every customer to at least 100 Mbps at a more affordable rate. The response from customers has been overwhelmingly positive. Funding support from state grant programs will allow us to improve rural broadband connectivity with fiber in two communities, allowing for speeds up to a gigabit. The first project is underway in Junction City, connecting more than 350 businesses, with future phases of residential buildout planned. Soon we’ll break ground on the second project in a rural Haysville residential neighborhood bordering SKT’s Clearwater exchange.

Partnering with us does more than meet your broadband and technology needs. As a local business, your support creates rural Kansas jobs and strengthens rural Kansas communities. In addition to these projects, Twin Valley and SKT will begin developing community outreach initiatives as outlined in the TVT Pledge, with a goal of launching a new literacy program for rural elementary students this fall. More information is to come.

Thank you for trusting us with your broadband and communication needs. Whether you live and work in a Twin Valley or an SKT community, rest assured that we are working hard for you. This is only the beginning, and we can’t wait to share our progress as we announce new and exciting initiatives in the coming months.

Sincerely,

Ben Foster
President & CEO
Twin Valley Management, Inc.