The dream: the vision of a group of 75 people in Hope, New Mexico, became a great functioning reality. The date: December 19, 1949… “Central, Johnny needs to know the capital of Iowa.” “Central, who has that fudge recipe?” “Central, what did Buster do for his old cow that was sick?”
In the early years of Peñasco Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc., the switchboard was in the living room of Mr. and Mrs. C.B. Altman, in Hope. “Central” was the resource center, especially after school each afternoon. “Central” helped answer many questions and kept Hope, New Mexico in contact with the rest of the world. The “Central” office was also the main meeting place of the town council during the 1950’s “Petticoat Rule.” This female council was feature in the April 17, 1950 Life Magazine, including a picture of the council ladies in “Central” with the switchboard in the background.
Since 1953, when Peñasco Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (PVT), purchased Altmans’ telephone company, PVT has made great strides in building a dynamic telecommunications system.
The post-World War II era brought an emphasis on rural expansion. No longer was it necessary to depend on privately owned home-based switchboards for telephone service. PVT focused on reducing or eliminating multiple party lines, upgrading equipment and features, as well as expanding the number of exchanges. During the years 1950 through 1953, the exchanges expanded to include Cottonwood, Loco Hills, Mayhill, Hondo and Lakewood, thus giving PVT the responsibility of providing quality telecommunications services to six exchanges, including the original Hope exchange.
As PVT expanded service to these rural areas, one customer boasted, “We have all the conveniences of town and I love the ranch to much to wish to live anywhere else.” This sentiment is still shared by many subscribers today.
Technology accelerated over the next three decades. In the 1960’s Direct Distance Dialing (DDI) became available in all six exchanges. Extended Area Service (EAS) electronic switching equipment, computerized dialing and custom calling features further revolutionized the telephone service for PVT customers in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Today PVT has 88 employees serving customers over a 4,651 square mile radius. This is a far cry from the original telephone wires strung from the ranchers’ fence posts.
Thanks to computerization, many day-to-day service requests no longer require a visit to the customer’s site. The requests can be fulfilled almost instantly, speeding from one computer system to the next. State-of-the-art facilities like computerized digital switches, hair-thin fiber-optic cable networks that carry thousands of voice and data signals simultaneously, and fascinating digital wireless technology open new communication doors every day.
Despite the company’s frequent advances in technology and rapidly expanding lines of products and services, PVT employees have remained flexible, dedicated and ahead of the learning curve to meet customers’ expectations.
The dream; the vision of those 75 people in 1949 has proven what a working community can accomplish together, not only for their generation, but also for generations to come. That dream; that vision is carried on through Peñasco Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc. Each person, each employee, that has contributed in any measure to the building of this Cooperative, has made a positive mark in history.
What a foundation PVT has to build upon! What progress has been over the past 50 years! What new realms and boundaries are before this Cooperative through telecommunications and cyberspace in the 21st century! Peñasco Valley Telephone Cooperative, Inc., still acts upon the dream; the vision shown in 1949.