STRATA Hosts 69th Annual Meeting for Cooperative Members

STRATA Networks hosted its 69th Annual Meeting on Thursday, June 16th, at Union High School, where members enjoyed a customer appreciation barbecue, followed by a business meeting that provided updates on the Cooperative’s past year. The following were elected to serve a three-year term on the Board of Directors: Ashley Shiner, Altamont District; Richard Ross, Roosevelt District; and Bart Miller, Neola District.

The three re-elected directors each expressed their appreciation to members and emphasized the importance of having a company in the Uintah Basin to provide broadband services, with Miller referring to connectivity as the “lifeblood” for all of us and Shiner stating that broadband is the “key to the survival of rural America.”

Board Treasurer/Secretary Kelly Dastrup expressed optimism for STRATA despite “interesting times,” reporting that the Cooperative remains in good financial standing and announcing that $250,000 in capital credits will be awarded to members this year. His report also focused on the company’s investment back into the community through various donations, taxes, and approximately $13 million that was invested into improving the company’s networks last year.

Board President Ashley Shiner informed members of the challenges that STRATA and other providers face in connecting rural communities stating, “It has been a struggle for rural companies like STRATA to provide broadband services to all our customers due to the immense costs to build to remote areas.”

To combat these challenges, Congress has appropriated an unprecedented amount of grant funding that is dedicated to delivering broadband to underserved areas. General Manager/CEO Bruce Todd reported that STRATA has received some of this funding and teams are actively working on applying for additional opportunities. By securing these funds, along with additional outside revenue resources, STRATA is well-positioned to have fiber delivered to 95% of the Uintah Basin in the near future, according to Todd.

These outside revenue resources include the Cooperative’s recent Public-Private-Partnerships with Providence City and Lehi City wherein STRATA has been selected to design, construct, and operate fiber networks owned by these municipalities. According to STRATA, these municipal fiber projects will provide sources of outside revenue necessary to diversify the company, bring additional job opportunities, and return profits to the Uintah Basin that will help deploy services to benefit members in the Cooperative.

“The fundamental foundation of the Cooperative has not changed but the demands of the customers, technologies, and program revenues have,” said Todd. “And STRATA is prudently working to make it all work for your benefit.”

Advancements in STRATA’s wireless network were also presented, including the recent launch of their Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network in the Uintah Basin. The industry-wide transition to VoLTE brings STRATA one step closer to delivering 5G in the Basin and introduces benefits like clearer voice quality along with the ability to use voice and data simultaneously. Members were informed that all STRATA wireless customers will be moved to VoLTE before the end of the year and were invited to learn more by calling or visiting one of their retail stores.

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