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General Manager’s Update Regarding Video Outage in Gilbert, Jewell, and Roland

Hello. My name is Steve Frey and I’m the General Manager at Stratford Telephone. I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the patience and understanding they have demonstrated during this ongoing video outage. To provide a little background, the company that provides our Guide Data and DVR Functionality made some changes that required an update to be sent out to all boxes. That’s roughly 2,200 boxes across the network. The majority of those boxes did update as they should have. Unfortunately, a couple hundred or so did not. Kudos to the staff here, who has been working tirelessly over the last 10 days to field calls, repair and replace boxes, and ensure that we get 100% of our customers back in service. Our two largest obstacles right now are inventory and manpower. Covid has greatly impacted electronics manufacturing worldwide. However, we have been successful in obtaining some units from Florida. I expect it will be next week before they are in Iowa. In the meantime, we will continue to do whatever it takes to restore service as quickly as possible for every subscriber. In some cases, this may involve a temporary solution until we receive additional set-top box inventory. As far as outage credits/bill reductions…We will make it right, but you will see that on next month’s bill since billing had just cut when the issues began.

So what’s next? Some major takeaways from this outage that we have already begun working on. 1. Updating customer contact information and employing a tool that will allow us to send out mass alerts in order to provide warnings, troubleshooting steps, and updates. Look for a customer profile sheet from us with next month’s bill. 2. Updating our video platform as a whole. This is a huge undertaking and requires a significant investment in terms of engineering and equipment. But we believe it is the right path for us and helps to ensure that we are providing the best possible product to our customers. There is no firm timeline yet, but I expect this will take several months to implement.

Again, I would like to thank all of our customers for working with us during this outage, and of course the staff for their outstanding efforts. We are so lucky to have such a dedicated and committed group!


Steve Frey
General Manager