RTC expanding beyond St. John Parish bounds

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 14, 2010



RESERVE – For the first time since the company was formed in 1935, Reserve Telecommunications is branching out into a neighboring community outside of St. John the Baptist Parish.

As of April 2, the telephone, television and Internet provider will be accessible to customers living in unincorporated areas on the east bank of St. James Parish previously served by Charter Communications.

“We are looking forward to serving St. James Parish and allowing its citizens to experience a telecommunications company that treats its customers like the ‘friends and neighbors’ they are,” said RTC President Bill Ironside. “Customers should begin noticing the change within the next few weeks.”

Ironside said part of the acquisition and changeover involves a complete rebuilding of the existing network in St. James. He said RTC crews have been active in various St. James Parish neighborhoods laying new lines in advance of the switch.

“The work could last into November, but we are trying to get the majority of the existing customers onto the new system within the next 30 days,” Ironside said. “Paulina and Convent will be added first and the smaller surrounding communities will follow soon after.”

Ironside said the major change customers will see with the new system is the addition of 29 high definition stations that were not offered under Charter. He said the lack of high definition stations was one of the driving forces behind a dramatic drop in customer base the former provider experienced over the past few years in St. James.

“The system once had more than 2,600 customers in unincorporated St. James, but that number has dwindled to about 900,” he said. “We are hoping with the additions we are offering in the area that we can win back some of the customers that were lost to satellite providers.”

Other new service options under RTC include digital video recording capability, three levels of Internet service and the eventual introduction of home telephone service some time in the next year.

Ironside also said RTC has plans in September to re-open a customer service center in Paulina that had been shut down by Charter. In re-opening the office, located on Nicole Street in Paulina, Ironside said he wanted to show the people of St. James that RTC is locally owned and staffed by locals.

Ironside said customers would see no change in billing under the new system. He said a majority of customers’ bills would either stay the same or decrease.

“There are certain exceptions and certain specials we can’t offer, but for the most part our rates are on par with what it was in the past,” Ironside said. “We are just working hard to get the word out that we are here and that people in the parish have a new option. We are excited about the potential for long term growth in St. James parish.”