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ATMC, Your Co-op

A great choice when it comes to local, community and service. By AMI BROWN Binge watching Netflix? No problem, this internet company has just the package for you! A different kind of ISP - ATMC is not only your local internet provider, but also a non-profit co-op, giving back to the community.

1 - Please tell our readers a little about what makes ATMC different than every other internet provider. What makes ATMC different is that we are a locally owned, locally run company. In 1955, Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation (ATMC) was chartered by a group of people right here in Brunswick County. ATMC is a nonprofit cooperative, owned by its members. We are proud of our historic ties to this community and believe that our humble beginnings are the keys to our future success. Serving the people of Brunswick County has always been our top priority at ATMC. 2 - ATMC is a co-operative, how does that work? A cooperative business is owned by its members. Our members vote annually on our Board of Directors who then advocate for the needs of our members. Because we are a cooperative, we also give back to our community. Each year, we award community and education grants in our service area. Over the years, we’ve given back more than $600,000 in community and education grants to causes in our community. We also awarded $85,000 in scholarships to 57 local graduating seniors. In addition, because we are a nonprofit, when we earn operating margins from our business we give these margins back to our members through payments of capital credits. In fact, we’ve given back more than $42 million in capital credits payments to our members over the years. We are a company who is accountable to Main Street, not Wall Street. 3 - What are some of the services you provide? ATMC provides a full range of communications services, including Telephone, Cable TV, Broadband Internet, ATMC Security with Home Automation, and more. We’ve been providing fiber-to-the-home technologies in many areas since 2005 and we were the first provider in North Carolina to be certified by the National Fiber to the Home Council. 4 - Do you have any specialties... or special offers? We offer many specials and bundles depending on the customer’s location. Customers can visit to see what specials are available in their area. 5 - What is the most popular package you offer? Our Gigabit service is popular in many areas as this is the fastest speed available in our market right now. It provides an incredible one Gigabit per second of download and upload broadband power providing bandwidth for both residential customers and business customers. 6 - Streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix are so popular now, how has that impacted the internet /cable business? (Pros/Cons?) We know that many of our customers, especially our millennial customers, are moving away from Cable TV and are migrating toward streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others. This migration has been accelerated as a direct result of the higher costs charged by local broadcast stations and cable TV networks. These networks do not allow cable companies like ATMC to give customers the option to pick and choose only those channels they want to pay for. So, as a result, streaming services that allow more flexibility and lower prices have indeed become very popular. In fact, Netflix alone accounts for over 50% of our online internet traffic. ATMC recognized this trend and that’s why we’ve built Internet packages that cater to customers who want to use over-the-top services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. 7 - What do you see as the future for ATMC and internet providers? Communications companies like ATMC are already seeing the trend shift toward over-the-top services. The average home has 10 connected devices including security devices, smartphones, tablets, TV’s, PC’s, and home integration. The technology and applications of tomorrow will require much faster broadband speeds than you can imagine today, which is why ATMC is staying ahead of the curve by expanding our fiber optic network. Our future is all about giving our customers best broadband connection backed by the best customer service possible. Fiber provides more bandwidth, faster speeds, is more reliable and is future-proof meaning as the demand continues to rise for faster speed Internet, fiber is capable of meeting those demands. In 2016, ATMC committed to a five year upgrade and expansion plan as part of this goal. As part of this plan, the company has been working to upgrade many of our most rural customers to speeds of up to 300 Mbps or more. We have also started to deploy fiber optic technology to growing residential areas such as Leland, Oak Island and St. James as well as key business districts throughout Brunswick County. The first of these key business districts to be converted to fiber optics were in Shallotte and Leland, and we feel this will be a huge asset for the area’s economic development efforts. We are currently in year two of our five year plan and we’ve seen a tremendous response to the work we are doing to upgrade and expand our services. 8 - Who is your average customer? (more business customers, residential, older, younger?) Our residential customers make up most of our customer base and because we serve a large area of Brunswick County that demographic is diverse. It is no secret that Brunswick County is a wonderful place to retire and ATMC serves many retirement communities and neighborhoods in our county. We continue to see our business customer base grow as Brunswick County towns like Leland flourish. Our commitment to add fiber to key business districts in Brunswick County will hopefully attract new businesses to our area and promote economic development in our community. 9 - What is the most important thing to consider when choosing an internet, Wi-Fi, home security company like ATMC? We have always offered quality services and products to our customers at a good value. What really sets us apart as a business is our commitment to excellence in customer service. Our customer service is top-notch because our employees work here and live here and are invested in our community. In fact, we’ve won the Brunswick Beacon’s Best of Brunswick award in Customer Service ten times since 2008. Personalized customer service is what we pride ourselves in and it is something you just won’t get from large national providers. 10 - Can you offer advice on keeping your computers safe from internet hackers or identity theft? Each day, thousands of Internet users are misled by cyber criminals looking to take advantage of them by using tactics such as sending legitimate-looking emails that appear to come from trusted sources like banks, government agencies, or even utility companies like ATMC. Emails or pop-up ads may ask for your personal information and might even threaten serious action when that information is not disclosed. They may even contain links that are infected with viruses. Responding to these types of requests could compromise your computer and your sensitive information. If you receive a suspicious email or request for your information, the best practice is to call the organization that appears to be sending the message and verify the validity of the message. Protect your sensitive information by never disclosing personal information through email, and by conducting Internet transactions only over secure websites. 11 - How are the new internet privacy regulations going to affect ATMC? (and other providers) In regards to the recent rulings of Net Neutrality, ATMC has no intention of making changes to its Internet service and will continue to maintain an open policy. ATMC does not now, and has never throttled, capped, restricted access to legitimate sites or prioritized speeds for specific customers. ATMC maintains high standards for the Internet service we provide to our customers. We will continue to maintain Net Neutrality by providing our customers with the best possible Internet experience available and have no intention of making changes to our Internet service. Interested customers: Phone 910-754-4311 Leland office address: Brunswick Forest, 1201 Dickinson Drive, Leland Leland store hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-6:30pm, Sat, 9am-5pm, Closed Sun

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