The Margaretville Telephone Company (MTC) was established in 1916 by John Birdsall who purchased 16 telephone lines from the New York Telephone Company. The next few decades provided tremendous growth for MTC as neighborhood phone lines serving individual hamlets and valleys were merged together to create a larger calling "network". Continued expansion led to the installation of switchboards along with switchboard operators to connect calls outside of the localized telephone network. The first MTC switchboard was located in the Birdsall's home on Swart Street in Margaretville.
During the 1960's, the manual switchboards were replaced with a Stromberg Carlson XY Switch which allowed customers to directly dial both local and long distance calls. This XY switch was eventually replaced with a new digital central office telephone switch during the early 1980's. This upgrade included the installation of ten remote offices strategically located throughout the MTC service area which moved the switching functionality closer to the customers offering improved efficiency and performance. Over the past decade, this switching network has received numerous upgrades and still comprises the backbone of the Margaretville Telephone network today. The addition of fiber optic cables in the 1990's dramatically improved the network trunking capacity between the central office and remote offices enabling the addition of advanced telephone and broadband applications.
In 1996, MTC purchased Margaretville Tel-Viz, the local cable company servicing the greater Margaretville and Andes regions. Principals of MTC originally started the local cable business in the early 1960's and were required to sell the business when new regulatory rules went into effect which prevented cross ownership of telephone and cable companies. These restrictions were removed with the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1992 which lifted the restrictions of cross ownership and allowed small cable and telephone companies to operate under the same ownership. MTC completed a system upgrade to the cable facilities in 1998 by installing a high-capacity, hybrid fiber optic and coax network. Today, MTC offers a suite of advanced services including our popular triple-play of voice, video, and data. High definition programming, Video-On-Demand, and Velocity broadband packages are the latest service enhancements now available. Since 1998, the service area of the cable footprint has expanded to include customers located from Downsville to Grand Gorge. Future expansion plans include the Towns of Conesville, Gilboa, and Halcott.
Today, MTC provides services to over 6500 business and residential customers through its telephone and cable footprint all operating under the MTC Logo. The company is in the fourth generation of the Birdsall family ownership and continues to grow within the communities serviced. Our strongest asset remains the commitment and dedication of our staff in providing great customer service along with a personalized touch. MTC has been well positioned to meet the needs of our customers and challenges of a continually evolving industry.