A topic that came up frequently during my visits with members in December was the challenge with Valley Communication Association’s IPTV service. I got a question about it at nearly every stop I made, which I expected.
For many months, consumers have had to deal with “pixelation,” lost signals and other issues. If you have the service, chances are, you know what I am talking about. (For non-subscribers, IPTV is a subscription cable-type service that delivers high-definition television programming through our broadband network.)
Working with the firm that produces the IPTV feed for us, we tried everything to solve the problems and improve consistency and reliability. For a cooperative that prides itself on reliability, the situation could not be tolerated. It was not easy to face up to the fact that IPTV was never going to meet our standards, and so we had to make it right with active IPTV subscribers. We quit charging subscribers. We also issued credits for the November charges. And, we won’t charge them while a team of our Valley Communication employees is conducting an assessment of alternative products that may be a suitable replacement product. That could take a few months.
It was the right thing to do, however, and our consumers seem satisfied with the actions we took. They have said as much in the correspondence we have received and through the feedback I got during my tour of the districts. I was heartened by the courtesy, patience and kindness from members. They, too, were disappointed but were understanding of the situation.
IPTV is an example of my commitment to transparency as CEO. Of course, we had high expectations when we rolled out IPTV. At some point, however, you have to admit there is a problem, get the right people involved and find a solution that is best for members.
As stewards of the Cooperative, enabling transparency through information is a primary objective of the Board as it is with myself. As CEO I intend to demonstrate this day-in and day-out. Simply put, the Board demands this, and our members deserve it.
Members can expect to see me frequently in their districts, and not just during our annual district meetings. The best way to share information about our Cooperative is to talk with members face to face whenever possible. I believe this is the right thing to do.
Until next month,
Chief Executive Officer