Pioneer Telephone Cooperative isn’t your typical company; we are a cooperative. What does it mean to be a cooperative and what sets us apart from other telecommunications providers?
Pioneer, like other cooperatives, is not-for-profit, democratically controlled and member-owned. Cooperatives are established to serve members. They are governed by their members, rather than by stockholders. The profits are reinvested into the co-op and/or distributed to members. With October being National Cooperative Month, we thought it was important to share with you a little history of Pioneer and why cooperatives, such as Pioneer, are an important part of America.
October 1949 – President Truman signs extensions to the Rural Electrification Act to include support for telephone companies.
December 1949 – One of the first meetings took place to discuss recent federal regulation allowing aid to rural communities to develop rural telephone systems under the Rural Electrification Administration (REA).
October 12, 1950 – Papers filed with the State of Oregon establishing Pioneer Telephone Cooperative. At that time, 594 Membership Participation Certificates had been sold, raising $58,244 to capitalize the organization.
November 1, 1950 – Article was written in the Corvallis Gazette-Times:
“The cooperative (Pioneer Telephone Cooperative), following the example of rural electric cooperatives, is the first of its kind in Oregon organized under the new rural telephone legislation recently passed by Congress. It will no doubt be watched carefully by other independent telephone companies and telephone cooperatives throughout the country.
Incorporation took place recently at a meeting at Mary’s River Grange Hall. By-laws were adopted and a board of directors chosen.
January, 1951 – Pioneer Telephone Cooperative purchased Coast Telephone Company serving Philomath, Alsea, South Beach, Waldport, and Yachats. This served as the backbone for extending service into additional areas.
March 20, 1951– U.S. Senator Wayne Morse sent a telegram to Pioneer Telephone Cooperative informing the organization the REA allocated $1,306,000 for construction of a modern telephone system.
June 1, 1951 – Pioneer Telephone Cooperative began providing service.
July 1951– The Blachly & Deadwood Telephone Company became part of the Pioneer System.
1956 – The Bellfountain Telephone Company became part of the Pioneer system, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Since the beginning, Pioneer has invested in our network infrastructure, which has allowed us to provide advanced services to our members. Today, we continue to do so and have grown to be a leader in the industry providing our communities with high speed Internet and voice. Serving the communities between the Willamette Valley and the Central Oregon Coast, we cover over 1,300 square miles spread over four counties with 14 different exchanges.
Unlike privately owned companies that have to consider making big profits for their shareholders, Pioneer reinvests in its network and gives back to the communities. A cooperative’s only purpose is to serve you, the members. Our mission is to bring you the best telecommunications and broadband service available. There are seven principles that set us apart from other providers.