Show all

UNITEL Client Spotlight: Scatter Creek

Who is Scatter Creek?

  • Scatter Creek is the parent company and owns 100% of the stock of Tenino Telephone Company, Kalama Telephone Company , Scatter Creek Infonet and TENKAL Company. Scatter Creek is 100% family owned and operated, currently with third and fourth generation family members actively involved in the operations of the business. We employ approximately 33 full time employees amongst the various operating companies.
  • Tenino Telephone Company is a regulated local exchange telecommunications company formed in 1905 and serves approximately 100 square miles.
  • Kalama Telephone Company is a regulated local exchange telecommunications company formed in 1904 and serves approximately 120 square miles.
  • Scatter Creek Infonet was formed in 1995 as primarily an internet service provider, providing internet service to customers in and around the serving areas of TTC and KTC.
  • TENKAL Company was formed in 1995 primarily as a long distance telecommunications reseller to fill the void created when certain long distance carriers exited the TTC and KTC markets.

What challenges do you face?

  • Our first goal is to provide the best and most reliable telecommunications and broadband services possible throughout our service territories. We face aggressive competition by Comcast in our core service areas where any form of customer density exists and relatively no competition in the more remote areas where the cost to provide service is the greatest. Not unusual by any means. We continue to build out our network to improve services to all of our customers while we face continued reductions in revenues at the Federal and State levels.

What makes your culture unique?

  • I do not believe we are very different from a lot of companies like us. We are quite small. Everybody is very involved in the day to day operations of the Company, whether you are the President or the construction crew member in the ditch. One day, during a holiday company lunch, I overheard one of our repairmen respond to a server from the restaurant when asked if we were all family, he looked around at all of the coworkers and owners and responded with a yes, basically we are all family. That pretty much sums up how we operate, as one big family.

What are some exciting things in your future?

  • We continue to deploy fiber further and further into our network, improving broadband speeds by reducing or eliminating copper loop lengths wherever economically feasible. We rolled out a Managed WiFi service for our customers during 2018. Customers appear to love the service and are signing up almost daily.

What is something most people don’t know about Scatter Creek?

  • We are not very secretive, so if you are from around here, you know who we are and how we operate. We do pretty much 100% of our own construction. We own the equipment necessary to construct our own telecommunications network and take pride in knowing that it has been constructed properly, obtaining full underground depths, etc. We have maintained an excellent working relationship with the local PUD and try to coordinate construction projects in such a manner so as to incorporate both operations need’s in joint projects wherever possible. We also have railroad systems traversing both of our service territories. That creates some interesting challenges on the engineering design and construction of our networks to minimize the complications imposed by railroad crossings.

What’s it like to work with UNITEL?

  • Our relationship with UNITEL and its predecessors in this area goes quite a ways back. I believe we began with a relationship with Ray Hawkins, National Farmers Union, in the early 1980’s, until Ray passed. Then we were with his granddaughter, Heather Dahl, for a period of time, until Rand Moritzky became our representative, and a very good friend. Our relationship with Rand has spanned in the neighborhood of 20 years and has been quite positive. I have always felt I could ask Rand almost anything and could trust his response. I consider Rand a close friend. Now, it appears that Shane Ideus will be our new agent. Shane seems to be a very nice person and I am certain he will be an excellent representative for the Company.