In 1950, a group of residents came together to discuss forming a cooperative that would bring telephone service to approximately 3,725 member-subscribers in parts of Ashe, Alleghany and Watauga counties. Now 70 years later, we hear echoes of our history playing out once more. As one of the largest rural telecommunications companies in the state and nation, SkyLine serves five counties, and with the help of its subsidiary (SkyBest), is hard at work continuing to bring modern technology to our neighbors outside of our co-op defined territory to provide vital, much-needed connectivity.
In 2004, SkyLine invested in constructing an extensive fiber-optic network in order to deploy fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) technology, giving customers the fastest speeds available. Digital television services were launched to limited areas in July 2008 after significant testing and field trials; the following year, SkyBest introduced security systems to its North Carolina customers, featuring comprehensive home and business security monitoring services as well as affordable medical alert services for area residents. It is this innovated, forward-thinking that ensures SkyLine provides the most advanced and relevant technology to all customers, no matter how remote.
Having achieved FTTP deployment across its co-op served areas, SkyLine and SkyBest have since focused efforts on extending much-needed fiber connectivity and telecommunications services to new communities needing faster broadband speeds. A dedication to excellent customer service is the foundation of everything SkyLine does. From bringing telephone service to the High Country in 1950 when no one else would, to bringing Fiber-Optic Internet Service to “hard-to-reach” national treasures such as the Blue Ridge Parkway and Grandfather Mountain, SkyLine/SkyBest goes the extra mile to get these necessary resources to areas other providers have considered inaccessible. This was proven during a recent expansion in Tennessee, when SkyBest contracted a helicopter service in order to help deploy 2.5 miles of fiber through the Cherokee National Forest straight into the community they were serving, a historic first for the co-op.
With an active presence in the communities it serves, the cooperative provides significant support to numerous educational, charitable and economic development programs. Today, as the industry moves at breakneck speeds, led by technology and further driven by competition and regulatory changes. SkyLine endeavors to exceed expectations through proactive and strategic focus with key partnerships within the community. It remains their mission to continue connecting technology and communities for generations to come.