LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Whidbey Telecom disagrees with story

To the editor:

The June 4, 2008, edition of the South Whidbey Record contained an article entitled “Whidbey Telecom and Sprint finally reach agreement.” We are concerned that portions of the article attribute to Whidbey Telecom statements that we did not make, and other portions of the article spread negative characterizations of Whidbey Telecom with which we strongly disagree.

In relation to the new agreement between Sprint and Whidbey Telecom, Whidbey Telecom proceeded in good faith throughout the process. We do not agree with the assertion that we dragged our feet on negotiations with Sprint. We also do not agree with the statement that Whidbey Telecom intentionally obstructed and delayed negotiations. The issues involved in that matter were of a complex legal nature, and Whidbey Telecom was not willing to proceed without guidance on some of those issues. Once the commission gave guidance on those issues, Sprint and Whidbey Telecom were able to come to full agreement.

As for Whidbey Telecom’s rates, we believe that Whidbey Telecom already has competitive rates and will be able to remain price-competitive. In addition, we are confident customers will have many reasons to choose Whidbey Telecom over the competition — service quality, service reliability and outstanding customer service, to name only a few.

For over 100 years, Whidbey Telecom has provided service in a rural community that is much more costly to serve than more urbanized areas and we have kept our local service rates low. In addition to our own commitment to providing our customers with high quality services with value, we have operated under governmental regulation that has supported the balance for the customer in a monopoly environment. Whidbey Telecom has kept our local rates low even when there was no competition.

While we have moved into a competitive marketplace and the term “monopoly,” as it applies to our status as a communications provider in our area is generally a misnomer now, we do not believe that Whidbey Telecom having been a monopoly in the past has been a negative to our customers or our community.

Whidbey Telecom has provided and continues to provide services to our customers that are proactive, innovative and affordable. We live by our mission statement that says, “Whidbey Telecom delivers value and innovative solutions to our customers and communities. We provide advanced, high quality communication services with integrity, ethical business practices and a personal touch.”

Julia Henny DeMartini

Vice President

Whidbey Telecom