ALPINE, Texas, Feb. 16, 2015 – Local business Big Bend Telephone Company (BBT) has received national and statewide recognition for its broadband initiatives in support of homeland security.
On BBT’s 55th anniversary on February 3, 2015, the Texas Legislature honored the company by declaring “Big Bend Telephone Day” at the Texas Capitol. This event celebrated BBT being given the Rural Broadband Association’s “Special Recognition: Homeland Security” award during its 2014 Smart Rural Community Awards ceremony, held at the Association’s Fall Conference in September 2014 in San Francisco.
State Representative Poncho Nevárez and Senator Carlos Uresti invited BBT President and CEO Justin Haynes, General Manager Russell “Rusty” Moore, and Controller Lauren Sanders to the floors of the House and Senate, respectively, to honor the company and its support of homeland security.
BBT provides telecommunications services along approximately a quarter of the US/Mexico border and half the Texas/Mexico border. BBT was recognized for its efforts in building out the broadband service that allowed for the reopening of Boquillas Crossing, the only unmanned checkpoint along the entire southern border. This immigration station is the only border crossing between Presidio and Del Rio, Texas (approximately 300 miles apart), and it is monitored via a remote link provided by BBT Broadband. Border agents stationed in other locations interview and examine the documents of crossers in the Big Bend area via two kiosks at Boquillas.
BBT has developed a mesh network of fiber, fixed wireless, copper and satellite technologies to bring broadband to its customers over the sparsely populated, rocky, mountainous Big Bend terrain. BBT has a 17,593-square-mile service area (about twice the size of New Jersey), much of which is accessible only by unpaved roads.
BBT’s solution at the Boquillas Crossing and other efforts initiated by BBT Broadband are increasing tourism to the area and in turn increased tourism dollars are used to invest in economic development projects.
Creative technological applications such as those employed at the Boquillas Crossing are crucial not only for border security but also to keep BBT customers connected to each other across this rugged landscape.
BBT is a three-generation family-owned company based out of Alpine which has been offering quality communication services to the Big Bend region since 1960. BBT’s main office is located at 808 N 5th Street in Alpine, Texas. More information on the company and its services can be found at www.bigbend.net.