UDP, Inc. Update

Dear TTA Members,

It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that UDP, Inc. will be going out of business. After 57 years in business, we find ourselves coming up short in our development, service, and offerings. Our entire reason for existence is to help our customers and when that’s not happening, it is time to change. This is not where we want to be, but it is where we are. So, with the best interest of our remaining customers and employees in mind, we have begun the process of handing off our customers to other providers. We announced this internally and to our customers in mid-March. Our initial goal was to be completed by September and now it looks like it will be November. There were initially four companies that we recommended as good options. Now, two more options are available for a total of six. This allows the conversion efforts to happen in parallel and hopefully provides the best fit for each customer.

We have witnessed multiple mergers in our industry and invariably both the employees and the customers suffer the consequences of changes without any options. This was intended to give our customers as much control over their future as possible.

The timing turned out to be less than ideal for our employees with the entire country doing its best to deal with an extremely contagious virus. The LEC industry has done remarkably well with the focus on distance learning highlighting the value of broadband within your communities. We have been able to continue with most employees working from home. Our employees have also begun to explore other job opportunities and certifications. We are doing our best to maintain enough of our personnel to maintain the current customers and support the conversion work. Several have been able to find work remotely to stay in the communications industry. I want to encourage you to check with our employees directly for employment if they can help you.

I appreciate everyone who has been involved to complete transitions and do everything possible to move to new platforms with an open mind.

Our family business (Southwest Texas Communications) has been making this same effort and that is why I can see the customer’s perspective so clearly.

We have a long history of doing work for the LEC industry and it is important to leave things in good shape as we exit. Let me know if I can help with anything to make it go as smoothly as possible.

I want to thank everyone in the industry that we’ve worked with over the years. It’s been a fun process watching our industry evolve, and while we are sad to be leaving, we are grateful for the relationships. I’m proud of the role each of you play in your communities.

Claud Gilmer
UDP, Inc.