Our Company History

For most Americans, telephone service is something that has always existed. Most people attribute this vital service to several national companies that wired the nation in a short period of time. Most people don't realize however, that these national companies extended their service only to population centers.

Because small towns and communities of rural America offered no easy profits, customers in these areas didn't make the list. Quite simply, towns like Moncks Corner and small communities like Lebanon and Jamestown were left to fend for themselves. This is where Home Telecom's story begins.

1904
1904

1904

Mr. R. O. Winter and five other Berkeley County investors purchased and installed six telephones in buildings around Moncks Corner. There was no office, maintenance, or long distance service and certainly no money to be made. It was a community service to catalyze the town’s growth and communications. Within six years, however, demand for the “newfangled” telephone was enough to justify an actual business and St. John’s Telephone Company was formed. The operator was none other than R. O. Winter’s wife, Mary Winter, who was paid a whopping $10 per month.

1915
1915

Coast-to-coast long distance telephone service was established.

1916
1916

After R. O. Winter’s death in 1916, the company was sold to the local electric company, owned by Corbett Packaging.

1939
1939

Mary Winter, now Mary Briscoe after remarrying, buys back the company she started with her late husband and changes the name to Home Telephone Company. Mary Winter reflected years later that this was to be, “the biggest job a little gray-haired widow ever saw.”

1947
1947

Mary Winter sold the company to her daughter and son-in-law, Thelma and S. S. “Shellie” Helmly. The post-war boom drastically increased the demand for telephone service and the Helmly’s brought their sons, Robert and Dozier, into the business to help meet the needs of the ever-increasing Berkeley County population.

1962
1962

When Robert and Dozier Helmly began managing the company in 1962, they developed a vision for the future that combined the company’s 58-year tradition of community service with a commitment to seek out and implement the very finest technologies available.

The goal was simple and straightforward: To provide Home Telephone customers with service on par with that of global telecommunications companies while maintaining the company’s reputation for local involvement, leadership and service.

1981
1981

Cable TV begins to become more mainstream with more networks becoming available. Much like the need-driven reason that Home Telephone began installing telephone lines in their community, Home Telephone began offering Cable TV services to make sure their community could receive this cutting edge technology.

1995
1995

Home Telephone begins offering internet to households. That is 5 years before even one third of the country had access to internet.

1999
1999

Home Telephone services are installed in North Charleston.

2004
2004

William S. Helmly, Robert Helmly’s son, took over as President and COO while Robert continued to operate as CEO and Vice Chair. Over the years, Home Telephone has deployed some of the most advanced technologies available allowing the company to provide services such as Video, Internet, Security and Home Automation. With the company’s advancements in technology, its continuing mission was to maintain the framework of a local, customer-focused company and to maintain a common message. With the purchase of Daniel Island Media, Home Telecom became one of the first telecommunication companies in the nation to begin offering Fiber-to-the-home services.

2007
2007

Home Telephone Company begins offering 24/7 Security Monitoring services.

2010
2010

Home Telephone started deploying FTTP in new development opportunity areas and upgrading our coax and copper plant with fiber.

2011
2011

Home Telephone’s management team decided a more descriptive and consistent name was in order. On January 1, 2011, Home Telephone began doing business as Home Telecom. William S. Helmly, President and COO stated, “The corporate name change enables us to more effectively communicate the value our company provides to our customers.”

2013
2013

Announced first gigabit community in the state with our partnership with Nexton. Home Telecom became the first to offer gigabit internet speed in SC.

2014
2014

Home Telecom launched MyWiFi and MyWiFi PRO to residential and business customers.

Berkeley County Mobile Library powered by Home Telecom WiFi became operational. This initiative provided surrounding areas with access to library resources where they previously had none.

2015
2015

In June, Berkeley Community Partners, Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, and Home Telecom announced Berkeley County as a "Certified Connected Community". They were the 8th certified connected community in SC.

2016
2016

Completed the conversion of our Video television system to an all-digital platform and turned off the analog signal to our cable TV system.

2017
2017

Began the process of providing service to the Charleston Peninsula. William S. Helmly becomes new CEO.

2019
2019

Home Telecom services are installed in North Charleston.

2020
2020

Home Telecom begins expanding Fiber network into Summerville with the launch of GigUP TriCounty.