Ritter Communications Inc.

Ritter Communications Inc.

City: Jonesboro
Category: Category III (76-300 Employees)
Year: 2012

Ritter Communications Inc. has been an Arkansas institution for more than 100 years.

The Jonesboro company started in 1906 as E. Ritter Telephone Co. and was, at the time, headquartered in Marked Tree. Eventually, it spread through northeast and north-central Arkansas.

“We provide traditional voice, local service and long-distance, as well as video and high-speed Internet to a residential customer base,” said President and CEO Dan Hatzenbuehler. “We’re engaged in developing a fiber network to provide sophisticated telephone communications and services to businesses.”

Hatzenbuehler said Ritter’s philosophy was easily summed up by its tagline: “Right by you.”

“That has, obviously, a double meaning to it,” Hatzenbuehler said. “One is that we are literally right by our customers. We’re located in the same geography as our customers, our employees, our neighbors. The second meaning is our philosophy of being deeply committed to citizens, schools, hospitals and governments in the areas we serve, making sure we’re delivering services they need in a way that’s a value product for them.”

The company, which employs about 190, is working on developing a series of new products.

“The industry is going through somewhat of a revolution right now where technologies are changing over to high-speed fiber networks,” Hatzenbuehler said. “There’s a real growth in data and data services, so we are in the middle of not only developing new products that facilitate expansion of broadband, but we are also expanding our fiber network.”

Ritter is notable for its local presence, Hatzenbuehler said. “When you view us against our larger competitors, they do not have business offices in the communities that they serve,” he said. “That’s a difference.”

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