E. Ritter Communications Holdings, Inc.

E. Ritter Communications Holdings Inc., is the telecom division of Marked Tree, Arkansas-based E. Ritter & Co., which operates several communications companies, an agribusiness unit and at one time even owned water and electrical utilities and a concrete business.

The parent company is a fifth-generation family run business. It was founded in 1886 and began delivering telephone service in Northeast Arkansas during 1906. Today the parent company has 220 employees and an estimated $37 million in annual revenue from all businesses. E. Ritter & Co., ranked as the fifth largest telecom in the state with 2009 revenue of $6.98 million from telecom operations.

E. Ritter Communications Holdings includes the following companies:

* E. Ritter Communications Inc., based in Jonesboro, Ark., was founded in 1990 and provides cable TV, data and voice products to residential and business customers. The subsidiary, also known as Ritter Communications,  leans more toward business customers since 3,432 of its 3,509 total access lines were classified as business in the 2009 annual report filed with the Arkansas Public Utilities Commission. Total revenue during 2009 was $1.91 million, up 4% from $1.36 reported during 2008. The unit was certified as a CLEC in Arkansas on Aug. 6, 2002.

* E. Ritter Telephone Co., Inc., based in Marked Tree, Ark., is an incumbent carrier and was certified as an ILEC by the state on Nov. 6, 1953 and an ETC eligible for Universal Service Funds on Nov. 17, 1993. The unit's business mix is more residential with 2,841 out of a total of  3,668 access lines deemed as such.  Total revenue during 2009 was  $2.26 million, off 6% from $4.41 generated during the previous year. The company also is called Ritter Telephone.

* Tri-County Telephone, based in Harrison, Ark., is another incumbent founded during 1951. Tri-County's customer base is primarily residential as 5,166  of the total 5,958 access lines connect households. Total revenue reported during 2009 was $2.81 million, a 1 % increase from $2.78 million reported during 2008.

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