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Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative was organized in October of 1950 thru the efforts of several local residents . Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative in Chase City served as the managing partner until 1978. In 1952 the first REA loan was received which allowed BIT to commence building and serving their members in Southside Virginia. The Cooperative started operations in December of 1954. At that time there were 142 members receiving telephone service. It was estimated then that the maximum number to receive service in the future would be 432 members. Today BIT serves 4500 customers in parts of Mecklenburg and Brunswick Counties in Virginia.
The membership grew beyond expectations and the usage per line of service since that date has increased. With both a rapid increase in members and telephone usage, the Cooperative has been hard pressed to keep facilities ahead of demand and the technology.
In 1957 an Extended Service Area Agreement was reached with the Virginia Telephone and Telegraph Company which gave its members free service between five exchanges. Those exchanges included South Hill, LaCrosse and Brodnax in Brunswick County.
In 1962 the Cooperative installed direct long distance dialing and in 1966 the system was converted from a maximum of an 8- party line (all sharing a common phone line) to a maximum of 4- party line service. In 1969 the Cooperative converted its entire system to one party service allowing its customers to have access to their phone at any time without having to wait for the line to clear. A further improvement was made in 1976 when the system was changed to allow direct dialing for person-to-person, collect, credit card and third number calls.
In 1978 the Cooperative, previously managed under contract by Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative, became independent and established a business office in Bracey, Virginia. Due to sustained growth BIT purchased the adjoining property and built a new Business office and Tech Center in 1994 to house the more advanced equipment and the additional staff requirements. BIT operates from this location today at 100 Nellie Jones Road, Bracey, Va.
In 1986 the Cooperative replaced both of its step by step switching exchanges with digital offices located in Blackridge near Jones Store and Beechwood located on Highway One near the area known as Steel Bridge.
In 1996 the Cooperative established the subsidiary, to provide local Internet access (dial up service) to the Cooperative members and surrounding areas. This service gave its customers access to the World Wide Web (Internet). As demand grew for faster speeds and access BIT in 2004 began offering Digital Subscriber Line Service (DSL) to its customer base. This faster service allowed its customers to research information faster and download more information and larger files such as pictures and video files . By the end of its physical year 2009 some 98% of its service area will have access to DSL .
In 2000 the Cooperative established BIT Long Distance to offer competitive long distance service to its members.
In 2004 installed Wireless Internet Hotspots at truck-stops in Bracey and Emporia Virginia and a fixed Wireless Internet Access in South Hill, Va..With the addition of the new offerings BIT opened its first retail location in 2007 . This new enterprise offered new computer sales and service and a host of other offerings. The new retail store provided a location for customers to purchase necessary hardware for their computer and telephone needs, it also allowed customers to pay their bills, request additional services and products. With the success of its Bracey location, BIT in 2008 opened a second retail location in South Hill, Va. offering the same products and services as its Bracey location.
BIT continues to grow and expand services to its members. Because of its growth it has become necessary for us to research and develop new and exciting offerings. BIT has extended its service area as a Competitive Local Exchange Carrier to its south in North Carolina. Plans are in development to offer service in the South Hill area as a CLEC using its newly acquired license in the 700 MHZ C-Band. This new and exciting technology will be a wireless offering allowing BIT to expand and serve a customer base of over 5000 customers. The Southside CLEC project will ensure positive growth to its north and allow us to enter the world of Wireless Communications. With this new growth BIT has expanded its capabilities with a new billing system allowing its members to have more features and the ease of a new and improved billing format. This state of
the art system will be used with its CLEC plans as well as its venture into WIRELESS.
Video offerings are being researched as a possible offering. Because of its diverse company and its new billing system BIT will be able to offer Bundles to its customers and members. Saving its customers/members both time and money combining all of its services and offerings on one bill.
With its over 50 years serving the Lake Region of Southside Virginia. BIT will continue to provide the level of service its members have come to expect.


Mission Statement

To provide the latest quality telecommunications services and products at competitive prices and to do so with pride, respect and exceptional performance.


Buggs Island Telephone Cooperative

Board of Directors

  Garth Proffitt President
  Jerry Jones Vice President
  Alice Puryear Secretary/Treasurer
  Douglas Ezell Director
  James Hall Director
  Larry Hite Director
  Randolph Hite Director
  Edsel Smith, Jr. Director
  Joyce Wilson Director



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