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Bright future Featured

1:20pm EDT June 22, 2004
When Doylestown Telephone Co. was founded in 1899, its employees couldn't have imagined what it has become 104 years later.

Doylestown Telephone is now the umbrella organization for all of the divisions associated with Doylestown Communications Inc., a communications consortium that includes not only the local telephone company, but a cable television company, two Internet service providers and an Internet security practice.

Thomas Brockman is the driving force behind the expansion of Doylestown Telephone Co. He was working in St. Louis as a Monsanto chemist when his father-in-law, Don Stepfield, asked him to join the family business -- which at the time provided Doylestown's 7,00 residents with phone service -- as vice president.

Brockman knew nothing about the communications industry, but he and his wife, Sandy, agreed to move. He spent two days with Stepfield before his father-in-law became ill and soon after passed away.

Four years later, Brockman took over as president.

Moving forward, Internet security will remain a top priority for the company. In 2003, Bright.net, an Internet service provider company, introduced I-TRAP Internet Security Services, an internally developed system that provides network administrators a full suite of reporting tools that are an enhancement for firewall security and local area network monitoring. The company launched I-TRAP as a standalone product, allowing it pursue a national customer base and channel distribution without an association to a local or regional company.

Bright.net's second project involves a citywide wireless network in downtown Cleveland. The project creates hotspots that will allow wireless network equipment to connect to the Internet based on a Bright.net account.

And Brockman says the company will continue to stay ahead of the curve.

"If you are not moving forward in development, the technology is passing you by," Brockman says. How to reach: Doylestown Telephone Co., (330) 658-2121 or www.doylestowntelephone.com