In 1954, when ITC was still Brookings Lake Telephone and Deuel Telephone Cooperative, a loaf of bread cost fifteen cents - not too bad, considering the average annual salary was under $3,000. Prime-time meant "I Love Lucy," "Gunsmoke," and "Lassie." And while most TVs were black and white, the great outdoors was always in full color. Life was good.
Over the years, ITC has been very fortunate to work with people with a vision for our future. Because the members of our original Boards from Brookings Lake Telephone Company and Deuel Telephone Cooperative wanted better telecommunications for their members, ITC moved into the future with a reputation for being a leader in the telecommunications industry. What started decades ago as a desire for more reliable telephone service in the rural areas around Brookings and Clear Lake has grown into an innovative, tech-forward cooperative offering big-city Internet speeds with friendly, small-town customer service. The ITC Board set a course for ITC that included a vision for new technologies such as high-speed Internet and digital television. Today, ITC offers phone service, Fiber-Fast Internet, and streaming TV service. ITC also has several business-specific services.
The telecommunications industry has undergone a revolution. From the days of landline telephones and black-and-white TVs, we now live in a world of smartphones, high-definition streaming, and Fiber-Fast Internet. The Internet has become essential to daily life, connecting people globally and driving innovation across industries.
ITC steadily added services and upgraded its network to provide FTTH (Fiber-to-the-Home) for all members. In 2006, ITC began FTTH build-outs within its territory and continued installations each year until they proudly achieved the goal of every customer having fiber-optics in 2020.
ITC did not stop there. They continued with FTTH build-out expansions in 2020, bringing in additional areas of Lincoln County, MN, and portions of Grant, Codington, Hamlin, and Brookings counties in SD. In 2022, ITC started fiber-optic construction within the city limits of Ivanhoe, MN. In 2023, ITC expanded in the rural area of Madison, SD, in Lake County, SD. In 2024 ITC will be expanding into areas of rural Yellow Medicine County, MN. Please watch the animation below that depicts our fiber installations since 2006.
What will be next? You can count on ITC to strive to stay on top of the ever-changing technologies. ITC will continue to research opportunities to connect communities and bridge the digital divide by expanding to areas considered unserved or underserved. Together, we can make ITC a Cooperative you can be proud of, one that will most certainly continue to thrive well into the future.