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About Us

Local People, Local Connections

We’ve been devoted to offering our friends and neighbors the services they need to stay connected since the beginning. From cutting-edge technology and innovative equipment to the best customer service, we work hard to provide you with everything you need to stay connected to who and what you love.

Our Past, Present, Future

Since our start in 1952, we’ve had one mission – to provide our rural North Dakota communities with the telecommunication services they need to connect, work, and thrive.

1952
The Beginning
United Communications old logo.
The Beginning

Our rural telephone cooperative was started in February 1952.

1955-1958
Expanded Service Area
Expanded Service Area

We made an important purchase of the exchange at Langdon from NDTC and also purchased the Osnabrock Telephone Company, the Milton Telephone Company, the Sarles Telephone Company, the Hannah Telephone Company, and a total of 20 additional farmer-owned lines.

1968
Going the Distance
Going the Distance

We installed direct-dial equipment and began offering 1+ dialing. Now subscribers could make long-distance calls directly, without the intervention of an operator. This feature is virtually everywhere today.

1970s
Exciting Growth
Exciting Growth

An exciting time for us! We worked with the U.S. Department of Defense to establish facilities for the anti-ballistic missile site being constructed at the Stanley R. Mickelson Safeguard Complex in Nekoma, ND. This site was designed to defend the offensive Minuteman missiles based at the Grand Forks Air Force Base, in the event of a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missile attack by the Soviet Union or China.

1970s
Upgraded Systems
Upgraded Systems

In addition to upgrades to our system, such as burying all rural plant facilities and modernizing to single party lines, during the mid 1970s we also installed a Motorola Improved Mobile Telephone System (MITS) and a paging system, offering mobile telephone service to some of our subscribers.

 

1990s
TV to Rural ND
Remote control changing TV channel.
TV to Rural ND

We brought TV service to rural northeastern North Dakota. We constructed two Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service (MMDS) TV sites, one in Egeland and the other located in Milton. This new service allowed rural residents of northeastern North Dakota to receive a quality TV signal.

1990s
Fiber Network Installation
Fiber Network Installation

We also installed Stromberg Carlson DCO switches and upgraded to an all-digital fiber-optic network, an innovative alternative to traditional copper wire that would allow us to offer exceptional service improvements and expansions to our customers in the coming years.

1991
United Telephone Educational Foundation
Scholarship text with girl holding textbooks.
United Telephone Educational Foundation

We established the United Telephone Educational Foundation. This foundation provides financial assistance to high school seniors and other first-term college students throughout eastern and central North Dakota who wish to further their education. Since its establishment, the foundation has awarded nearly $450,000 to graduating seniors.

1996
Formed NDLD
Formed NDLD

We teamed up with three other companies (North Dakota Telephone, Polar Communications, and Dakota Central), to form North Dakota Long Distance (NDLD). NDLD now provides long-distance service to another six local telecommunications providers in North Dakota. Along with establishing NDLD, Dakota Central, Polar Communications, and United Communications formed ND Telecom, which specializes in special circuit engineering.

1996
IdeaOne & DCN Formed
IdeaOne & DCN Formed

We partnered with Cass County Electric Cooperative in Kindred, ND, to form a competitive local exchange carrier in the Fargo, ND, area called IdeaOne. Furthermore, along with 14 other independent telecommunication companies, we formed Dakota Carrier Network (DCN), which provides a network to the state of North Dakota, enabling a statewide virtual private network. DCN also brings high-speed network technologies to school districts and governmental bodies throughout the state.

1996-1998
Established Turtle Mountain Communications
Turtle Mountain Communications logo.
Established Turtle Mountain Communications

We formed a wholly-owned subsidiary called Turtle Mountain Communications and purchased six exchanges and 3,300 access lines from U.S. West Communications. Then in March of 1998, Turtle Mountain Communications purchased another two exchanges and 4,700 more access lines from U.S. West Communications.

2000
Groundbreaking Changes with Fiber-Optic Cable
Groundbreaking Changes with Fiber-Optic Cable

The beginning of the 21st century was a time of major advancement for us and a pivotal point in our existence, as we became connected with fiber-optic cable. This was a huge milestone for us and our customers, as fiber-optic cable offers higher carrying capacity, less signal degradation, lower power requirements, and less expensive production. This groundbreaking technology means more channels and phone lines delivered to your home, more reliable signals, and cost savings compared to traditional copper wire.

2000s
Fiber Expansion
Fiber Expansion

Over the first decade of the 2000s, we installed more than 330 miles of fiber optics and created more than 3,600 drops to subscribers in Langdon, Bottineau, Walhalla, Rolla, and Rolette. This included an 89-mile fiber-optic placement project to allow us to reroute calls in the event of a fiber cut, so that our subscribers would experience uninterrupted service during new fiber installations.

2001
Rolla Cellular Service Expansion
Rolla Cellular Service Expansion

Constructed a tower in Rolla so Verizon Wireless could provide cellular service to that area.

2002
Began Providing Rural Wireless DSL
Began Providing Rural Wireless DSL

Started providing wireless DSL to rural subscribers using our Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System (MMDS) at the Milton and Egeland tower sites.

2003
Installation of Emergency Alert Systems
Blue warning sign.
Installation of Emergency Alert Systems

Installed emergency alert notification equipment on the MMDS and cable TV systems.

 

2004
Expanded Wireless Technologies
Expanded Wireless Technologies

Purchased the Olga radio tower site from American Towers to expand our future wireless technologies.

2005
Expansion of Calling Features and Compliance
Expansion of Calling Features and Compliance

Installed a Coppercom soft switch that allows us to be CALEA compliant. We also installed an Innovative Solution system that allows us to provide voice mail, conference calling, and Find Me features.

2006
Tower Build
Tower Build

Constructed a tower in Bottineau to lease to Verizon Wireless.

2007
Fiber Installation: Langdon
Fiber Installation: Langdon

Installed fiber to the home in the Langdon exchange and deployed IPTV.

2008
Official Name Change
United Communications logo.
Official Name Change

Officially changed our name to United Communications. Installed fiber to the home in the Bottineau and Walhalla exchanges and deployed IPTV.

2009
Fiber Installation: Rolette and Rolla
Fiber Installation: Rolette and Rolla

Installed fiber to the home in the towns of Rolette and Rolla.

2010
Fiber Installation Across Service Area
Fiber Installation Across Service Area

Installed fiber to the home in the towns of Bisbee, Kramer, Souris, St John, Willow City, and Dunseith. Updated Video On Demand and pay-per-view services, and added an after-hours help line.

2011
Fiber Installation: Calvin
Fiber Installation: Calvin

Installed fiber to the home in Calvin. Began installing fiber to the home on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation, in the town of Wales, and to rural customers along existing fiber routes.

2012
60 Years of Service
60th anniversary logo
60 Years of Service

Celebrated United Communications’ 60th anniversary! Installed fiber to the home in the towns of Munich, Rock Lake, Calio, Sarles, Milton, Osnabrock, and Egeland. Continued fiber to the home project on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. Upgraded wireless broadband sites at Egeland and Milton.

2013
24/7 After-Hours Support
24/7 After-Hours Support

Added 24/7 after-hours support. Continued fiber-to-the-home project on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation and to rural customers along existing fiber routes.

2014
Continued Fiber Expansion
Continued Fiber Expansion

Installed fiber to the Maida Port of Entry, Mount Carmel Township, Hansboro, and the rural Wales Exchange, as well as the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. Constructed a tower at Mount Carmel dam to offer fixed broadband services and a prepaid Wi-Fi service.

2015
Major Platform and Service Upgrades
Major Platform and Service Upgrades

Major television platform upgrade with many new features and a new look. Increased internet speeds to symmetrical speeds for fiber customers. Continued fiber-to-the-home projects in rural Wales, as well as the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation.

2016
Fiber Installation: Rural Walhalla and Bisbee
Fiber Installation: Rural Walhalla and Bisbee

Continued fiber-to-the-home projects, including rural Walhalla and rural Bisbee areas.

2017
Gig-Capable Provider
NTCA The Rural Broadband Association
Gig-Capable Provider

Became an NTCA-certified gig-capable internet provider, highlighting our 1 gbps high-speed internet service capabilities throughout our fiber-optic network service areas.

2017
Fiber Installation: Rolla and Munich
Fiber Installation: Rolla and Munich

Fiber to rural Rolla and rural Munich installed.

2018
Fiber Installation: Rural Bottineau and Willow City
Fiber Installation: Rural Bottineau and Willow City

Installed fiber to rural Bottineau and rural Willow City areas.

2019
Smart Rural Community Member
Smart Rural Community Gig-Capable Provider
Smart Rural Community Member

Became an official Smart Rural Community member, as they recognized us as a top-performing broadband provider offering our communities innovative services that support economic development and technology for advancing education.

2019
New Logo Reveal
United and Turtle Mountain Communications logo
New Logo Reveal

Brand-new company logo revealed. Plowed fiber to rural Rolette and rural Dunseith.

 

2020
Updated Network
Updated Network

Updated core and aggregation network providing a highly reliable and redundant platform designed to route and switch traffic at extremely high speeds.

2020
Completed Fiber to the Home Installation
Completed Fiber to the Home Installation

Finished fiber to the home in the Rock Lake exchange, completing our FTTH buildouts.

2021
Installed a ROADM Network
Installed a ROADM Network

This installation allows us to easily keep pace with the increasing traffic demands. ROADM network provides access to 48 different wavelengths on a single fiber. In conjunction with various optical transponders, these technologies give us the ability to transport traffic at 200Gbps line rates over long distances on a single fiber optic wavelength.

2022
Initiated Implemention of XGS-PON
Initiated Implementation of XGS-PON

This implementation in our service area will allow us to provide customer connection speeds beyond 1 Gig.

2022
70 Years of Service
70 Years of Service

In February, we celebrated our 70th anniversary of providing customers with telecom services that keep them connected to who and what they love.

Service Area

Providing the best services across our communities.

We are proud to provide digital television, high-speed internet, and digital telephone services to our communities throughout northeast North Dakota.

View the map to see our complete service area, and learn more about the communication services available to you by contacting us today.

Careers

We are committed to providing customers with affordable options and solving problems with innovation. Want to join the team?

To apply, please send resume and application to careers@utma.com, or mail to: United Communications ATTN: Hiring Manager PO Box 729 Langdon, ND 58249

Broadband Support Specialist – Rolla, ND

United and Turtle Mountain Communications (UTMA) is currently seeking candidates for a Broadband Support Specialist position in our Rolla, ND, office.

To be considered, please submit a resume to careers@utma.com.

There are no positions available at this time.

Annual Report

Read our company's latest annual report.

See what’s happening at United Communications, including a message from our General Manager and President, student scholarships, and more.

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