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.
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.
Our rural telephone cooperative was started in February 1952.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Constructed a tower in Rolla so Verizon Wireless could provide cellular service to that area.
Started providing wireless DSL to rural subscribers using our Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System (MMDS) at the Milton and Egeland tower sites.
Installed emergency alert notification equipment on the MMDS and cable TV systems.
Purchased the Olga radio tower site from American Towers to expand our future wireless technologies.
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.
Constructed a tower in Bottineau to lease to Verizon Wireless.
Installed fiber to the home in the Langdon exchange and deployed IPTV.
Officially changed our name to United Communications. Installed fiber to the home in the Bottineau and Walhalla exchanges and deployed IPTV.
Installed fiber to the home in the towns of Rolette and Rolla.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Continued fiber-to-the-home projects, including rural Walhalla and rural Bisbee areas.
Became an NTCA-certified gig-capable internet provider, highlighting our 1 gbps high-speed internet service capabilities throughout our fiber-optic network service areas.
Fiber to rural Rolla and rural Munich installed.
Installed fiber to rural Bottineau and rural Willow City areas.
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.
Brand-new company logo revealed. Plowed fiber to rural Rolette and rural Dunseith.
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.
We are committed to providing customers with affordable options and solving problems with innovation. Want to join the team?
Due to COVID-19, our 68th Annual Meeting and corresponding 2019 report have been canceled. Thank you for understanding, as we continue to do our part to help keep our members and community safe.