We have always made it a priority to provide members with cutting-edge technology as soon as it becomes available. In the 1960s and 1970s, we installed underground telephone cables, cut over new switches, and expanded our central offices. In the early 1980s, we became the first phone company in the entire state to implement digital switching technology. This allowed us to begin providing one-party service for all of our 15,000 members.
The 1990s saw more expansion as we became the first carrier to bring local cellular phone service to our region (AT&T would later acquire our cellular operations). We also began deploying optical fiber within our network, which would lay the foundation for the world-class fiber network we have today.
In 1996, we introduced Internet access to our service area, rolling out DSL (the predecessor to today’s true high-speed Internet) in 2002. To reflect the changing nature of the industry, we changed our name to Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative in February 2005. Just two years later, we began work to expand fiber throughout our system and connected our first fiber-to-the-premise location, a project that would span fifteen years and set the foundation for continued growth.
Today, many homeowners are taking advantage of broadband connectivity to deploy smart home technology and video surveillance systems. In 2014, we launched our own security service that helps businesses and homeowners monitor and protect their property. These systems are expandable as advances in technology make new services possible.
In December 2021, FTC completed its fiber overbuild, providing 100% of its cooperative members access to an optical fiber broadband network. What was once thought impossible became a reality when FTC successfully found a way to expand its fiber network to the most rural communities of its cooperative territory.