The Interstate 35 Telephone Company was incorporated in 1965 when Dale Mauer repurchased the Truro, Iowa exchange from Continental Telephone Company during the sale of the Afton Telephone exchange to Continental. Ed Buchanan was hired as the manager of the newly formed exchange. In 1965, St. Charles was added to the exchange, and in 1970, St. Marys was added. As soon as the towns were acquired, they were converted from magneto operation to one party buried plant and dial operation.
In 1978, Interstate 35 Telephone Company purchased Southwest Telephone Exchange. The company consisted of the towns of Emerson, Imogene, and Henderson, Iowa. An upgrade to one party service began at the time of the purchase and was completed in 1981. Heavy rains flooded the town of Emerson in 1982 and the dial office suffered extensive damage when four feet of water rose above the dial switching equipment.
Digital switching equipment was installed in St. Charles in 1983 and was then followed by Truro, Emerson and Henderson. A new company headquarters building was constructed in Truro in 1984 to house the new switch and general office of the company.
Interstate 35 Telephone Company also built the Cable TV systems in 13 towns under the affiliated company, Interstate Cablevision. Interstate Cablevision now serves approximately 350 customers in 4 towns. Interstate Cablevision also sells and maintains business telephone systems and related equipment in towns with a close proximity to the telephone exchanges.
Interstate 35 also owns an interest in several Cellular Telephone systems in the state of Iowa. The cellular interests consist of RSA 1 in southwest Iowa, RSA 2 south of Des Moines and RSA 7 west of Des Moines. Competition in the cellular market has become very significant. In St. Charles alone, there are two cellular companies and two PCS companies available to customers. In October 2000, Southwest was appointed the management company for Cellular 29, renamed Chat Mobility. As a result, the number of employees has increased from 6 total employees in 1980, to over 50 today.
With the population growth from Des Moines out to the rural exchanges served by Interstate Communications, demand for wireline and wireless high speed Internet service has significantly increased. In many of the small towns we serve, the telephone company is one of the main businesses and one of the key sources of revenue for many community projects