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Through this commemorative anniversary magazine, Hamilton Telecommunications invites you to be part of our celebration. Take a walk in time with us as we look back over the past 110 years. More importantly, share our excitement as we look ahead to the future. Thank you for being an important part of our success.


  • 1 1 0 Y e a r s O f C o n n e c t i n g Y o u r W o r l d


  • For more than a century,

    Hamilton Telecommunications

    has been working to make

    the telephone accessible

    and affordable. Were

    proud to be partners in

    making telephone access

    a reality for everyone.


    Partners in Accessibility

    Makers of CapTel Captioned Telephones

    www.ultratec.com 1-800-482-2424 (V/TTY)

    HamiltonCommunications_ff.indd 1 7/7/11 12:26 PM


    H A M I L T O N C E L E B R A T E S 1 1 0 Y E A R S

    his summer marks a milestone in the history of Hamilton Telecommunications. For 110 years, weve delivered telecommunications services to our customers.

    Beginning in 1901 as an independent local exchange carrier in central Nebraska and growing to a local, regional and national technology service provider, Hamilton has become one of the leading independent telecommunications companies in the U.S. We now operate in 17 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, the Island of Saipan, and provide many of our services nationwide.

    Hamilton is proud to continue a tradition of innovation all the while, striving to provide optimal quality, dependable service and competitive pricing in everything we do.

    Through this commemorative anniversary magazine, we invite you to be part of our celebration. Take a walk in time with us as we look back over the past 110 years. More importantly, share our excitement as we look ahead to the future.

    Thank you for being an important part of our success. We appreciate the trust you have in Hamilton and we are honored that you have given us the opportunity to connect your world for more than 110 years.

    Phil Nelson

    John Nelson


    At Pinnacle Bank, we know its determination that grows businesses, farms and families. And the relationships that are built along the way form the foundation of our community.

    We want to thank Hamilton Telecommunications for keeping our community connected for 110 years and counting. Thats the Nebraska Way.

    AURORA 1234 L Street, 402.694.2111 pinnbank.com

    T H E N E B R A S K A W A Y

    T H E W A Y B A N K I N G S H O U L D B EMember FDICM


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    A Story of Success, 110 Years in the MakingFor more than a century, Hamilton Telecommunications has been paving the information highway. p. 6

    A Walk Through One Hundred Ten YearsAs technology has advanced, so has Hamilton. p. 10

    Making ConnectionsHamilton Telephone and Long Distance have a 110-year history of providing telephone services to central Nebraska. p. 14

    One-stop ShoppingHamilton Information Systems offers computer and networking solutions for business clients. p. 16

    At the Speed of LifeWith Hamilton.net, Internet access gets faster for central Nebraska residents and businesses. p. 22

    The Freedom that Comes from Staying ConnectedHamilton Relay provides specialized telecommunications services nationwide for individuals with hearing loss or difficulty speaking. p. 30





    1 1 0 Y e a r s O f C o n n e c t i n g Y o u r W o r l d 9.7.11

    H A M I L T O N C E L E B R A T E S 1 1 0 Y E A R S






    H A M I L T O N C E L E B R A T E S 1 1 0 Y E A R S

    Most of us think nothing of picking up a telephone, pressing a string of digits and waiting for a familiar voice to click through our earpiece. Some of us are old enough to remember rotary phones, party lines, UHF and VHF television and using DOS to run our computers. Throughout our lifetimes, we have quickly adapted to changes in telecommunications, eagerly anticipating new technology because we know something faster and better is always on its way.

    Behind the scenes, telecommunications companies spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours researching,

    purchasing, building, installing and maintaining the hardware and software that allow us to make those quick telephone calls, connect with friends and family on the Internet, store more data on smaller computers, and stream data to our offices and even our Smartphones.

    A leader among giants Hamilton Telecommunications has

    had a long history of diversifying its business and its leadership, all the while embracing cutting-edge technology.

    Headquartered in Aurora, Nebraska, Hamilton Telecommunications has been a constant in 110 years of ever-changing

    regulations, laws and corporate monopolies. The company was founded as Hamilton County Farmers Telephone Association in 1901.

    For the last 110 years, Hamilton Telecommunications has been among many firsts in the nation when it comes to changing the way we communicate with each other.

    In the early 1900s, the company first introduced switchboard technology to the farming communities of Nebraska, followed by rotary-phone direct dialing, and, ultimately, direct-dial long distance.

    In 1980, Hamilton Telephone

    Years in the Making

    Success,A Story of

    110For more than a century, Hamilton Telecommunications has been paving the information highway


    H A M I L T O N C E L E B R A T E S 1 1 0 Y E A R S

    installed one of the first digital switches in the United States. Analog and digital switches do the same thing, but digital technology can handle more calls, more efficiently than analog. If analog technology were compared to a pickup truck, digital technology would be a freight train.

    Also in the 1980s, fiber optics changed the telecommunications landscape. Hamilton Telecommunications was once again at the forefront of change. Conventional construction called for fiber optic cable to be buried in labor-intensive open trenches. Hamiltons engineers challenged tradition by using cable plows to bury the fiber optic cable with telephone and television cables all in one pass which saved time, money and resources. Hamiltons peers scoffed and said fiber optic cable was too fragile to withstand that kind of stress.

    They all said we were going to live to regret that, said John Nelson, son of CEO Phil Nelson and Hamilton Telecommunications president, who was 16 at the time. John remembers

    riding on the back of plows during the first installation. Thirty years later, the executive says, the proof is in the pudding: Those same fiber optic lines would still be working today, had they not been replaced by newer, faster

    multi-node fiber. In fact, several other telecommunications companies have contacted Hamilton, asking the company for advice on installing their own fiber optic cable.

    Just before cell phone technology exploded in the early 1990s, rural telephone companies found that 100-foot towers were not tall enough to connect its cell phone users, most of whom were rural customers.

    HamiltonTel.com HamiltonRelay.com HamiltonCapTel.com Hamilton.net HamiltonISBusiness.com HamiltonManagedHosting.com HamiltonTelephone.com HamiltonLongDistance.com MidStateTV.com

    Learn more about Hamilton Telecommunications and its affiliations and company divisions.

    The many facets of Hamilton Telecommunications

    Hamilton banded with a group of telecommunications companies in Nebraska to solicit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow 500-foot towers, which are still in use today throughout the United States.

    Phil Nelson says that during the process, they met some resistance from their peers who thought cell phone


    usage was a fad and wouldnt amount to anything because,

    not many people wanted to have telephones in their cars.

    Today, Hamilton has partnered with six other telecommunication companies to form NebraskaLink, a consortium of independent companies that provide broadband information transport services across Nebraska.

    Adapting to changeThe keys to longevity in the

    telecommunications business are flexibility and a willingness to diversify the ways in which telecommunications products and services are delivered. Hamilton Telecommunications has expanded and diversified over the last century to

    include seven different yet closely related business lines: telephone, long distance, managed hosting and colocation,

    cable television, Internet service, information systems management and telephone relay services.

    Gary Warren, president of Hamiltons service corporation, says the company takes pride in bringing big-city technology to the rural areas of central Nebraska. Through the years, weve had a history of firsts. From switchboard technology to digital switching to fiber optics, Hamilton has prided itself on being a pioneer. Were

    ready, willing and able to affect change, just as long as the end

    result is good for our customers and optimizes the high levels of service were committed to providing.

    Commitment to communityHamilton has a long history of giving

    back to the community. The companys philosophy has always been, if its good for the community, its good for Hamilton, says Phil Nelson.

    Early on, Hamilton set a goal to help broaden Auroras economic base. The company partnered with other businesses to create the Aurora Development Corporation (ADC), which has remained strong for 50 years