In 1953 an organization committee was formed to achieve the necessary tasks to create a Member owned telephone cooperative and build a dial telephone system.
By February 1955 Custer Telephone Cooperative, Inc. filed its Articles of Incorporation with the State of Idaho and began serving our Members in Custer and Lemhi Counties with dial telephone service. During this time frame, the Coop purchased several telephone companies that were or had in the past served small portions of our surrounding area with manual operating systems. Today these are known as the Clayton, Challis and May exchanges.
From the late 1950’s up to 1982 the Cooperative worked diligently to construct a business office, central office buildings, dial switching equipment and outside plant facilities. In 1982 the Coop also provided service to an area which had no telephone service. We constructed a new exchange known as Elk Bend.
In the early 80’s the Coop realized that the world of telecommunications was leaning towards digital services. In order to provide our Members with the highest possible quality of service we upgraded all our central offices to advanced digital equipment, conversion of the inter-exchange toll route from microwave radio to fiber optic cable and conversion of the inter-exchange host/remote to digital microwave radios.
During the 1990’s we continued to expand our services to the Members by providing internet service as well as becoming our own Inter/Intra-State long distance provider.
As Y2K grew closer, we could see the telecommunications industry was growing at a rapid rate. The demand for cellular service, expansion of internet services and Fiber to the Home (FTTH) was imminent. Our diligence and commitment over the next 8 years provided our Members with wireless service, Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) service, broadband internet net service commonly known as High Speed Internet (HSI) and Cable TV. The Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project continued during 2007 and 2008 primarily serving subscribers in the May and Elk Bend exchanges with some limited use in the Challis exchange.
Cable TV was introduced in 2006 when the Coop created a Subsidiary identified as Custer Telephone Broadband Services, LLC (CTBS) to provide video and data (high speed internet) services in Salmon, Idaho. CTBS also became a partner in Independent Cable Systems of Idaho, LLC and purchased the CATV assets in the Challis area.
In addition to expanding our services, in 2001 the Coop broadened its horizons becoming partners with 11 other Independent Telecommunication companies to create Syringa Networks, LLC. The formation of this partnership provided the Coop the ability to provide broadband technology (a system capable of delivering voice, video and data) in our rural area.
Custer Telephone offers you a broad range of high-quality, cost-effective services such as long distance, high speed internet, web design, wireless and video. Our highly trained technicians can also assist you with business or residential phone systems, and local area networks. By providing innovative voice, data and entertainment solutions, Custer Telephone can help you stay on track in a fast paced world, without sacrificing the personal service you deserve. Yes, you can have the best of both worlds!
On top of providing all these services, the Coop has paid back to its Membership, all revenues in excess of the cost to provide service from its inception up to and including 1987.
We take great pride in the communities we serve. We give back to our communities by supporting local schools and organizations. We share in the rich history and unique lifestyle that our home offers. We know you not only as a customer, but also as a neighbor or friend. We share your desire to preserve a way of life that we have all come to know, without giving up the ability to connect to the world. We are passionate about providing you with advanced communications services, delivered with superior customer service.