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HISTORY

SRT was born out of the vision of the Verendrye Electric Cooperative. This vision was to bring telephone service to the residents of rural McHenry and Ward Counties. It also included other areas along the southern swing of the Souris River in North central North Dakota. SRT has come a long way since our beginnings in 1951. Learn more about our rich history and what has molded us into the technology company we are today.

MILESTONES BY YEAR

Verendrye Electric Cooperative board of directors decides to start a telephone cooperative.

Souris River Telephone Mutual Aid Corporation adopts bylaws. Articles of Incorporation are filed September 29, 1951.

SRT purchases its first phone exchange, the Martin Telephone Company with 82 subscribers.

The Rural Electrification Administration approves SRT’s first loan to purchase four more exchanges and upgrade the system.

Paul Froemming is named SRT’s General Manager.

Verendrye Electric Cooperative’s board relinquishes its role as the telephone board and a new board is elected to govern SRT.
The first cut over to modern dial service occurs when the Berthold phone exchange is upgraded.
  • SRT moves out of Verendrye’s Velva warehouse to the Waterman Building in Minot.
  • A contract is entered with the United States Air Force to provide phone service to a housing project at Minot Air Force Base.

SRT receives Air Force approval to serve all Minot AFB communications, including the proposed SAGE Communications Center.

The Minot Air Force Base becomes SRT’s largest phone exchange.

SRT is in the black! Patrons receive first capital credit checks. And, first Mobile telephone system is installed at South Prairie, utilizing the KXMC tower.

SRT moves to its new headquarters on Highway 83 north of Minot.

SRT begins to upgrade its entire phone system to one-party service with buried plant.

SRT completes the installation of approximately 955 miles of buried cable.

A new improved mobile phone system (IMTS) is installed and expanded to the Mohall exchange.

Touch tone comes to life! Rotary dial telephones are replaced and customers have a choice of using the new touch pad style phone.

SRT celebrates 25 years, over 10,000 subscribers, nearly 100 employees and America’s Bicentennial.

Paul Froemming retires. Lowell Swart replaces him as general manager.

SRT offers cable television service in Westhope.

SRT is the recipient of the National Telephone Cooperative Association’s “Safety Achievement” award.

SRT is the recipient of the National Telephone Cooperative Association’s “Best Subscriber Communications Program” award.

SRT is the recipient of the National Telephone Cooperative Association’s “Best Subscriber Communications Program” award.

  • Lowell Swart retires as general manager of SRT
  • SRT begins offering computer classes and explores interactive TV

Warren Hight is hired as SRT’s general manager. SRT establishes a college scholarship program.

  • SRT reaches beyond its borders to install telephone wire throughout the 17 floors of the North Dakota State Capitol building
  • SRT becomes an agent to CommNet 2000, handling a new cellular phone system in Minot
  • The ND Public Service Commission gives SRT permission to pursue interactive educational TV statewide

SRT Long Distance begins service.

  • Telecommunications Relay Services is implemented, allowing hearing or speech impaired individuals to use text phones
  • SRT obtains the rights to DBS (Direct Broadcast Satellite) TV services

SRT acquires Minot Telephone Company (formerly NSP Telephone), the states largest independent phone company serving approximately 25,000 lines in Minot, Burlington and Surrey.

  • On February 1, 1996 calls between the Minot phone exchange and the Minot Air Force Base exchange became toll-free
  • Internet becomes available on a local dial up basis from every SRT phone exchange
  • Congress passes the “Telecommunications Act of 1996”
  • SRT Long Distance acquires Mid-Tel Long Distance, Inc.

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) technology is introduced.

  • SRT Connections retail store opens on South Broadway in Minot
  • SRT acquires Kotana Communications paging business
  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) is added to SRT’s services
  • “Project Unify” is introduced and is comprised of two aspects – to unify SRT into a single cooperative organization and to expand the local calling area to include all 25 telephone exchanges
  • SRT Connections retail store moves to 1400 20th Ave. SW, Minot
  •  SRT offers Wireless PCS (Personal Communications Services), a new form of Communications superior to cellular telephones
  • “Project Unify” is approved, making all SRT consumers member-owners of the cooperative and expanding SRT’s board of directors to include more representation
  • February 1, 2000, SRT implements toll-free local area-wide calling between its 25 phone exchanges
  • SRT sells its digital satellite TV service to Pegasus Communications Corporation
  • SRT constructs a state of the art Network Operations Center (NOC) which will ensure complete system integrity through 24 hour real-time monitoring of all of the company’s telecommunications network elements
  • Merger of SRT Communications, Inc. and Souris River Telecommunications was completed
  • SRT expands digital wireless PCS calling area and DSL (high speed internet) into its rural communities
  • SRT celebrates its 50th Anniversary! The cooperative’s 50th Annual Membership Meeting sets record attendance with 3600 members participating in the day’s events
  • SRT offers value added packages that bundle various services for the customer’s convenience
  • SRT brings text messaging to the area
  • Wireless Broadband is introduced from SRT’s South Prairie tower
  • To enhance security for SRT’s communications infrastructure, on July 29, 2002 the company’s Business Center, located in downtown Minot, is closed to the public
  • SRT is selected as the winner of the Minot Chamber’s Above and Beyond Award for its extraordinary efforts in community service. Fire Chief Harold Haugstad nominated SRT for its support to local emergency services
  • In April Warren L. Hight, SRT General Manager/CEO announced he will retire at the end of the year
  • SRT Board of Directors selects Steve Lysne as General Manager/CEO of SRT effective January 1, 2003
  • SRT online e-bill is introduced. Customers can now pay their phone bill from the convenience of their home or office
  • SRT acquires Magic Internet Services, Inc. on June 26, 2003
  • October 1, 2003 SRT acquires Velva Cable TV system from Star City Cable
  • Extended Broadband service which provides high-speed Internet to previously unserved areas is introduced
  • SRT complies with FCC requirement to implement Local Number Portability (LNP), giving subscribers the ability to retain their existing telephone number when changing service providers
  • SRT Long Distance introduces nationwide toll-free plan
  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) and Extended DSL expansion reaches 98% of SRT subscribers
  • SRT expands cable TV services; offers 40 channel line-up
  • SRT provides Access Tandem services previously offered by Qwest Communications
  • SRT expands the Velva cable TV system to include 15 other rural communities utilizing fiber optic transport
  • SRT acquires the cable TV systems in Newburg and Upham bringing the total communities served to 18
  • SRT Wireless begins providing Wireless E911 Phase II services which allow an authorized Public Safety Answering Point to identify the location of a wireless caller
  • SRT extends its sponsorship of Norsk Høstfest to become the festival’s exclusive official communications company
  • SRT provides its directory online at srt.com
  • SRT announces their commitment to enter into an agreement to purchase the Velva phone exchange from North Dakota Telephone Company of Devils Lake. The closing date is expected during the fourth quarter of 2006
  • SRT deploys first fiber to the premise solution in rural Lansford, ND
  • SRT begins fiber deployment to businesses and offers multi-megabit broadband services
  • SRT upgrades core transport infrastructure with three 10 gigabit rings

SRT welcomes Velva residents after purchasing the exchange from North Dakota Telephone Company in Devils Lake.

  • Security Service launched
  • Watch TV Everywhere launched

SRT chosen as Best Internet Provider.

SRT is awarded a $6 million Broadband Initiatives Program loan and grant to provide fiber to the premise in Metigoshe exchange.

  • SRT secures $45 million in financing from Rural Utilities Service to provide fiber to the premise in rural areas of 23 exchanges over five years
  • SRT upgrades core transport infrastructure with three additional 10 gigabit rings
  • SRT begins deploying only fiber optic to new greenfield developments in towns and rural areas
  • SRT Services to customers throughout the region is affected by Souris River flooding although all SRT offices and operations remain open. Temporary construction and equipment is built and installed to restore service as quickly as possible
  • SRT Vision – IPTV launched in Landa
  • Mohall ambulance service was the initial recipient for a newly established revolving loan fund program
  • SRT sponsors The Black Eyed Peas concert to benefit flood recovery efforts
  • SRT Vision delivers advanced TV service
  • SRT begins offering iPhones to Wireless customers
  • Major project downtown Minot changing the framework to support fiber
  • SmartHub launched
  • Converted to a cost company from Average schedule

SRT offers Dish Network.

  • SRT secures $15 million in financing from Rural Utilities Service to provide fiber to the premise in rural areas of 3 additional exchanges over three years
  • SRT offers Gigabit broadband services to customers and becomes NTCA Gigabit Certified in 2016
  • Gooseneck Implement receives $1 Million loan from USDA through SRT Communications in partnership with USDA Rural Utilities Service Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant program to promote economic development in the Velva area
  • SRT offers wireless phone trade in program
  • Trinity is SRT’s first GIG customer
  • First Fiber town is Antler
  • SRT upgrades core Internet infrastructure with new state of the art upstream router
  • SRT provides in-home and business solutions for Wi-Fi broadband services
  • New SRT Wireless Flex Plan implemented
  • SRT Wireless offers SIM cards
  • Converted to Metaswitch
  • First hour of code at ND State Fair – STEAM
  • SRT requests $30 million in financing from Rural Utilities Service to provide fiber to the premise in rural towns and communities in 25 exchanges over five years
  • SRT upgrades core transport infrastructure with a new 100 gigabit mesh/ring topology
  • SRT upgrades core Internet infrastructure with new state of the art downstream router
  • SRT Connections Store closes on Feb. 28th after being in business at that location since 1999
  • SRT turns down SRT wireless network after 19 years of service. Equipment on towers, wireless switch and data services on AAA server all shut down
  • DMS Switch is decommissioned, SRT board of directors tour downtown to see this take place

GROWTH BY EXCHANGE

  • Established in 1957
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  • Established in 1956
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  • Established in 1953
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  • Established in 1972 | 1955 | 1959
  • Prefix: 626
  • Established in 1953
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  • Established in 1960 | 1972 | 1960
  • Prefix: 728
  • Established in 1953
  • Prefix: 725
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 482
  • Established in 1956
  • Prefix: 362
  • Established in 1956
  • Prefix: 525
  • Established 1956
  • Prefix: 295
  • Established in 1956
  • Prefix: 784
  • Established in 1952
  • Prefix: 693
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 268
  • Established in 1963
  • Prefix: 263
  • Established in 1994
  • Prefixes: 420, 833, 837, 838, 839, 852, 857, 858
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 756
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 272
  • Established in 1955
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  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 459
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 722
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 386
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 537
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 768
  • Established in 2007
  • Prefix: 338
  • Established in 1955
  • Prefix: 245