What began as an idea to provide phone services to rural farmers in the 1940’s and 50’s, Federated Telephone now provides communication services including Telephone, Cable TV, IT, and Hosted Service Services, as well as selling digital and IP Phone Systems today. An engineering study was completed and the new cooperative came to fruition on January 16th, 1952 with the areas of Danvers, Holloway, Correll, Odessa and Chokio. Federated has grown over the years and as of 2014, 9 exchanges are part of the cooperative including Chokio-Alberta, Correll, Danvers & Holloway, Hancock, Milan & Big Bend, Morris and Odessa.
Federated Telephone prides itself on their impeccable customer service and involvement in the communities they serve. As Donna Eul says, the Marketing/Customer Service Manager for Federated who has worked there since 1981, “The members of our cooperative are our friends, neighbors and family members and we truly care about the services we provide to them.” Their mission statement: “To provide the best communication services at a fair price; employing modern technology and up-to-date services; offering people choices to be successful and enhance their quality of life.” Their vision statement: “To be the progressive communications leader in west central Minnesota, partnering with community, driven by customer satisfaction and innovative technology.” Clearly the customers and people Donna Eul and other Federated employees work with are their number one priority. Donna adds, “For me, the (favorite) memories are the people who have worked with me and the members with whom we have formed relationships.”
But business as usual isn’t always fun. Federated Telephone is heavily regulated on both the State and Federal levels, even more so than their competitors. A great deal of the time spent in the business is on completing mandatory regulatory reports. These are very important, but also very time consuming. Keeping up with those reports has been challenging at times throughout the years, but the company has also done an excellent job at completing them and still providing excellent service and a friendly smile to the customers they serve.
With ever changing technology, Federated has also changed and adapted over the years as well. Their ability to keep up with these changes has made them a valuable business in our community. It may surprise people to know that their employees have over 300 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. “We have been on the cutting edge of the most modern technologies available,” says Donna. “In fact, we were the first rural cooperative in the nation to provide an all fiber network throughout our rural cooperative.” We are proud and lucky to have this important business in our community!
Looking towards the future, Federated is excited for the new office renovation along Highway 9. Donna says, “We are proud to bring modern technologies to our valued members, right here in West Central Minnesota.”