The Southern Continental Telephone Company was owned by a holding company in Chicago during the early 1950’s and had permitted the telephone facilities in Auburn to deteriorate. When they applied for a rate increase, with almost no improvement in service, the Auburn Rotary Club appointed Gaston W. Coke to represent them and the town of Auburn before the Public Service Commission to protest the increase.
With a successful case before the Public Service Commission, and the open knowledge obtained in the hearing that there could be no improvement in service under the existing setup, Mr. Coke began the work to organize a rural telephone cooperative. Virtually all civic, service, and farm organizations in the county backed the idea, and so the “Cooperative Experiment” began.
Initial membership sign-ups spanned three difficult years, but all of the hard work paid off when the Logan Rural Telephone Cooperative Corporation was incorporated in May 1954. The Cooperative formally obtained title to the Southern Continental exchanges in Auburn, Adairville, and Lewisburg in 1955. The Dunmor Telephone Company was purchased in 1956, the Rochester exchange was added in 1960, and the Logansport exchange was added in 1962.
Mr. Marion Simpson was appointed as the first General Manager of the Cooperative. The Logan Rural Telephone Cooperative was a dream come true. Many people gave of their time and efforts to get it established. In 1966, the company’s name was shortened to Logan Telephone Cooperative.
Throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, the outside plant facilities were upgraded and all exchanges were cut over to buried plant and digital service. In 1982, the Cooperative purchased the Neal Building next to its original office to expand office space.
The 1990’s consisted of many plant upgrades and the introduction of fiber optic service and advanced calling features for its customers. The company became the first local Internet service provider in Logan County in 1995, and it expanded into the long distance business in 1998. In 1999, the Cooperative broke ground for its current location at 10725 Bowling Green Road, and the new headquarters building opened in June 2000 with much celebration.
In 2002, Logan Telephone Cooperative reached a milestone when it became the first telephone company in Kentucky to offer DSL service to 100 percent of its telephone customers. In August 2003, the Cooperative kicked off a year-long 50th Anniversary Celebration with the grand finale event in May 2004.
Over the next decade, the Cooperative felt the impact from the challenging economic times as the number of landline customers began to decline and government reforms threatened the Cooperative’s existence. However, the Bluegrass Cellular investment was a huge success and the high-speed Internet service continued to grow. The future was bright as Bluegrass Cellular continued to add towers and offered the best cellular coverage in our area, and Logan Telephone Cooperative continued to look for ways to increase high-speed Internet bandwidth to meet its members’ growing demands.
In 2013, the Cooperative embarked on a new journey to replace its copper (DSL) network with a state-of-the-art fiber optic network that would be carried all the way to members’ homes. Fiber-to-the-home offers the most advanced communications system in the world today. Logan Telephone’s world-class service was named FiberNet.
In September 2016, the Cooperative launched Gigabit Internet speeds in Adairville, Auburn, and Lewisburg with much celebration. This brought speeds up to 1 Gigabit, or 1,000 Megabits, per second to homes and businesses over the FiberNet network. In July 2017, NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association awarded the Cooperative the certification of being a Gig-Capable Provider.
It had been difficult through government regulations to find a way to offer Internet service without requiring a phone line, but in July 2019 the Cooperative found a way to achieve this new offering. This was very popular with members, and by December that year there were already 25% with Internet-only. A year after the offering was launched in July 2020, the Cooperative now has more members with Internet than telephone service as it is becoming more of a fiber broadband company each day.
So in July 2020 Logan Telephone Cooperative launched their refreshed brand identity to do business as LTC Connect. As technology has evolved, the business and services the cooperative provides has evolved as well. Outstanding telephone service is still a high priority for the cooperative, but having telephone as the only service in its name did not accurately reflect what the cooperative represents today. While this rebranding is significant, the company’s core beliefs haven’t changed. Being a cooperative is the foundation of the company, which is why LTC was kept as part of the new name to recognize the importance of the company’s history and the fact that LTC Connect remains a cooperative.
The cooperative has invested over $37.5 million in fiber-to-the-home construction and approximately two-thirds of members (over 596 rural miles) now have access to Gigabit Internet. The cooperative intends to continue to make substantial fiber investments and stay focused on constantly evolving technology that will keep our members CONNECTED well into the future.
The “Cooperative Experiment” has been very successful due to the hard work and dedication of those early pioneers with a vision, and will continue to succeed thanks to the loyalty and hard work of its members, directors, and employees.