During the mid-1890's, a group of local residents installed their own telephone system. This system only connected approximately a dozen customers together. Then in the early 1900's, the Graettinger Telephone Company was founded. This company was formed as a stockholder company.Each share was worth $50.
In 1938, the local farmers built aerial lines out to the rural areas.These lines were also maintained by the local farmers. At this time a Stormberg two-station operator switchboard was operated from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The operators would sleep by the switchboard in case someone would have to make an emergency call.
In 1962, a new building was constructed and a new automatic Stromberg Carlson switching equipment was installed.
In 1966, a very severe ice storm destroyed all of the feed lines to the rural areas. It was at this time the first buried cable was installed in the exchange.
In 1967, one local resident tried to gain control of the company. The stock battle lasted for nearly two years until it was decided to form a cooperative to prevent this from happening in the future.
In 1969, the Graettinger Telephone Cooperative Association was formed.At this time an REA loan was secured to replace the outside plant. This project lasted three years, which included converting everyone to private line telephone service.
In 1982, an agreement was entered into with the Wallingford Telephone Company, to maintain its facilities. The Wallingford Telephone Company, a corporation, was organized and received its charter in 1909. It served the town of Wallingford until January 1954. At this time stockholders voted to dissolve and sell their assets to the Wallingford Telephone Cooperative, an organization made up of all the subscribers of telephone service formerly served by the Wallingford Telephone Company.
In 1984,, it was decide to merge the two companies. At this time River Valley Telephone Coop was formed. In 1988, a Northern Telecom DMS-10M digital switch was installed in Wallingford. Along with the digital conversion, a fiber optic cable was placed between Graettinger and Wallingford offices connecting them together.
In 1991, River Valley formed a subsidiary company known as Starcom to provide wireless cable to rural northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota.Today this company continues to offer cable and wireless Internet services.
In 2003, River Valley Telecommunications Coop purchased the Ruthven Telephone Exchange Company through a private sale from the owners. In 2007 Ruthven Telephone merged into River Valley Telecommunications Coop to become members in the cooperative.
In 2008, River Valley deployed Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) throughout the rural community of Ruthven. This state of the art feature allows rural Ruthven customers access to all services RVTC provides including DSL and digital cable.
Our present company employees 16 full-time employees and has a 7-member board of directors.
We currently provide local and long distance calling, High-Def and digital cable, IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), High Speed Internet services along with cellular, home and business security systems and computer sales within our office.