In 1941, Arthur Long purchased the exchanges of Sergeant Bluff, Salix and Sloan, Iowa with the mortgage on farm ground left to him after his father's death, which he renamed Northwest Iowa Telephone.
For the next 30 years, telephone operators provided services from call connections to long distance calculations by hand to dispatching firemen to local fires and providing custom calling features such as call forwarding and call alert.
Upon graduating college in 1968, Chuck Long followed in the footsteps of his father and began working at the family-owned company. With the end of party lines in the early 1970's, you could no longer listen in on your neighbor's calls. However, private lines meant conducting home and business matters confidentially and a boom in the telecommunications industry.
During the 1980's, Northwest Iowa Telephone signed the first Equal-Access Agreement in the United States with MCI. Because of this movement, owner Chuck Long played a key role in the growth of MCI telemarketing call centers as they were established nationwide and generated thousands of jobs. Northwest Iowa Telephone sold the telemarketing centers back to MCI and ventured into new projects in the early 1990's.
In 1997, Northwest Iowa Telephone pioneered the design, installation and operation of community-wide networks for the provision of Phone, Cable TV and Internet service packages, often in partnerships with municipalities. As the wholesale provider, Northwest Iowa Telephone completes the overbuild project, assists with bill processing and offers consulting services to the Municipals.
After 60 years of doing business, Northwest Iowa Telephone and all of its entities became officially known as Long Lines® in 2001.
Since 2002, Long Lines has expanded its state-of-the-art Phone, Cable TV and High Speed Internet service to 16 communities in the tri-state area, including the overbuild of South Sioux City, Nebraska with new fiber optic telecommunications equipment to every resident and business.
Long Lines ventured into the Wireless industry in December 2005 with the purchase of two Wireless service providers, creating Long Lines Wireless®. Since June 2006, Long Lines Wireless has activated over 150 cell phone towers, opened 12 retail stores across the tri-state area and has also signed over 25 authorized retailers that offer Wireless cell phones and calling plans.
Over the years, Long Lines has emerged as a leader in the telecommunications industry and has maintained a well-deserved reputation for providing landline and business services of the highest quality, reliability and innovation.
In December of 2013 the Wireless division was purchased by AT&T.
In March of 2015 Long Lines became a wholly owned subsidiary of Schurz Communications.
Today, Long Lines serves thousands of customers with Cable TV, High Speed Internet and Phone service throughout the tri-state area.
Over the Years...
Northwest Iowa Telephone was established in 1941.
Owner Chuck Long played a key role in the expansion of MCI Call Centers during the 1980s
Phone, Cable and Internet was offered in communities in 1997.
Northwest Iowa Telephone and all of its entities officially became known as Long Lines in 2001.
Long Lines became a wholly owned subsidiary of Schurz Communications in 2015.