The History of Union Telephone

Union Telephone Company was incorporated March 8, 1900; the Almond Telephone Company on June 6, 1900; and the Coloma Telephone Company on June 26, 1906.  The three companies were merged under the name of Union Telephone Company in June 1980, and now serve the Villages of Almond, Bancroft, Coloma, Hancock, Plainfield and the surrounding rural areas.  The main office is located in Plainfield.

In May 1906, Alton H Bowden became Manager of the Almond Telephone Company.  In 1917, he bought control of the Union Telephone Company of Hancock and Plainfield, and became Manager in 1919.  In 1926, he bought control of the Coloma Telephone Company.  In 1939, the first automatic switch-board in Waushara County was installed in Hancock.  The first dial equipment in Portage County was installed in Almond in 1948.  The Coloma Telephone Company was cutover to automatic equipment in 1956.  The Plainfield exchange served as a toll center until its conversion in 1965.  In 1982, REA financing was obtained to upgrade service and all exchanges in the Company were converted to digital service and housed in new buildings.  In 1999, Union Telephone Company was the 2nd (only to NASA) in the country to install and cut over Siemens RSU’s, AKA “Smart Remotes” in Almond, Hancock, and Coloma.

Union Telephone started out in the new world of internet by offering dial-up services.  With the advancement in technologies, they started into the broadband world by offering DSL.  As the demand for more bandwidth increased, the transition to fiber to the home starting in 2008 when Union Telephone placed FTTH (fiber-to-the-home) in the Village of Almond.  They have since converted to fiber in all 5 of their villages and are currently working on finishing the upgrades in their rural markets.

In 2003 Union Information Systems, LLC was formed and 2004 marked the first year UIS started offering IPTV services to its customers over copper and now FTTH.

Our history serves a reminder that our dedication to cutting edge technology and innovation will keep our communities on top of future advancements for years to come.