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Based out of Harlan, Iowa, Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Company (FMCTC) is a member-owned telephone cooperative specializing in telecommunications services for both residential and business customers. Since 1904, FMCTC has been engaged in providing quality telecommunications services.

It all started when a group of Shelby County-area residents collected signatures from neighbors in order to form a telephone cooperative. Today, our cooperative boasts about 4650 members, 15 employees, and is run by a board of directors composed of community members from the exchanges we serve.

Our Family of Services

We're more than just telephone.
We're Your Total
Communications Provider

Local Telephone
Long Distance
High Speed FTTP/DSL/Cable
   Modem/Wireless Internet Access
Dial-Up Internet Access   
Web Hosting
Basic & Digital Cable TV
Business Communication Systems & Service
Home & Business Networking

In the early years of telephone, providing telephone service meant providing basic dial tone to people in our rural communities. That definition has changed; providing telecommunications services now means making voice, data and entertainment services available. We’re proud that even in out in the most rural areas that FMCTC serves, 100% of customers are able to get high-speed Internet service. This state of the art technology is a great benefit to our rural communities.

FMCTC was the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Iowa to offer a local dial-up number for Internet access. Now, with a fiber optic backbone supporting both voice and data traffic, FMCTC provides high speed Internet to 13 communities in west central Iowa.

FMCTC is committed to being a proactive and responsible company for our members. We are proud to be living and working in western Iowa and serving as your telecommunications source.

FMCTC Milestones

The telephone is born. Alexander Graham Bell sends the human voice over a wire.

Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone is formed and incorporated.
Telephone wires are suspended between fence posts and overhead connecting farms, homes and small-town businesses
Main office located in Kirkman with service exchanges in Harlan, Irwin & Jacksonville

Within one year, Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Company expands telephone service to Corley, Redline, Tennant and Westphalia
Switchboard operators are on call 24/7 to connect telephone calls
Members pay $12-$15 a year for telephone service

Great Depression means tough financial times for the telephone company.
Single wire magneto system is upgraded to a metallic, two-wire system which means more reliable service.
Main office moves to Harlan

The telephone company grows & modernizes after WWII.
Rotary dial phones begin to replace hand-crank telephones & switchboard operators.
Multi-party lines with 10-20 subscribers per line are common.

Company begins placing aerial telephone lines underground
Private party lines begin to replace multi-party lines
Service boundaries are redrawn and telephone service in Harlan is discontinued. Harlan telephone lines are sold to United Telephone System.
Hancock Telephone Company is acquired.
Direct dialing (Dial 1+) becomes available for long distance calls.

AT&T break-up occurs.
Earling Mutual Telephone Company is acquired.
Major modernization of telephone system occurs, including installation of computerized digital switch. Advanced services like Call Forwarding, Call Waiting become available.
Touchtone service replaces rotary dial telephones.
Cordless phones are introduced.
Paging service is launched.
Cable television service is launched.
Cellular service is launched with CommNet and Verizon.
Dial-Up Internet service is launched.
Web hosting service is launched.
Website,  is launched.
FMCTC implements 2 youth programs:  College Scholarship and Youth Tour of Washington D.C.
FMCTC implements community development grant program
Fiber optic network is deployed, laying backbone for broadband services.
New generation digital switch installed, providing advanced services like Caller ID.

2000s to present
PCS wireless network is constructed.
New digital switch which processes wireless phone calls is installed.
Fiber optic network continues to grow.
The first all digital wireless communications service in the area, FMCTC Wireless, is launched.
High Speed Internet service is launched
FMCTC Wireless PCS service is launched
Long  Distance service is launched.
Voice Mail service is launched.
FMCTC returns to town-Harlan to provide local telephone and other telecommunications services.
FMCTC Harlan office undergoes major office expansion and remodeling
Defiance and Manilla Telephone Companies are acquired
FMCTC begins summertime Customer Appreciation BBQs
MCSI telemarketing operations are discontinued
FMCTC marks 100 years of service with community-wide celebration
Cable TV service expands with many new channels added to lineup, including local programming
Work on the FTTP (Fiber to the Premise) network begins, laying foundation for fiber to the home/business
PCS wireless network grows with addition of new towers in FMCTC service territory
FMCTC Wireless signs roaming agreements with nationwide wireless carriers
FMCTC launches discounted 'bundled' multi-service packages
FMCTC Manilla office closes
FMCTC purchases Manilla Municipal Utilities cable tv system
Wireless Broadband Internet access is launched in Panama, Portsmouth, and Tennant areas; also, N
W Audubon County, South Crawford County, SW Carroll County, East of Minden Rural 
FMCTV offers High Definition TV programming
Town of Irwin becomes first service area to be served by fiber to the home
FMCTV launches cable tv service in town of Harlan
FMCTC loses Verizon Wireless partnership
FMCTC launches new digital tv product, Digital TV with FREE HD & Whole Home DVR
FMCTC discontinues Community Phone



Copyright© Farmers Mutual Cooperative Telephone Company
Harlan, Iowa  51537