Ogden Communications, Inc. (OCI) was officially formed on July 1, 2003 as the result of the reorganization of Ogden Telephone Company (OTC). The increasing changes in the telecommunications industry have prompted this action. OCI is a Holding Company for Ogden Telephone Company, Cass Cellular Partnership, Ogden Long Distance, Ogdentelnet, and the Great Lakes Comnet interest. OCI has 171 stockholders and 89,144 shares outstanding. The annual meeting of the Company is held the 4th Monday of June.
Ogden Long Distance Service, Inc. and Ogdentelnet, Inc. were formed in 2004. These two entities handle long distance resale and internet service. High speed internet has been added in 2005. Ogden Communications strives to bring state of the art telecommunication and data services to its rural customers at an affordable price.
With a simple crank of the telephone you had a direct contact with the operator. “Number, please.” As you placed your calls, they were rung on the line by the operator and were distinguished by a variety of rings, such as 2 shorts, 1 short and 1 long, etc. One unusually long ring was a signal for all parties to respond to an emergency.
Ogden Mutual Telephone Company, a corporation, was formed under the authority of the Michigan Railroad Commission on December 14, 1910. Prior to that date, the exchange was owned by F.C. Phillips and was located at Ogden Station, which is three miles north of its present location. It is believed that Mr. Phillips started the exchange in 1902.
The new Ogden Mutual Telephone Company purchased a home in the center of booming Ogden Center. The chief operator resided here and the switch board was located in a corner room. Regular service hours were 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Calls outside of those hours were made on an emergency basis. The home was used until 1969 when the Company bought a piece of land ¼ mile west of the Center and a new central office building was constructed.
In July of 1969, Ogden switched from the old fashioned switch board system (know as the Magneto System) to a complete touch tone system. It was at this time, the Company formerly became Ogden Telephone Company. New stock was issued and 1 share became 50 shares.
In one great swoop, the Ogden Telephone Company had gone from being the state of Michigan’s most obsolete (and last Magneto) system to the state’s most modern and entirely touch tone system. No operator was needed as the Company interconnected with General Telephone in Adrian and used its operators. The Company was run by one installer-repairman and one person who was the secretary-treasurer.
In the early 1980’s deregulation of the industry began. It was quite a shock to the rural telephone companies. In 1986, Ogden applied to the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for a loan to completely renovate the system. The loan was for 1.2 million dollars. All the outside plant was buried, a new digital switch was installed and every customer converted to a private line.
Ogden Telephone Company won the Rural Spectrum lottery in 1987 which enabled the Company to form partnerships with other rural companies and began to offer cellular service in the lower tier of Michigan. Ogden currently partners with Alltel, Deerfield Telephone, Sand Creek Telephone, and Waldron Telephone Companies to bring this service to the state. In 2003, Ogden Telephone Company became a subsidiary of Ogden Communications, Inc and in 2005, the stock was split 16 to 1. Ogden Long Distance Service, Inc and Ogdentelnet, Inc were also formed.
Ogden Telephone Company may be small (450 end users), but it has always strived to give the rural customer every service that is available in the urban area. In 2003, Ogden Telephone Company completed the construction of a buried fiber ring ($500,000.00) to facilitate the offering of high speed internet services. Ogden Telephone has just installed a new state of the art “Soft Switch” which allows the Company to offer many varied services such as high speed internet (DSL), dial up internet, voice mail, caller ID and federally mandated services such as CALEA (Federal wire tap regulations) and LNP (Local Number Portability). Ogden has invested in the new switch over $300,000.00 in the new switch and internet facilities. Ogden employs 4 full time and 2 part time personnel.
Ogden Telephone Company receives funds from the Universal Service Fund to enable the Company to remain viable and offer new and demanded services to its customers. Ogden Telephone also invests funds from its deregulated services (cellular) to enhance the state regulated Telephone Company. Our main goal is to provide the best and most economical services to our rural customers.