Blue Earth-based Telecommunication Co. has entered into a definitive agreement under which they will acquire ownership of Lonsdale Telephone Co. in Lonsdale.
The transfer of ownership is pending regulatory approval, which is expected to be completed in the first half of 2020.
Existing employees of Lonsdale Telephone Co. will become employees of BEVCOMM and will continue to manage the day-to-day office functions.
Both Lonsdale Telephone Co. and BEVCOMM are family-owned companies.
“We are excited about the acquisition of Lonsdale Telephone Co., said BEVCOMM Chief Executive Officer Bill Eckles. “Lonsdale is geographically located in perfect proximity to our existing New Prague and Morristown exchanges making this a natural fit. We are looking forward to new opportunities which will be possible with the combined resources of both companies. We consider it a privilege to have the opportunity to serve the Lonsdale community.”
BEVCOMM is a fourth generation, family-owned telecom, headquartered in Blue Earth. BEVCOMM provides local and long distance telephone service, high-speed Internet access, Digital TV, and customized business services. Originally founded in 1895, and currently employing more than 100 people,
BEVCOMM is one of the largest locally owned telecommunications companies in Minnesota. BEVCOMM has offices in Blue Earth, Morristown, New Prague, Pine Island, Wells and Winnebago as well as Hager City and Weyerhaeuser, Wisconsin.
About Lonsdale Telephone Co.
Lonsdale Telephone Co. has served the communities of Lonsdale and Veseli for over 80 years. Beginning in May 1926, Frank W. Novak contracted with Webster Farmers Telephone Co. to operate “the exchange and toll boards” belonging to them and situated in the then village of Lonsdale.
In 1937, Novak purchased the “Lonsdale Telephone Exchange” from Central West Co., owners of Prior Lake, New Market, Webster and Lonsdale Telephone exchanges. Central West Public Service Co. had formerly purchased these same exchanges from Webster Farmers’ Telephone Co.. Service was provided using overhead telephone lines and a manually operated switchboard.
In 1942, Lonsdale Telephone Co. was purchased by Robert J. Novak, Frank Novak’s son. He and his wife, Marcella, owned and operated the company until they died in 2005 and 2007, respectively. Robert Novak took care of the outside plant with Marcella manning the switchboard.
1962 the first Central Office Switch was installed, which enabled the company to provide rotary dial telephone service, eliminating the need for an operator to man a switchboard 24/7 and also eliminating the “party-line phone system.”
In 1973, all the overhead telephone lines were taken down and the entire outside plant was buried underground using copper wire.
In 1984, the company installed a digital electronic Central Office Switch, which ushered in the touchtone phone. Today, they offer phone service; internet with speeds up to 1Gig and through their subsidiary Co., Lonsdale Video Ventures, they also offer Cable TV service.