Since 1963 we have been servicing our members under the East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative. Prior to that, our company saw many changes that evolved into a local cooperative serving a large portion of Buchanan County and a small portion of Fayette County.
In all the years we have been in business, there have been many changes to the Communications Industry. Our services now include High Speed Internet (Fiber Optics, DSL and Wireless Internet), HD Video Service as well as Telecommunications.
East Buchanan is now on Facebook.
Please take a moment to join us on Facebook. Many times this may be the quickest way to receive notices of outages.
100 Meg Internet available in communities of Winthrop and Quasqueton until Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) is deployed.
EBTC has installed equipment serving the cities of Winthrop and Quasqueton that will provide up to 100 Mbps bandwidth over our copper DSL phone lines. Call us today at 319-935-3011 for more information.
Please read below the exciting news on our latest fiber projects which provide incredibly fast speeds of up to 1 Gbps (1,000 Mbps) speeds!
Fiber Projects Update (updated September 2022)
Fiber construction has now been completed within the towns of Stanley and Aurora. Residents and businesses can take full advantage of the benefits of fiber optic cable – great Internet speeds (up to 1 Gbps) and better voice quality.
All rural areas served by EBTC including all three service areas of Aurora-Stanley, Winthrop, and Quasqueton had their rural fiber projects completed in 2021 and customers can now receive up to 1 Gb (aka 1,000 Meg) Internet speeds. See our testimonials page for how fiber has enriched our customers’ lives.
These fiber deployments were incredibly complex and expensive projects. Hats off to all of our employees!
Our Board of Directors understand the extreme importance of high-speed fiber to our cooperative members to aid in their productivity in working from home, students studying from home, and anyone with physical and mental health issues to be able to meet “virtually” with health care professionals.
The next step in bringing our cooperative members up-to-date is the deployment of fiber within the towns of Winthrop and Quasqueton. We are reviewing the best financial options for construction in 2023. So watch for EBTC to announce plans in the Spring of 2023 if feasible. Technicians will begin by visiting homes doing “site surveys” – a review of each local homeowner’s property so construction crews don’t hit any unexpected underground facilities, and when discussing with homeowners our techs can evaluate the best location for fiber to enter the premises. When these fiber projects are completed, the old copper phone system will be dismantled, so it’s imperative that site surveys are done on your property so you’re not left without service! It’s estimated that fiber to a home increases the home value by 7-10% according to the National Association of Realtors.
One final piece of deployment for 2022 will be to replace an 11-mile length of fiber from a point south of Quasqueton further south to a location along North Center Point Road located south of Walker. This is needed because EBTC’s customers’ data usage has doubled since the Covid-19 pandemic, and has forced many cooperative members to work, study, and have doctor appointments from home. This new span will carry not only Internet traffic, but also voice and 911 calls. So it is critically important to put this new span in place because we are very close to capacity and this new fiber will alleviate any potential bottlenecks.
Stay tuned for further updates!
The Real Early Years
The earliest means of communication was the telegraph line from Dubuque to Jesup, which ran through Winthrop. It was completed in November of 1863. At that time, the former station agent was replaced by Frank Ward, because he could “run the paper through the telegraph machine and read the dots.”
In November of 1886, telephone wires were being put up on poles and a new office was set-up in Independence.
In 1905, there was hardly a home or town in Eastern Buchanan county without phone service. The local office was located in H.C. Unbehaun store, with Bell Telephone handling long distance out of the J.B. Ryan pharmacy.
In 1904, with telephones being the most efficient method of transmitting gossip, the central telephone exchange had to put this plea in the paper:
“In cases of sickness it is desired that patrons shall not call for the numbers where the sick are…This request and rule are made to relieve the afflicted of hearing the phone ring every minute…How would you like it if you were sick and each one of your friends, two hundred or more, would call up every morning and say: “Hello, my central’s slow! How’s Bill? No better! Too bad! Think he’s not better? Hope he’ll be better tomorrow. If you want any help let me know. Tell Bill I asked about him. What doctor you got? Goodby.”
A new switchboard was installed in 1906: “One can say hello over it without a megaphone. It is a fine affair with 150 drops and is a modern machine in every particular.”
In May 1910, the office was moved to a new building, which is the present location.
The first telephone directory was issued in 1908. Names were listed alphabetically with a number opposite the name (for example, 34A).
At this time, the telephone office was also being used as a weather station. “If you want to know what the weather is going to be, watch the flags hung out of the south window every day at the telephone central office. The three cornered flag, red, means warmer and the same shape in black, cooler…So far the forecasts have been quite reliable and accurate as one could expect on so unreliable a subject as the weather.”
The 30s Through the 80s
In 1937, the Mutual Telephone Exchange (24 county lines) and Winthrop Telephone Exchange decided to incorporate and become the Winthrop Cooperative Telephone Exchange. Memberships were $1.00. Rural fees: $12.00 per year. Town, $2.00 per month, extensions $.50 and business phones: $3.00 per month. The manager’s salary was $1,050.00. In 1963, the manager got a raise so he could pay the help $1.00 per hour.
In the early sixties, negotiations began to change to a dial system. Other towns were contacted, and eventually Quasqueton, Stanley and Aurora joined, and East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative was organized. Buried dial service began in 1967.
Equal access arrived in August 1989, due to the association with Iowa Network Services, of which East Buchanan is an original stock holder.
Digital Broadcast Satellite / DirecTV
Few would have guessed that an entertainment revolution was started in 1994 when our first DBS system was installed at Barb Rasmussen’s home in Quasqueton. We currently have over 1,300 DBS customers throughout Buchanan County and the once exclusive hardware is now sold at Wal-Mart and Radio Shack.
Dial-up Internet Service
As our first customer back in December of 1996, I’m sure John Reidy would agree that the Internet has had a profound effect on his life. EBTC was pleased to assist Roger Wandschneider and Ken Cappel with the installation of a dedicated 56K circuit at EB High School in November of 1997. EBTC was also pleased to assist Mark McCright in upgrading the high school’s facility to a T-1 in March of 2000.
Wireless Phone Service
EBTC was the first Independent Telephone Company to construct a tower and offer digital cellular phone service in association with Iowa Wireless. Although growth has been phenomenal, our records indicate that the first customer was Nicole Dopp on May 28, 1999. Since that time coverage has expanded to Dubuque in the east, Fayette, Clayton and Winnisheik Counties to the north and large numbers of independently owned towers to the south. During 2001, our focus will be on connecting customers to the new cable and using the network’s full potential.
EB Long Distance
In response to the confusing plans offered by other long distance carriers, Bill Raus and Lynn Postel were the first customers to sign up for EBTC’s $.10 and $.14 long distance plans during July of 1999.
In 1997 we noted that a majority of our cable was 25 – 30 years old and that we were running out of capacity for new lines in a number of areas. So we began the tedious process of rebuilding and upgrading our network in the fall of 1998. It is our challenge to connect existing people to the new cable and fully use the network’s potential.
Over the last 10 years, we’ve made many improvements, and added many additional services to benefit you. In fact, we’ve added Annual Customer Appreciation Days, printed a comprehensive Customer Handbook to assist you in choosing services, extended our office hours, and added automatic bill payment service. We also take Visa and Mastercard payments. In addition, we’ve added two new telephone features to help you manage your busy life. Telemarketer Call Screening helps you avoid annoying calls from telemarketers, and our Toll Limitation Services, which we offer free to all customers, allow you to budget your long distance calls each month easily.
A Building Committee was appointed on March 2,2000 to oversee the construction of a 3,900 sq. ft office addition. Members of the Building Committee included Harold Schneider, Greg Fawcett, Ernie Kress and Lee Bossom. Cory Kress was also hired to draft the floor plan and function as construction liaison.
Construction was started in July of 2000 and completed in December of 2000. The idea was to create a place where our customers could come to experience technology, to become more educated about the services available to you, and to learn, first hand, which services can best benefit you in your every day life. We hope you enjoy and benefit from our technology center, and to learning how your history has helped to shape how your communicate today.
2000 – Present
I do not think that the internet itself changed as much as the profusion of applications. And the primary application that impacted telephony was digital entertainment and streaming video. Both applications require large amounts of bandwidth which put us between a rock and a hard spot.
Video applications need the bandwidth provided by fiber optic cable – but regulatory changes during this same period had dried up traditional funding sources. You might say we were experiencing a telecom drought.
These regulatory changes also resulted in significant uncertainty. Companies were hesitant to invest large sums of money in long term assets when regulations were changing frequently.
So, we had a couple of hard years adjusting to the demand for unlimited bandwidth and significant regulatory uncertainty.
Fortunately, the regulatory environment changed in 2016 when the FCC introduced ACAM (Alternate Connect America Model). This is a 10-year program which provided funding for fiber projects in approximately half of our rural areas (mostly north of old Hwy. 20).
EBTC also became involved with digital entertainment by purchasing digital video equipment in partnership with Shellsburg and Palo Telephone companies. Cable TV service had never been very profitable – often operating at a loss. And digital entertainment was no different – mostly because regulators began to allow local off-air stations to charge a monthly access fee. In 2017 we decommissioned our Cable TV network when Independence Telecom no longer provided analog signal to us. And dissolved our partnership with Shellsburg and Palo in 2018 when the digital video equipment we had jointly purchased needed to be replaced.
We currently offer digital video entertainment in association with Skitter TV. A profit-sharing arrangement where Skitter provides all the electronics and programming. EBTC provides customer billing and maintenance. With the popularity of over the top video (Netflix, Sling TV, DirecTV, etc.) we did not want to be heavily invested in expensive equipment.
Our experience with cellular service and our partner, iWireless, was very interesting. We started off with a bang and were pretty successful. We even formed Community Digital Wireless with four other local telephone companies to provide service in Fayette County. But the cellular industry became increasingly competitive and dominated by the very large national carriers. Needless to say, our profit margins decreased significantly. In 2018 we recorded a gain on the sale of some cellular assets to iWireless while keeping the towers.
As of 2018 we find ourselves profitably leasing tower space and providing transport to a couple national carriers. In retrospect this is a very good fit for EBTC in terms of resources and return on investment.
The History of Telephone in Stanley
The first switchboard went into service in 1906 and was located at the former M.M. Elder Hardware and Implement Shop, east of the gasoline engine factory on the south side of Main Street. 11 year-old Clyde Richards was the first telephone operator.
The switchboard moved seven times before finally being set-up in the Stanley Hotel in 1919.
The switchboard and the nine telephones were owned by the Iowa Telephone Company, who was planning to discontinue service in Stanley in 1919. A few interested persons secured the names of 74 families, so that they could create a local exchange. A meeting was held, and a committee appointed to buy the old switchboard and the nine telephones. Thus, the Stanley Mutual Telephone Exchange was born. They rented five rooms (to house the enormous equipment) in the E.M. Stimson Stanley Hotel as a temporary home.
The first officers and directors were:
John Maller—Vice President
J. Guy Swartzell—Manager
Harold Brownell, George Jellings and Roy Zabriskic were Directors
In 1920, the toll line between Stanley and Aurora was built, and a new switchboard was purchased, which was used until 1960. In 1927, they bought the E.M. Stimson Stanley Hotel for $766, and incorporated. In August of 1967, they became a part of the East Buchanan Telephone Company and went to the dial system.
2023 Board of Directors and Cooperative Bylaws
- Terry Peterson, President (Winthrop)
- Joe Bahe, Vice President (Aurora-Stanley)
- Nancy Mosher (Aurora-Stanley)
- Greg Fawcett, Secretary (Winthrop)
- Alan Heitz, Treasurer (Aurora-Stanley)
- Eldon Baragary (Quasqueton)
- Rose Hansen (Winthrop)
- Kenny Gericke (Quasqueton )
- Bill Crow (Quasqueton)
- Mike Becker, General Manager
- Roger Olsen, Plant Manager
- Annette Kress, Office Manager
- Sara Connolly, Communications Consultant
- Dave Flexsenhar, Outside Plant Technician
- Stanley Steele, Outside Plant Technician
- Matthew Leisinger, Combination Technician
- Drew Fangman, Combination Technician
As a cooperative, every cent you pay to East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative during the year, be it for telephone, long distance, Internet, goes in into a formula which is allocated back to you in the form of dividends.
Take this into consideration: If you purchased $100 worth of services throughout the year, with allocation calculations you may have up to 50% or more allocated to your account. This means that if and when the Cooperative Board of Directors decide to distribute the allocations, you will get a patronage check based on the formula. Can you imagine getting a 50% or more discount on the purchase of a new car or tractor? How many other companies can offer you that kind of savings nearly every year?
With your cooperative, the money you pay into the cooperative is retained for operating expenses while also allowing your cooperative to use this revenue for expensive upgrades to keep your services on the forefront of technology. When the Board believes patronage distributions are financially feasible, patronage checks – based on your past payments to EBTC – are then sent to cooperative members.
In the past many years, East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative paid back millions of dollars to its customer members in the form of patronage dividends. We have now entered a new phase whereby instead of paying dividends, disbursements allocated to your account will be postponed and your cooperative dollars will be combined with a multi-million dollar loan to deploy fiber optic services to areas where upgrades are urgently needed. Our Board members have answered the call because of the COVID pandemic to allow our members the faster speeds needed to work from home, study online, and provide tele-health services.
Just remember that every dollar you pay to EBTC is used to upgrade and continue existing services, and any cooperative profits are distributed back to members whenever possible. This means that for every dollar you spent with East Buchanan, you’ll get a large portion of it back! For example if the annual dividend allocation was 50%, it means you are really paying half price for your Internet service or phone service after dividend distributions are paid.
So why buy FULL-PRICED inferior wireless Internet or phone service from a competing company when you can essentially receive major discounts on your services provided by East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative? The answer is clear – EBTC is your best value!
East Buchanan Telephone would like your feedback. Please let us know how we are doing. This would include: service we are providing, customer service, installs, billing options and trouble shooting issues. If you could please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Please see below past testimonials we have received.
6/13/2022 J & D F wrote: EB Phone Coop, A sincere thank you for the prompt service on removing our old box from our house. Also for Dave’s quick service on getting our WiFi hooked up! All done before 24 hrs when I made the call! Love living in our rural community. Thanks again.
2/22/2022 CB wrote: Small town service and consistent prices.
2/22/2022 AH wrote: We are very lucky to have a Coop that knows it’s customers by name and also great service to our area! Thank you!
2/22/2022 LH wrote: 1-they brought me fiber internet in the middle of nowhere
2-the fact that they’re a co-op that is focused on bettering their community.
2/22/2022 DR wrote: 2 things I like about East Buchanan Telephone are the great internet making it easy for me to work from home and stream our favorite shows and movies, and the support to the community!!!
12/29/21 Rosemary wrote: During our years here in Winthrop we’ve had wonderful service from everyone there in the office and anyone sent to service a problem. God bless each of you.
12/27/21 T and K wrote:
Hello, My wife and I have moved to a different town and will no longer need our internet and phone service. Thank you very much for all of the years of fantastic service.
CD wrote: Knowing how much EBTC has done in its service area, compared to what we’ve seen through Windstream, really makes us appreciate the value of a locally owned telecommunications cooperative versus a remote corporation.
MF wrote :Been a member for 30 years great service.
CC wrote: My coworkers in Cedar Rapids who work online every day are jealous of the excellent customer service and amazing response time that I get from East Buchanan Telephone. Where they may be down for days or even weeks waiting for Cedar Rapids service providers for maintenance, I usually have someone out within hours!
AB wrote: The employees are amazing and fix any problems right away, and everyone knows you when you go in!
AB wrote: Excellent customer service and great a great telephone coop.
SB wrote: How can you just say one thing!!! There are too many to name and that makes it EXCELLENT.
HJ wrote: I love the quick response if there is an internet issue and the lovely ladies in the office is always looking out for you and what would be the best option of service for you.
RM wrote: The employees are great! They always answer my questions and the response time is quick!
JL wrote: Such amazing response time and customer service!
TZ wrote: Their crew made time to install the cable for internet during the pandemic so my kids could do online school. They were very prompt and have been great to work with. We haven’t had any problems with connection where we live out in the country. The lady that answers the phone is very patient!
AR wrote: I love that you can drop packages off, and that the people working there are local faces that we all know.
TK wrote: Local!! Always try to help fix/repair problems when they arise. Attempting to get Fiber access to ALL households in our small rural communities!!
MD wrote: All around good people who actually problem solve not just do temporary fixes made it so I could work from home and be more involved with my family.
JF wrote: East Buchanan Telephone Coop is on the ball when you have questions about services they offer. I believe small town proud is truly this company. I have never had bad customer service or bad internet service either. I only wish you could go to Strawberry Point!
KR wrote: Customer service is great!! Both office personnel and the rest of the service crew!! Even when equipment is down, they try their best to keep you informed on any problems that may arise!
KM wrote: The guy that comes out to do service calls. He also installed our fiber! I think his name is Dave? Very friendly!!
KS wrote: Love having local telephone and internet service! Great customer service and response time when issues arise.
AH wrote: Friendly, knowledgeable, prompt customer service!!! Thanks EBTS for taking care of our phone and internet needs!!
East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative Policy for Personally Identifiable Information
East Buchanan Telephone Cooperative (“EBTC”) has implemented this Privacy and Security Policy governing the personally identifiable consumer information (“PII”) collected by this site. This Privacy and Security Policy does not govern PII collected from any other source or in any other manner. This Privacy and Security Policy is intended to provide you with information as to: (i) the type of information that is collected; (ii) how collected information is used and with whom it is shared; (iii) how we intend to protect the information; and (iv) how you can access, modify, and/or delete such information.
Collection of Information
Information You Provide to Us
EBTC collects information about you when you visit and/or purchase products or services from this website. Some of this information is automatically collected, and some is collected when you interact with the site. The type of information that is automatically collected can include date and time of access to the site, the Internet protocol address of the computer that you are using, the domain and host from which you access the Internet, your browser software and operating system, and the specific activities you are engaged in while visiting the site. Information from which you can be personally identified may also be collected by EBTC at the site, including your name, postal address and email address. Of course, you may choose not to provide certain information to EBTC, but if so, you may not be able to participate in certain EBTC activities and transactions.
Use of “Cookies” and Other Technologies
EBTC may use “cookies” and/or other technologies or files (collectively, “cookies”) to identify how its visitors make use of this site. This aggregate tracking information is used to help EBTC improve and enhance the website experience for all of its visitors. If you would prefer not to have such cookies stored on your computer, you may modify your browser settings to reject most cookies, or manually remove cookies that have been placed on your computer. However, by so rejecting the cookies, you may be unable to fully access the offerings on this site.
When you communicate with EBTC electronically, via email or otherwise, you consent to EBTC’s use of the information you have provided, and you further consent to receive electronic communications from EBTC. If you would prefer not to receive such communications, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to advise us of your decision to opt out of email communications.
Security of Information
EBTC maintains reasonable standards of confidentiality and security for this site and the PII collected from this site. The PII you provide is secured using industry standard e-commerce security technology. EBTC also restricts its own employees’ access to PII. However, it is possible that someone may intercept or access communications, transmissions and/or PII. You must also seek to protect against unauthorized access to any passwords and/or accounts that you use in connection with this website, and you should remember to log off of the website once you have completed your activities on the site or if you have decided to step away from your computer. In the event that EBTC determines that there has been a security breach resulting in the unauthorized disclosure of PII to a third party, EBTC will notify consumers whose PII has been so disclosed by posting such information on the site and, if email contact is possible, then we would send an email advising of the status.
The Use and Sharing of Information
The Use of Personal Consumer Information by EBTC
The PII collected by EBTC may be used by EBTC for any lawful purpose, including to communicate with you, respond to your requests, and analyze and improve EBTC’s websites, its business, and/or its service to you. EBTC may use this information to send you email newsletters, promotional offers with respect to goods or services of a particular brand, or other types of communications on behalf of EBTC and/or its affiliates. All email newsletters and promotional offers will provide you with an opportunity to opt out of receiving future issues of such newsletters or to opt out of receiving future promotional offers with respect to such brand. EBTC may also use your PII to send you emails or other communications on behalf of third parties. All such communications will provide you with the opportunity to opt out of receiving future third party offers from EBTC. You may also, at any time, opt-out of receiving any third-party offers from this site by sending an email to email@example.com.
Disclosure by EBTC of Personal Consumer Information to Other Entities
Where permitted by law, EBTC may disclose aggregated statistics about visitors to its site, along with specific information concerning individual visitors of its site that is not PII, provided that no specific individual can be identified by the information disclosed. Subject to applicable laws, EBTC may sometimes seek to share the PII it has collected with a third party, and may also sometimes seek to share such PII with companies that are affiliated with EBTC. EBTC may sometimes use a third party, located either within or outside the United States, to provide certain services on its behalf, such as processing transactions, sending emails, or performing statistical analyses of activity on this website. In the event that EBTC provides certain of your PII to any such entity, EBTC will require that any such entity maintain the confidentiality of (and not further share) the PII that EBTC has provided to it. EBTC may sometimes share PII with sponsors of promotions on the EBTC site, or with sponsors or advertisers of “premium” content. EBTC will always disclose when you are registering for such a promotion or requesting such content. EBTC will not provide PII to any third party for such party’s direct marketing purposes without first providing you with an opportunity to opt-out of such disclosures.
Acquisition of Business
In the event that EBTC is involved in a merger, acquisition, consolidation, restructuring, reorganization, liquidation, sale, or similar transaction relating to any portion of its business and/or assets, you hereby acknowledge and agree that the PII relating to visitors of this site may be included in the assets, and/or transferred pursuant to, such transaction. If that occurs, EBTC will post a notice to such effect on this website.
EBTC may disclose your PII if it has a reasonable good faith basis to believe that it is required to do so by law, compelled by court order or legal process, or is reasonably necessary and/or appropriate to: (i) protect the rights, property and/or safety of EBTC or any other person or entity; or (ii) prevent or take action concerning any alleged: (a) illegal activity or (b) breach of your Terms and Conditions of Service for any EBTC service or the Privacy and Security Policy of this website.
Accessing Your Information
You may update and/or correct the PII collected on the site, or seek to have such information deleted from EBTC’s records, by logging on to register at this site and following the instructions found therein.
From time to time, the EBTC website may contain links to other websites that are not controlled and/or maintained by EBTC. Please be aware that these other websites may have different privacy policies which may subject you to different privacy practices. Please review the privacy policies of such other websites for information concerning what information is collected on such sites and how it is used.
Changes in Policy
Policy Subject to Change
From time to time, EBTC’s Privacy and Security Policy may change. EBTC will post changes to the Privacy and Security Policy at this site. Please review this Privacy and Security Policy often so that you will remain abreast of EBTC’s current policies, including its policies concerning the gathering and use of information that may be collected on our site.
Effective Date of Policy
This Privacy and Security Policy was last updated on June 1, 2022, and is effective immediately.
This Privacy and Security Policy shall be governed by the laws of the State of Iowa, without regard to its conflict of law provisions. Any dispute concerning this Privacy and Security Policy or your use of this site shall be submitted to binding arbitration in the State of Iowa within one (1) year from the date that the cause of action arose (or, if multiple cause of actions are involved, from the date that the first cause of action arose), with such arbitration conducted pursuant to the then prevailing rules of the American Arbitration Association. To the fullest extent permitted by law, no arbitration brought pursuant hereto shall be joined to any other action or any other arbitration initiated pursuant hereto. If any portion of this Privacy and Security Policy is deemed unenforceable, unlawful, or void by a court of competent jurisdiction, then that portion of the Privacy and Security Policy will be deemed severable and will not affect the enforceability or validity of the remaining portions of this Privacy and Security Policy.