History

Recent History

2019

New website

May 2019 – Big Imprint designs a new website at libertycommunications.com to be launched in early June.

2018

Fiber upgrades

The ONT replacement project concludes with over 1900 new terminals installed at customers homes and businesses.

35 miles of new rural fiber is constructed in both West Branch and West Liberty exchanges at a total cost of over $750,000. This is part of a multi-year program to bring fiber to all of our customers.

2018

Gig-Capable Provider

September 2018 – Liberty Communication becomes a Certified Gig-Capable Provider.

2018

Skitter TV

September 2018 – Liberty Communications launches Skitter TV offering new and advanced technology not previously possible.

2018

Managed WiFi

July 2018 – Liberty Communications launches a managed WiFi option for its Internet customers–Liberty WiFi.

2018

The People You Know Award

April 2018 – The People You Know is named an NTCA TeleChoice Marketing Campaign Award Winner.

2017

Revamped fiber

A project to replace the original fiber optic terminals installed in 2008 and 2009 is begun. The new ONT’s (Optical Network Terminals) provide almost a ten fold increase in available bandwidth.

Rural fiber is installed along the Rapid Creek area of rural West Branch replacing older copper cables. Fusion packages replace DSL services to those customers along these routes.

2017

Smart Rural Community

June 2017 – Liberty Communication’s was designated as a Smart Rural Community by the NTCA.

2016

The People You Know

June 2016 – Meet The People You Know. Liberty Communications creates a video series featuring the people who live and work in our communities–The People You Know.

2015

Revamped services

In May, Liberty Communications completely revamps the service packages provided to customers in light of changing Federal regulations in the communications industry. Internet speeds are greatly increased, unlimited nationwide calling is included in residential phone packages, and Caller ID, Call Waiting and Call Waiting ID are included free of charge. Also Business long distance rates are lowered and flat rate bucket plans are offered.

2015

Residential Gigabit

Liberty Communications offers Gigabit Internet service to residential customers on Christmas Day 2015, joining a small group of rural Iowa companies offering this advanced broadband package.

2014

SMART

In June, we launch our new line of broadband enabled SMART self monitoring and automation capabilities for Home, Farm, and Businesses.

2014

Remodeling

Front Office remodeling for the West Liberty building brought an open floor plan design to a space that had dated back to 1996. The new design was completed in time for the annual Holiday Open House event held in November.

2013

Bandwidth increase

The bandwidth purchased from the major Internet hubs in Des Moines, Kansas City and Chicago are all increased as consumers increase the amount of streaming video they watch over the Internet.

Hardware and software updates are installed in our West Liberty rural fiber nodes that were originally installed in 2002. These changes greatly increases the overall bandwidth we can deliver to customers, resulting in faster Internet packages, more DTV channels and HD channels. The West Branch network received similar upgrades in early 2014.

2012

Software vendor

National Information Services Company (NISC) was chosen as our customer care and billing software vendor. Improved integration between customer records and facility information was cited as a key benefit along with NISC’s scale and resources.

2012

FCC reforms

Liberty Communications joined with dozens of other Iowa rural phone and broadband providers to develop comments to the FCC’s reforms to the Universal Service Fund (USF). These comments were instrumental in getting the FCC to refine their changes to improve support for rural fiber optic networks nationwide.

2011

Fiber Conversion Finished

As 2011 came to a close, Liberty Communications finished a 2-year project of converting all West Liberty and West Branch city customers to the new fiber network. The old copper network was taken out of commission as we rang in the new year.

2011

Digital Voicemail

Liberty Communications upgrades to a new digital voicemail system. The new system allows email notification of new voicemails and Live Message Screening which allows customers to listen in on a message as it’s being recorded and decide to take the call if they wish.

2011

Whole Home DVR

Now every TV in your home can share one DVR box. You can even start watching in one room and finish watching in a different room. With WHDVR you’ll be able to record and watch programs on multiple TVs in the home.

2011

Like Us

Liberty Communications launches a Facebook page and joins the rest of the world in social media. Like us on Facebook to keep up to date on what’s happening at Liberty Communications.

2011

New Website

Liberty Communications launches a new website at libertycommunications.com

2010

Follow Us on Twitter

Liberty Communications is now on Twitter and we encourage you to follow us! Twitter will be
used to communicate updates and information about the company.

2010

Online Directory

In April of 2010 Liberty Communications placed on Online Phone Directory on our homepage. The Online Directory contains all of the West Liberty and West Branch listings and the yellow pages. Hard copies of the phone books are still available and mailed out to customers each spring.

2010

New Phone System

On Monday February 15th, Liberty Communications installed a new phone system in the business office. The existing phone system had been in place for years. The new system is IP based and allows more flexibility between the West Liberty and West Branch offices.

2010

Introducing Fusion

In January of 2010 Liberty Communications began offering service on the new FTTH network. The new service packages were named Fusion and besides flexibility, Fusion offers faster Internet speeds and HD to multiple TVs.

2010

New Look

In January of 2010 Liberty Communications refreshed the company image with a new logo and colors. The new logo still contains a shade of blue similar to one used by the company for years, but incorporates a bright red with an arc that swoops over the company name. The arc represents a fiber optic cable. In a fiber optic network, red lasers send information down the glass fibers.

2009West Liberty

FTTH Construction

Liberty Communications officially began construction on its West Liberty Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project with a Ground Breaking Ceremony on May 1, 2009. Liberty Communications chose Spalj Construction Company for the construction, and engineering and project inspection services were provided by Finley Engineering.

2009

DVR & HD TV

Liberty Communications announced HD and DVR service in April 2009. Stunning picture quality and digital audio truly enhanced TV viewing. The HD lineup contained 26 channels and included the Big Ten Network, ESPN, all the local network stations. DVR service allows customers to record directly to the set top box. Pause Live TV was also made available which allows customers to pause, rewind and playback live TV.

2008West Branch

FTTH Construction

Fiber to the Home (FTTH) construction began in West Branch in June of 2008. The floods of 2008 caused delays in getting started, but once started things moved quickly. Liberty Communications chose Spalj Construction Company for the construction, and engineering and project inspection services were provided by Finley Engineering.

2008

Announcing FTTH

In January of 2008 Liberty Communications announced plans to build a new all fiber network to replace the aging copper network. Overall the company will invest over $7.7 million upgrading to fiber. Fiber has virtually unlimited capacity and Liberty Communications’ plans will help ensure the towns of West Liberty and West Branch have the underlying infrastructure to keep pace with the changing world.

2005

Liberty DTV

Liberty Communications launched Liberty Digital TV service in the spring of 2005, following a franchise election in West Branch.The 100% digital quality TV service provided one more option for both rural and urban customers in West Branch and West Liberty.

2003

Call Screening

Telemarketer Call Screening was introduced in May 2003. This feature enhanced the national ‘do not call’ registry by intercepting calls from companies not affected by the ‘do not call’ rules.

2002

ISP Announcement

Liberty Communications started its own ISP, Lcom.net, in March of 2002. By becoming Lcom.net, we were able to provide an improved Internet product directly to our customers. We were also in a position to respond to new technologies as they became available.

2001

eBilling & Easy Pay

In October, 2001, e-billing was introduced: the customer received $1 credit each month when
their bill was e-mailed to them and the amount of the bill was automatically deducted from their bank account.

2000

Megaband High Speed

Liberty Communications introduced Megaband high-speed Internet service in July of 2000. Megaband was 10 times faster than dial-up Internet service and gave the convenience of being able to talk on the phone line while surfing the web.

Construction crews were busy burying and connecting our fiber optic network throughout the area. We laid a total of 43 miles of fiber optics and 15 miles of copper cable. This project not only increased capacity on the existing lines, but helped us expand the distance our Megaband service could reach.

1999

CallerID Name

On June 15, 1999, Caller ID Name was added to compliment Caller ID Number delivery for an additional $2.00 per month.

1999

Liberty Long Distance

June 1, 1999, we announced the offering of our own long distance plans. Two plans were offered – One Thin Dime for 10 cents a minute at $3.95 per month, and Just My Time for 14 cents a minute and no monthly charge. We introduced these plans to help our customers cut through the clutter and hype surrounding long distance service so they could receive good service at competitive prices.

We still offer these plans today. Long Distance rates have continued to climb. The Dime plan is still just a 10 cents per minute but costs $5.95 per month and Just My Time is 18 cents per minute.

1998

High Speed Internet

Capping off a year of improvements, December 1998 saw Touch-tone become part of the local rate. Rural rates were also reduced and simplified as part of a new rate structure. Ninety percent of our customers saw a reduction in rates ranging from 15 cents to $4.00 per month.

To improve Internet speed, a new router and modem rack was installed at our West Liberty office. Digital high-speed Internet service was also offered; prices started at $125 per month for 384Kbps. Today the slowest ‘high’ speed service we offer is 10Mbps (80,000Kbps) for $56.95 per month.

1998West Liberty - Atalissa

Free Calling

On July 2nd, 1998, toll-free calling between West Liberty and Atalissa began. The service was a free upgrade to West Liberty customers. GTE refused to extend the local calling option to West Branch, citing lack of toll traffic.

1998West Liberty - Iowa City

Free Calling

Toll Free calling between Iowa City and West Liberty began April 1, 1998.

1997

Voice Mail

July 15, 1997, Liberty Communications offered Voice Mail to customers. This long awaited option provided a great convenience to customers spending a lot of time on their computers, or to those who experienced power outages, lightning storms and missed many calls as a result.

1997

Name Change

In January of 1997, we changed our name to Liberty Communications. After more than seven decades of doing business as West Liberty Telephone Company, the name change was made to reflect the different communication services offered. No longer limited to just offering local service to customers, the company provided paging and Internet service for customer convenience.

1996West Branch - West Liberty

Free Calling

On June 24, 1996, toll-free calling between West Liberty and West Branch began. This enhancement to local service was made possible by the increased capacity of our backbone fiber optic link between the two communities. No increase in local rates accompanied this service improvement, which had been one of the top requests by our customers according to a local survey.

1995West Branch - Iowa City

Free Calling

On August 1, 1995, toll-free dialing between West Branch and Iowa City began. This service was approved by the West Branch customers with a mail-in vote held in January.

1993

Dial Up Internet

West Liberty Telephone was one of the first Iowa telephone companies to offer dial-up Internet service. The service began in December 1993. For $30.00 a month customers received 250 hours of full Internet access.

TPYK 2016
West Liberty Middle School

The People You Know Videos

Early History

The West Liberty Telephone Company began in 1899, with the hope to acquire 75 subscribers. The first 75 years brought slow and steady change. Major changes occurred in 1984, both within the industry and the West Liberty Telephone Company.

The breakup of AT&T by the Federal government forever changed the face of the industry. Also the purchase of the West Branch Telephone Company by West Liberty Telephone created the eighth largest independent telephone company in Iowa. In January of 1997, we changed our name to Liberty Communications.

After more than seven decades of doing business as West Liberty Telephone Company, the name change was made to reflect the different communication services offered. The pace of change quickly accelerates with the introduction of Voicemail, CallerID, Pagers and of course Internet service and the world wide web.

With the turn of the century the pace within the industry accelerates even more rapidly. Liberty Communications launched Digital TV service and replaced the copper network with a Fiber to the Home network capable of delivering 100M to each house.

One thing is certain in the telecom industry… it is constantly evolving to meet the growing needs of consumers and businesses as they strive to connect in a global economy.