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110 Years Of Connecting Your World


Partners in Accessibility For more than a century, Hamilton Telecommunications has been working to make the telephone accessible and affordable. We’re proud to be partners in making telephone access a reality for everyone. Congratulations!

Makers of CapTelÂŽ Captioned Telephones

www.ultratec.com 1-800-482-2424 (V/TTY)


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his summer marks a milestone in the history of Hamilton Telecommunications. For 110 years, we’ve delivered telecommunications services to our customers. Beginning in 1901 as an independent local exchange carrier in central Nebraska and growing to a local, regional and national technology service provider, Hamilton has become one of the leading independent telecommunications companies in the U.S. We now operate in 17 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, the Island of Saipan, and provide many of our services nationwide. Hamilton is proud to continue a tradition of innovation – all the while, striving to provide optimal quality, dependable service and competitive pricing in everything we do. Through this commemorative anniversary magazine, we invite you to be part of our celebration. Take a walk in time with us as we look back over the past 110 years. More importantly, share our excitement as we look ahead to the future. Thank you for being an important part of our success. We appreciate the trust you have in Hamilton – and we are honored that you have given us the opportunity to connect your world for more than 110 years.

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Phil Nelson

John Nelson

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THANK YOU, HAMILTON TELECOMMUNICATIONS FOR KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY CONNECTED.

At Pinnacle Bank, we know it’s determination that grows businesses, farms and families. And the relationships that are built along the way form the foundation of our community. We want to thank Hamilton Telecommunications for keeping our community connected for 110 years and counting. That’s the Nebraska Way. AURORA 1234 ‘L’ Street, 402.694.2111 • pinnbank.com

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110 Years Of Connecting Your World

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ANNIVERSARY Features

A Story of Success, 110 Years in the Making For more than a century, Hamilton Telecommunications has been paving the information highway. p. 6

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A Walk Through One Hundred Ten Years As technology has advanced, so has Hamilton. p. 10

Making Connections Hamilton Telephone and Long Distance have a 110-year history of providing telephone services to central Nebraska. p. 14

One-stop Shopping Hamilton Information Systems offers computer and networking solutions for business clients. p. 16

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At the Speed of Life With Hamilton.net, Internet access gets faster for central Nebraska residents and businesses. p. 22

The Freedom that Comes from Staying Connected Hamilton Relay provides specialized telecommunications services nationwide for individuals with hearing loss or difficulty speaking. p. 30 HAMILTO N CELEBRATES | S E PT E M B E R 2011

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A Story of

Success,

110 Years in the Making

For more than a century, Hamilton Telecommunications has been paving the information highway

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ost of us think nothing of picking up a telephone, pressing a string of digits and waiting for a familiar voice to click through our earpiece. Some of us are old enough to remember rotary phones, party lines, UHF and VHF television and using DOS to run our computers. Throughout our lifetimes, we have quickly adapted to changes in telecommunications, eagerly anticipating new technology because we know something faster and better is always on its way. Behind the scenes, telecommunications companies spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours researching, 6

purchasing, building, installing and maintaining the hardware and software that allow us to make those quick telephone calls, connect with friends and family on the Internet, store more data on smaller computers, and stream data to our offices and even our Smartphones. A leader among giants Hamilton Telecommunications has had a long history of diversifying its business and its leadership, all the while embracing cutting-edge technology. Headquartered in Aurora, Nebraska, Hamilton Telecommunications has been a constant in 110 years of ever-changing

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regulations, laws and corporate monopolies. The company was founded as Hamilton County Farmers Telephone Association in 1901. For the last 110 years, Hamilton Telecommunications has been among many “firsts� in the nation when it comes to changing the way we communicate with each other. In the early 1900s, the company first introduced switchboard technology to the farming communities of Nebraska, followed by rotary-phone direct dialing, and, ultimately, direct-dial long distance. In 1980, Hamilton Telephone


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installed one of the first digital switches in the United States. Analog and digital switches do the same thing, but digital technology can handle more calls, more efficiently than analog. If analog technology were compared to a pickup truck, digital technology would be a freight train. Also in the 1980s, fiber optics changed the telecommunications landscape. Hamilton Telecommunications was — once again — at the forefront of change. Conventional construction called for fiber optic cable to be buried in labor-intensive open trenches. Hamilton’s engineers challenged tradition by using cable plows to bury the fiber optic cable with telephone and television cables — all in one pass — which saved time, money and resources. Hamilton’s peers scoffed and said fiber optic cable was too fragile to withstand that kind of stress.

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“They all said we were going to live to regret that,” said John Nelson, son of CEO Phil Nelson and Hamilton Telecommunications president, who was 16 at the time. John remembers riding on the back of plows during the first installation. Thirty years later, the executive says, the proof is in the pudding: Those same fiber optic lines would still be working today, had they not been replaced by newer, faster multi-node fiber. In fact, several other telecommunications companies have contacted Hamilton, asking the company for advice on installing their own fiber optic cable. Just before cell phone technology exploded in the early 1990s, rural telephone companies found that 100-foot towers were not tall enough to connect its cell phone users, most of whom were rural customers.

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Hamilton banded with a group of telecommunications companies in Nebraska to solicit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to allow 500-foot towers, which are still in use today throughout the United States. Phil Nelson says that during the process, they met some resistance from their peers who thought cell phone

The many facets of Hamilton Telecommunications Learn more about Hamilton Telecommunications and its affiliations and company divisions. • HamiltonTel.com • HamiltonRelay.com • HamiltonCapTel.com • Hamilton.net • HamiltonISBusiness.com • HamiltonManagedHosting.com • HamiltonTelephone.com • HamiltonLongDistance.com • MidStateTV.com

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A story of persistence Earl Nelson worked on a construction crew at Northwestern Bell building telephone lines in Iowa in the 1930s, at the height of the Great Depression. “They would all build pole lines, stay at hotels and come back on Friday night,” Phil Nelson recounts. And every Friday night, as the Depression worsened, employees were laid off based on their seniority with the company. “Everybody checked the list each Friday to see if their names were on it,” he says. “And sure enough, one Friday Dad’s name made the list.” Nelson said his father sought advice from a good friend who told him to show up Monday morning, climb back on that truck and keep building telephone poles. “Dad’s friend told him, ‘Earl, the worst thing that can happen is you don’t get paid,’” Phil Nelson adds. “So Dad went down and climbed on the truck and built pole lines all week. When Friday rolled around, there was his paycheck.” And nobody ever said a word about it. Earl worked another 23 years for Northwestern Bell.

usage was a fad and wouldn’t amount to anything because, “not many people wanted to have telephones in their cars.” Today, Hamilton has partnered with six other telecommunication companies to form NebraskaLink, a consortium of independent companies that provide broadband information transport services across Nebraska. Adapting to change

Earl Nelson

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The keys to longevity in the telecommunications business are flexibility and a willingness to diversify the ways in which telecommunications products and services are delivered. Hamilton Telecommunications has expanded and diversified over the last century to include seven different yet closely related business lines: telephone, long distance, managed hosting and colocation, cable television, Internet service, information systems management and telephone relay services. Gary Warren, president of Hamilton’s service corporation, says the company takes pride in bringing big-city technology to the rural areas of central Nebraska. “Through the years, we’ve had a history of firsts. From switchboard technology to digital switching to fiber optics, Hamilton has prided itself on being a pioneer. We’re

ready, willing and able to affect change, just as long as the end result is good for our customers and optimizes the high levels of service we’re committed to providing.” Commitment to community Hamilton has a long history of giving back to the community. “The company’s philosophy has always been, if it’s good for the community, it’s good for Hamilton,” says Phil Nelson. Early on, Hamilton set a goal to help broaden Aurora’s economic base. The company partnered with other businesses to create the Aurora Development Corporation (ADC), which has remained strong for 50 years and is comprised of 250 members. The ADC buys land, helps build buildings and installs infrastructure to developing areas. Warren says when the company wasn’t sure whether the Internet was a passing fad, the ADC put together an information technology group and helped steer the technology within Aurora and its surrounding communities. The company also holds a strong commitment to its workforce and to the economic well being of its community partners. In addition to co-founding the ADC nearly 50 years ago, the company offers internships to high school and college students. “We really want to see students come out of high school and college with the types of backgrounds that will help them be successful,” John Nelson adds. “Hamilton, working together with the community of Aurora, has been a major building block in the growth of our company in a lot of ways,” John


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“We have had several people who came to work for us in high school for the summer on an internship program and

spent their entire careers here.” — John Nelson

Nelson says. “We have gone beyond the community with our business lines, but that foundation is very important to us.” A multi-generational company Not unlike father, son and grandson owners Earl, Phil and John Nelson, Hamilton has proudly employed many multi-generational families throughout its long history. “We have had several people who came to work for us in high school for the summer on an internship program and spent their entire careers here,” he says. In fact, Nelson cites several examples of families who are on their second and third generations of working for Hamilton. “One thing we have always tried to do — and we’ve been successful at — is cross training employees,” says John Nelson. “ Not only does it allow us to respond rapidly to changes in technology, it’s imperative should a crisis occur.”

On the horizon “As long as our family has been involved with Hamilton Telecommunications, we have always held the philosophy that our systems should have more capacity than the local customer base could anticipate using,” Phil Nelson states. The biggest trend the company sees is the need for the “fat pipe” referring to the high-speed communication channels through which audio, video and data files travel. Behind the scenes, the technology is complex and cutting edge, and Hamilton’s executives are committed to connecting its residential and business customers to the rest of the world. “The Aurora and Hamilton Counties of the world really have to stay on top of technology if they are going to have the quality of life that they have had for the past few years, particularly in a global economy,” Warren says.

Services such as movie streaming, e-mail, and video telephone will be simple to use, thanks to Hamilton’s high-speed communication channels. Hard to believe it all started with a cadre of live telephone operators just over a century ago.

Betty VanLuchene, 46-year employee HAMILTO N CELEBRATES | S E PT E M B E R 2011

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HAMILTON: A walk through H

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one hundred ten years

1837: Invention of the telegraph. 1876: Alexander Bell transmits this now-famous sentence over the telephone: “Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!” 1877: The first long-distance telephone line is installed. 1886: The first private line in Aurora is installed in the home of J. H. Bell. 1891: An undertaker named Almon Strowger patents the first automatic telephone exchange, out of frustration of switchboard operators who accept payments from other undertakers for directing calls their way. Strowger said customers — not switchboard operators — should choose their businesses! 1893: Nebraska Telephone (Bell) opens its first “automatic” exchange in Aurora. 1893: Ten four-party lines in Aurora begin serving 39 subscribers. 1894: Fifty-four people subscribe to the party lines. 1898: Manual service is established with 46 subscribers and an increase of eight by the end of the next year. 1901: Hamilton is incorporated as Hamilton County Farmers Telephone Association, a farmers cooperative. Calls were made by switchboard operators who worked out of their homes. The first stock certificate is issued to N. W. Titman. 1901: There are a total of 1,088 stockholders.

1904: There are more than 3 million phones in the United States, all connected by switchboard exchanges. 1908: The minute books of Hamilton County Farmers Telephone Association report 1,634 telephone subscribers. 1913: A new central office is built at 1109 K Street in Aurora at a cost of $4,500. 1914: A Kellogg universal switch board of 600 drops, with capabilities of up to 1,200 drops, is shipped to Aurora. The new system includes a switchboard and an electric power plant to allow for private lines to be installed so the ringing of one would not disturb others. 1915: First U.S. coast-to-coast longdistance telephone call is ceremoniously inaugurated by A. G. Bell in New York City and his former assistant Thomas Augustus Watson in San Francisco, Calif. 1919: The first rotary-dial telephones are installed in Virginia. AT&T measured the heads of more than 4,000 people in order to engineer headsets that allow users to hear from the earpiece while talking in the mouthpiece. 1927: Transatlantic telephone service is inaugurated. 1935: A loss of six percent of phone lines in operation is reported at the

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34th annual meeting of the Hamilton County Farmers Telephone Association due to extreme drought conditions. 1938: A storm consisting of wind and sleet causes $12,000 damage to Hamilton property. $12,000 in 1938 has the same buying power as $182,649.17 in 2011. 1946: The national numbering plan is established, giving area codes to telephone numbers. 1948: Cable television becomes available in the United States. 1951: Direct Distance Dialing (DDD) is developed, allowing callers to directly dial people and businesses outside their local calling areas without operator assistance. 1951: A vote at the 50th annual meeting changes the corporate name to Hamilton County Telephone Company. 1959: Earl Nelson and Paul Dunlap begin purchasing stock from stockholders of the Hamilton County Telephone Company in Aurora. 1961: Hamilton is purchased by Earl Nelson and Paul Dunlap with 1,500 shares of stock valued at $70 a share. -Touch-tone dialing is introduced to the public on a trial basis. -There are 3,196 Hamilton telephone subscribers.


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-A $1 million improvement program is unveiled by Walt Hudson to convert the rest of the Hamilton County Telephone Company system. Exchanges to receive dial service are Aurora, Giltner, Doniphan, Phillips and Marquette. The switchboard being replaced is the original one installed in 1914 and is deemed inadequate for the traffic. 1967: Mid-State Community TV is founded. 1968: Cable television is made available through Mid-State Community TV in Aurora, Albion and Fullerton. 1970s: Ninety-nine percent of Hamilton Telecommunications’ infrastructure is upgraded and networked underground rather than in above-ground telephone wires. 1973: Motorola places the first cellular telephone call. 1976: The great ice storm of 1976 wipes out the entire outside infrastructure of Hamilton. Late 1970s: Hamilton installs its first data circuit connection that travels interstate from Aurora to Hutchinson, Kansas. The speed of the data connection is 300 bits per second (Bps). 1980: Hamilton Telephone Company has 7,956 telephone lines. 1981: Hamilton Telephone installs its first digital switch, an ITT 1210. It is only the second of its type in the United States. The new system has significantly fewer moving parts and requires considerably less maintenance. 1981: All rural phone lines are buried, totaling 1,050 miles of buried cable serving 4,950 access lines. 1981: Hamilton employs 37 people including Phil Nelson. 1983: Hamilton Telephone begins its fiber-optic cable infrastructure upgrade.

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1985: The company completes its first self-healing fiber optic ring. 1986: Aurora Telemarketing, Inc. is founded. Hamilton’s involvement in diverse business lines, like ATI, is made possible by the deregulation of the telephone industry.

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2001: Hamilton expands to Grand Island and North Platte, Neb., and its Information Systems and Internet Service divisions are established. 2004: Grand Island and North Platte become the third and forth cities in the United States to offer commercially available 3G services.

1989: Hamilton, along with all telephone companies in the state of Nebraska, is involved in creating Nebraska Cellular.

2004: Hamilton begins offering Captioned Telephone Service through Ultratec, Inc. 2006: Hamilton opens a relay center in Georgia.

1990: Hamilton Relay Division is founded in order to provide services to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. This service is later mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

2007: Hamilton opens a relay center in Maryland. 2008: Hamilton opens a relay center in Massachusetts.

1991: Nebraska Relay Service begins with 15 relay operators and two supervisor interpreters.

2010: Hamilton forms a partnership with six other telecommunications companies to create NebraskaLink. The goal of NebraskaLink is to provide broadband information transport services across Nebraska.

1994: Hamilton Relay opens a relay center in Nebraska. 1995: Hamilton Telecommunications is branded and Hamilton.net is founded. Internet is available at 14.4 K (14,000 bits per second) dial-up speed through a T1 line to Lincoln. Caller ID is established nationwide. 1997: Hamilton installs a Lucent 5ESS Digital Class 5 Switch — the newest technology at its time.

2011: Hamilton begins providing captioning services from its headquarters in Aurora, Neb. with 22 assistants, one trainer and one supervisor. 2011: Hamilton Telephone makes the change to 10 digit dialing due to the growing demand for more telephone numbers in the 402 area code.

1998: Hamilton opens a relay center in Louisiana. 1998: Hamilton.net installs its first DSL subscriber line with speed available as fast as 768K or 768,000 bits per second. 1999: Hamilton opens a relay center in Wisconsin. Hamilton founds its Long Distance Division.

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2011: Hamilton offers residential DSL speeds as high as 15 million bits per second, which is more than 100,000 times as fast as the first data connection the company sold in the late 1970s.

The more you know Stay informed about the latest from Hamilton Telecommunications. For more information: • Visit HamiltonTel.com • Call 402-694-5101

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Woods & Aitken congratulates Hamilton Telecommunications on 110 years of leadership in the telecommunications industry.

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A Proud Partner For Over 40 Years!

Mike Nelson Land Development has plowed cable for Hamilton throughout the county beginning in the 1970s. We’re proud of that association, and being a partner in growth.

MIKE NELSON LAND DEVELOPMENT Mike & Gail Nelson Aurora, Nebraska • (402) 694-6848

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Hamilton Telephone and Long Distance have 110-year history of providing telephone services to central Nebraska One hundred ten years ago, if a farmer were modern enough to own a telephone and needed to reach the doctor, he picked up the handset and turned the crank. In turn, the crank sent a ring to the home of a Hamilton Telephone operator. The operator would then patch the call through to the doctor. This was exactly how the telephone system operated in 1901 when the Hamilton County Farmers Cooperative Telephone Company was incorporated. Operators ran switchboards out of their homes, which the telephone company provided rentfree in exchange for being on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Shortly after Earl Nelson and Paul Dunlap bought Hamilton in 1961, the company implemented dial service, whereby subscribers could pick up the phone and place a local call without the assistance of an operator. Eventually, operators manning home-based switchboards were replaced by long-distance operators, who worked in shifts out of a central office. The advancement of telephone Since the installation of dial service, customers have heard and seen several changes in the ways in which they are able to contact others. From listening for “two longs and a short” to one-digit and two-digit dialing; one solo ring; looking at caller ID; and dialing 10 digits as we do today, the way we communicate over the telephone has changed significantly. Today, that same farmer can reach his physician by telephone, mobile phone, e-mail, text messaging and through the Internet. Pat Shaw, general manager of Hamilton Telephone and Long Distance, says as customers ask for more options to be available, Hamilton Telephone and Long Distance will provide them. On the horizon are a three-mile fiber optic expansion into rural areas, bundling options for services and interactive voice mail. In 2010, Hamilton began a project that would bring fiber optic cable closer to its customers. Dubbed the “Three Mile Project,” Hamilton is currently laying an additional 125 miles of fiber three feet beneath the ground to be no farther than three miles from each customer adding more nodes along the way. The project will take nearly two years to complete, after which it will run the same nine exchanges with 40 nodes. To provide a ”fat pipe” to its customers, Hamilton buries a hair-thin fiber optic cable in the ground that has the capacity to carry billions of bits of digital information and through which audio, video and data files travel.

The more you know

• Visit HamiltonTelephone.com

• Call 402-694-5101 for local service

Stay informed about the latest in Hamilton • Visit HamiltonLongDistance.com • E-mail LongDistance@Hamilton.net Telephone Company and Hamilton Long •C  all 402-694-6691 for long distance or Info@HamiltonTelephone.com Distance. For information: 14

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This incredible leap forward in fiber optic technology enables Hamilton to offer customers expanded service opportunities. This includes long distance services and connections for business customers across the region and nation, as well as faster speeds for customers who utilize Internetbased services. The fat pipe also means that services such as video streaming, high-definition television and Internet will be faster, more reliable and sharper than ever before. “For years, Hamilton has been serving its residents and businesses with reliable and affordable long distance. Our hope is that communities will embrace the concept of the fat pipe and what it brings to them,” Shaw says. “Customers will be able to add items to dress up their services with whatever they want.” Interactive voice mail is an example of one emerging technology that Shaw says replaces old technology where users dial a number and press a series of buttons to retrieve messages.

Full-service telephone and long distance Hamilton Telephone service includes a host of convenient calling features and a large local toll-free calling area. • Call waiting allows callers to be put on hold while other calls are answered. This feature can be turned on and off from a home computer • Speed dialing assigns oneand two-digit dialing codes to frequently dialed numbers • Three-way calling allows users to conduct conference calls with two other callers at the same time • Last call return is also known as automatic callback • Repeat dialing automatically continues to try to reach a busy number and signals the caller when it rings through •C  all hold allows the user to put callers on hold while making other calls

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The new technology allows users to bring up messages via a website and have text or e-mail messages sent to a device of their choice. Users set up incoming calls to go where they wish. Families will receive one greeting, while business associates will receive another. The person who dials doesn’t know the user’s phone number is used for both business and personal use — and, perhaps best of all, users don’t have to take business home with them. Service area Hamilton Telephone and Hamilton Long Distance provide local telephone services to residents in rural areas of Hamilton, Hall and Clay counties, as well as residents in these central Nebraska communities: Aurora, Doniphan, Giltner, Hampton, Hordville, Marquette, Phillips, Stockham and Trumbull. Hamilton Long Distance also provides its services to business customers on a regional and national basis. •C  all forwarding allows calls to be redirected to another number. Preferred call forwarding allows the most important calls to be forwarded selectively, while other calls ring to the user’s phone •C  all forwarding busy and call forwarding no answer send calls to another telephone number or to voice mail when the line is busy, so important calls are not interrupted •D  irect Connect automatically dials a programmed number when the receiver is lifted from the switch, which allows quick dialing in an emergency •U  nique ring assigns unique ringtones to special callers •C  all acceptance and call rejection accepts calls only from a select list of numbers and reject calls from a select list of numbers •H  ome intercom assigns extensions to phones in the home and allows the user to speak through the extensions within the home

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The Great Ice Storm of 1976 During the night of March 29, 1976, a severe ice and wind storm struck Nebraska, shutting down power to more than 100,000 residents in a 10,000-square-mile area in 16 counties. The storm moved across Nebraska, depositing heavy snow and miles of ice on power lines: Mile after mile of line buckled under the tremendous weight of snow-laden wire that in many instances reached six inches in diameter, whipped by tornadic winds of 60 and even 70 miles per hour.* Hamilton Telecommunications knew it would need several generators to power up its service stations, but first it powered up a generator at the local gas station. After all, what good is a generator if it doesn’t have the fuel it needs? Nebraska Public Power District reported losing more than 6,650 of its power poles. It took days to restore power and, in some rural areas, several weeks. Hamilton lost 500 miles of telephone lines and over 2,500 telephone poles that night. Surviving the storm was the persistence and effort of many people. The cost of rebuilding was high, but the incredible commitment of the employees to both Hamilton and the community was greater. “Basically, we had to rebuild the infrastructure by burying our telephone lines. It was estimated that this project would take three years to complete”, says Hamilton CEO Phil Nelson. “Our employees literally worked night and day to restore service. Many slept at the office or in their cars and trucks. Others put in 16 and 18 hour days. Everyone knew how important this project was to our customers – and to our future. And you know what?” Nelson quips, “We completed the project in three months.” * From “The Storm,” published by the Nebraska Public Power District.

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Shopping Hamilton Information Systems offers computer and networking solutions for business clients

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onvenience is everything in today’s world. For both residential and business customers, being able to stop at one place for all technology needs is critical. Hamilton Information Systems offers customers just that: a one–stop shop for information technology needs. For Hamilton Information Systems and its employees, success has been determined by the company’s ability to innovate, implement and support new products and services that truly are an asset to its customers. “Our focus has always been on delivering quality, cost effective service with customized solutions for our business customers. We try to provide one-on-one personal service coupled with an extremely high level of customer interaction,” says Dan Molliconi, vice president of Hamilton Information Systems. Since purchasing Computer Spectrum, Inc. (CSI) and founding Hamilton Information Systems in 2001, Hamilton has been able to leverage CSI’s experience in network management and computer sales/services with Hamilton’s own substantial experience in Information Technology (IT) and business phone systems. From day one, the business line has been on the forefront of information technology and management.

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Today, Hamilton Information Systems provides a wide array of services to business and residential customers alike. Offering network monitoring and management; telephony and business phone systems; network consultation and design; managed hosting and colocation; hardware sales and leasing; and contract service and support, the company has diversified its services to provide convenient one-stop shopping for its customers. Network monitoring and management Molliconi describes network monitoring as “peace of mind, knowing that somebody is watching every granule of their network every minute of the day and making sure they are performing at optimal levels.” The service — a proactive approach to business network and maintenance — is an affordable way for businesses to monitor their systems. Depending on what the user wants monitored, the service can monitor computer networks and go as deep as a specific printer, laptop or even a software program if needed. For example, network monitoring can alert a customer when its hard drive has reached 80 percent capacity or its server is running over 60 percent capacity.


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“We look at trends, set critical limits and then proactively fix something before it affects the functionality of the customer’s network,” Molliconi says. Hamilton works closely with the clients to determine cost effective strategies that increase network efficiency, reliability and security. Consequently, seamless communication with clients regarding proactive approaches like planned upgrades and consultations are needed. Network consultation and design Business network needs are as individual as their business operations, and Hamilton Information System’s experts consult with businesses to design and create custom networks to meet their unique needs. Telephony network and business phone systems To the end-user, a phone is a phone; but behind the walls, the way in which businesses connect with the world has shifted from mechanical to electronic to computer-based connections. “From a user perspective, today’s business telephone system has the look and feel of a telephone, but it’s really another access device to a specialized computer or Internet Protocol (IP)based system that transmits voice,” says Molliconi. Partnering with well-known business phone system providers like Avaya, Hamilton can easily design, install and support a phone system that meets individual business needs. Additionally, highly trained technicians are available to assist all needs. Managed hosting and colocation As businesses of all sizes and industries expand their information technology infrastructure, the importance of that infrastructure being operational around the clock and without failure has grown. So has the demand for data center services. Managed hosting allows businesses to store critical applications and data on redundant offsite location blade servers. Colocation, on the other hand, allows a business to store its own servers in

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Hamilton’s securely monitored facility. Businesses access information securely through the Internet or a dedicated connection. Hamilton’s state-ofthe-art facility plays a key role in providing a secure environment for valuable intellectual property to be accessed and stored. “We have an ideal environment with temperature control, humidity control, backup power, fire suppression and security,” Molliconi says. Hardware sales and leasing Designed exclusively for business clients, Hamilton Information Services sells and leases equipment, based on customer needs. For businesses interested in the functionality of computer and telephone equipment but not necessarily in maintaining the equipment, leasing hardware may make sense. The company’s technical and/or sales experts consult with businesses and offer options for hardware sales and leasing that best fit the unique needs of the customer. Contract service and support Hamilton Information Systems offers contracted IT service and support solutions that help businesses cut their overall IT expenses. Businesses that would otherwise have to hire, train and maintain their own information technology departments and staffs choose Hamilton to support their business’s IT needs. Others choose to maintain their staff but utilize Hamilton’s expertise to supplement its capabilities. The future is here Molliconi, who has been with the company for 16 years, says he sees a trend toward more data security, cloud services, virtual desktop solutions and wide area network (WAN) services that connect computers that are located far apart.

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Cloud services and virtual desktop solutions go hand-in-hand. Think of them as a large warehouse that stores information needed to run a traditional business. Employees connect to the warehouse through a computer terminal. Desktop PCs are eliminated, and no matter where an employee is, he or she can log in to the warehouse and use his or her virtual desktop. Downtime is minimal because when a terminal goes bad, it’s unplugged, removed and replaced by a new one; the employee logs back on and goes right back to work. Molliconi says the virtual desktop system is highly encrypted and provides security that is comparable to a desktop or laptop computer. Hamilton Information Systems recently added security camera technology to its portfolio of services. The technology is available to businesses as small as daycare centers to as large and vulnerable as ethanol plants — and the capabilities required to monitor those businesses are just as varied. “For example,” Molliconi says, “some of our cameras are heated in winter, cooled in summer. They can even have windshield wipers on the lenses if that is what they need.” The company will continue to remain competitive as a leader in cutting edge technology and a convenient, one-stop shopping resource for businesses of all sizes – from all industries. For Hamilton Information Systems, the future is now.

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s companies rely more on cloud computing with managed hosting, they look for services that will keep their large volumes of valuable information safe, as well as accessible around the clock. Hamilton Managed Hosting helps its clients meet that need by offering managed hosting services, virtual server hosting and equipment colocation. “Managed hosting is more than an electronic repository of applications and critical data in an offsite location,” says Dan Molliconi, vice president of 18

Hamilton Information Systems. “It includes the day to day management of those services and the environment in which they reside.” Virtual server hosting allows all server functionality to exist independently of the physical hardware on which it runs. When the hardware needs to be shut down for maintenance — or even in the event of unanticipated hardware failures — a virtual server can migrate to redundant hardware immediately, seamlessly and without interruption.

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“Further,” Molliconi says, “the virtual environment allows companies to pay for only the processing capacity and storage capacities they need and provides additional options and flexibility for the backup and restoration process.” Equipment or storage space colocation is offered to clients in two forms: leased space or leased equipment, depending on the needs of the business. To ensure client data will always be available, the client’s information is stored in Hamilton’s state of the art blade center facility with


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SAN (storage area network) which are devices that contain multiple redundant hard drives. As an additional service offered, clients can use Hamilton’s network monitoring services to oversee all aspects of their network and bring visibility to their entire system. This allows Hamilton and/or client technicians to monitor and actively resolve small problems before they are even noticed by the business or their customers and before they escalate into something more serious.

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Hamilton’s data center is also connected to ringed fiber providers. The rings are self healing and provide a redundancy in service so that businesses do not experience down time. As data becomes more complicated — with more video, audio and graphics capabilities — the demand for bandwidth has grown even more. Hamilton’s partnership with a variety of carriers to provide diverse and ringed connections has been key in providing fast and reliable connections for end users. The connection to these competitive carriers

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allows Hamilton to pass along cost savings to its clients. Molliconi says managed hosting gives companies peace of mind, so they can focus on their day-to-day operations, while Hamilton takes care of the hardware and software that those day-today operations rely on. “We are here to make sure their business information is secure and that their data is redundant and protected so that they can continue focusing on making their business productive and successful,” he says.

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C

ongratulations to Hamilton Telecommunications on the occasion of their 110th Anniversary! Hamilton Telecommunications was instrumental in creating and shaping the vision for NebraskaLink, Nebraska’s Broadband Network, and we are proud to share in their milestone anniversary celebration.

www.nebraskalink.com 402-489-3092

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Congratulations on 110 amazing years!

Tunnel Mill Polymer, Inc. tunnelmill.com


We’re Proud

to be business partners with Hamilton Telecommunications

852 S. 16th St. • Aurora • 402-694-3439 920 N Diers Ave. • Grand Island • 877-718-4704

From Hamiltonʼs friends at

C O O P E R, W H I T E & C O O P E R L L P ( e s t . 18 9 6 )

CONGRATUL ATIONS ON 110 YEARS! C OOPER WH I T E & C OOPER S a n F r a n c i s c o | Wa l n u t C r e e k c wc l a w. c o m

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n 1993, Hamilton formed an Information Task Force Committee and determined from customer feedback that it made sense to expand the telephone company into the realm of online technology. In 1995, that idea became a reality when Hamilton.net was founded as a way to offer online access of information to residents in Hamilton’s local exchange area. At that time, Hamilton. net offered a 14.4 Kbps dial-up speed to customers through a T1 line to Lincoln. Hamilton.net’s services continue to grow as fast as Internet technology is changing.

Speed of

Life Hamilton.net: Internet access gets faster for central Nebraska residents and businesses

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In 1998, Hamilton installed its first DSL connection (a then-blazing 768Kbps). A year later, the same service was offered to customers in Aurora, Doniphan, and Marquette. By 2002, DSL service was available to all of Hamilton’s telephone subscribers, no matter how remote. As a leader in the Internet industry, the company was the first in the state to offer licensed broadband wireless Internet service in 2004. Additionally, by bringing the service to Grand Island and North Platte they were the third and fourth cities in the entire United States to have 3G services commercially available (Washington D.C. and San Diego were first and second cities). Today, Hamilton.net offers DSL, broadband wireless and dial-up services to approximately 6,000 square miles of Nebraska. DSL service is offered to the Hamilton local exchange area of Aurora, Doniphan, Giltner, Hampton, Hordville, Marquette, Phillips, Stockham and Trumbull, covering 600 square miles. Broadband wireless internet service covers an additional 5,400 square miles of Nebraska and includes the communities and surrounding areas

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of Grand Island, North Platte, Kearney, Central City, St. Paul, Ord, and Sidney. For businesses and individuals looking to expand their presence in the online world, Hamilton.net offers cost effective options for Internet access, core network services, bandwidth access and transport solutions for businesses. The company is always looking for ways to deliver faster speed and quality Internet service to its customers, which involves several key components. Along with the fiber optic technology in which Hamilton Telecommunications has already invested, Hamilton partnered with six other companies to form NebraskaLink. This state-of–theart fiber optic network runs throughout the state of Nebraska and uses new and existing infrastructure. One of the many benefits that Hamilton receives from this partnership is access to large amounts of bandwidth, which Hamilton can make available to customers throughout the state. Adding even more reliability to information delivery, Hamilton.net is a ringed provider, which means information comes and goes on many paths, so if one patch should fail, which is extremely rare, the information seamlessly flows through another path. “We have a lot of exciting things happening right now,” says Dan Molliconi, vice president of Hamilton.net. “We look forward to the changes that will continue to take place with technology as we continue to expand our delivery and availability.” Hamilton.net is truly keeping up with the Speed of Life.

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Hamilton.net offers complete services to business and residential users Hamilton.net offers an array of services for individuals and businesses that are looking to expand their presence online. From dial-up service for grandparents who just want to e-mail their grandchildren to highspeed wireless Internet access for users who upload video, audio and large data files, Hamilton.net is the go-to company. •W  eb hosting that includes website storage, domain registration and web design if needed • Internet access using a variety of reliable, fast and cost effective technologies to bring Internet to the home or business •C  ore network services, which is the design, configuration and maintenance of highly reliable, commercial grade Internet service provider networks • Bandwidth, access and transport services for businesses

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Congratulations to

Hamilton Telecommunications for your innovative leadership in helping our community grow and prosper.

Wortmans of Aurora

HAMILTON RELAY FOR ITS DEDICATION TO INNOVATION AND SERVICE

Wortman Motor Co.

Legal Advisors to the COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY 2300 N Street, NW • Suite 700 • Washington, DC 20037 TEL 202.783.4141 • FAX 202.783.5851 1430 Wynkoop Street • Suite 201 • Denver, CO 80202 TEL 303.626.2350 • FAX 303.626.2351

Congrats www.wbklaw.com

Wortman Enterprises

Ken’s Motel

Congratulations on your 110th anniversary! nebraskablue.com Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska is an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Modern Motel & Campground 24

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roud to serve as independent accountant, consultant and business advisor to Hamilton Telecommunications for over 30 years!

Congratulations Hamilton Telecommunications on your 110 year anniversary.

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n 1967, in order to receive a clear picture on your color television set, you had to live close to the TV station. For anyone who lived a distance away from the station, reception deteriorated rapidly. The solution? Community Antenna TV (CATV) companies built towers that would help residents who lived near the towers receive clear pictures and improved TV service. That was the same time that Phil Nelson, president of Mid-State Community TV, decided to expand his business. He envisioned offering television programming to residents of Aurora, Albion and Fullerton who were unable to be reached through the airways using conventional broadcast signals.

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With those three communities, MidState Community TV, Inc. began delivering cable television service. However, shortly after starting the new business, a customer called to complain: her color television picture still wasn’t any clearer than it was before. So Nelson drove to the customer’s home to look at her television set. It was black and white. Nelson explained that she’d need a color television set in order to receive color television programming – and a Hamilton tradition of delivering quality customer care was upheld. Throughout its 44-year history, Mid-State has made significant changes in the way the company provides information and entertainment to its customers. When Mid-State Community TV began, it offered a basic cable lineup that included five channels plus a weather channel for $4.95 per month. Today, the company’s offerings include HDTV, TiVo, digital programming, parental controls, digital music channels, premium movie channels and an interactive on-screen programming guide. In addition, the company now serves thousands of customers in Aurora, Hampton, Giltner, Trumbull, Doniphan, Phillips Platte View Estates, Marquette and Hordville.

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Mid-State’s commitment to its customers, which is just as strong as it was back in 1967, is demonstrated by the company’s at-the-ready response to meeting the ever changing needs and requests of customers. In June 2011, Mid-State Community TV, Inc. reorganized its entire channel line up and added 10 new high definition (HDTV) channels. As a result, MidState now offers a total of 79 basic cable channels; 25 cable plus channels; and 22 movie channels. Flat-screen televisions with HDTV capabilities work best when connected to cable television service that offers HDTV channels. High definition means just that: The pictures that appear on your television screens have one to two million pixels per frame, which is about five times that of standard-definition TV. Sound is high quality, and pictures are crystal clear. The difference between standard- and high definition are clear to the naked eye: Videos in HD are so crisp, you can even see individual blades of grass on a football field. In order to provide high definition service, Mid-State had to install equipment that would support large amounts of data. The more complicated television programming gets with increasing amounts of data — for example, 24-hour news shows with tickers and pictures within pictures — the bigger the demand for bandwidth on the channels.

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At home, viewers see crisp nonpixilated pictures, all the while unaware of the complex infrastructure behind the scenes that has been installed to support viewer’s favorite programs, such as two hours of “American Idol.” Pat Shaw, Mid-State Community TV general manager, explains that the company’s recent channel reorganization not only added HDTV channels, it also grouped together similar channels — sports, news, movies, for example — to make it easier for customers to find their favorite types of programming. For one 86-year old customer, however, the new HD channel line-up caused a bit of confusion. “When she called to tell us that her favorite TV shows weren’t showing up where they were supposed to be, we sent a service technician to her home,” Shaw remembers. “He took the time to show her where all of her favorite channels had gone. And he even highlighted them on her channel guide,” Shaw adds. “We didn’t miss a beat.” For Mid-State TV, delivering quality television programming with a foremost commitment to its customers means going beyond delivering great customer service. It means that the company will continue to look for new opportunities and ways to expand and grow to meet the changing needs of customers. “It’s what we’ve been doing for the past 44 years,” says Shaw, “and it’s what we plan to do for at least 44 more.”

Our Communities Mid-State Community TV provides quality cable television to the following central Nebraska communities: • Aurora • Doniphan • Giltner • Hampton

• Hordville • Marquette • Trumbull • Phillips Platte View Estates

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Congr atul ations on this remarkable 110 year milestone, Hamilton. From your friends at:

Hearing Loss Association of America

A Show of Success! Congratulations to everyone at Hamilton for 110 years of innovative communications.

Set your mind

Shaping An Accessible World www.TDIforAccess.org

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in motion.


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Interesting Hamilton Facts: In 1901 telephone subscribers were charged $1.50/ month for a business phone, $1/month for residential phone and 75¢/month for a farm line. In 1908 there were 1,634 telephone subscribers in Aurora. Today there are 5,146 access lines.

In 1901 the salary pay of a secretary, treasurer or general manager was $75 per month for each position.

In 1908 a bill for $10 was presented to board members from a lineman for horse feed. It was declined but later brought back in front of the board. The bill was approved to pay the lineman $10 a month for horse feed as long as he supplied the buggy. In 1967 Mid-State Community TV began offering cable television programming with five channels and a weather channel at a cost of $4.95/ per month. In 1995 Internet access was offered at a 14.4 Kbps dialup speed through a T1 line to Lincoln, Neb.

Keith Penner, 44-year employee

Hamilton began publishing its telephone book in 1942 and has continued to do so each year since then, for a total of 69 telephone books published to date! In 1942 a long distance station-to-station rate was based on a charge of approximately 5 cents for each 6 miles up to 24 miles and 5 cents for each 8 miles beyond that distance, with a minimum charge of 10 cents.

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In 1950 monthly statements were not sent out in order to save money for the telephone company. Bills were payable in advance, before the 10th of the month. In 1957 a long-distance call person-to-person from Aurora, Neb. to Washington D.C. cost $2.50 for the first three minutes during week days before 6 pm. Long-distance calls person-to-person from Aurora, Neb. to Portland, Oregon cost $2.65 for the first three minutes during week days before 6 p.m. The rate for an initial period of three minutes did not include the federal tax. Hamilton directories began including a classified section in 1954. Today, Hamilton employs 400-500 people nationwide. Betty VanLuchene, Hamilton’s longest tenured employee, has worked at the company since 1965, for a total of 46 years. Phil Nelson and Keith Penner were hired in 1967, each with 44 years of employment with Hamilton. Hamilton continues to run as a family-and independently owned business.

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Freedom

Connected that Comes from Staying

Hamilton Relay provides specialized telecommunications services nationwide for individuals with hearing loss or who have difficulty speaking

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ver wonder how individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have difficulty speaking communicate with their family, friends, businesses, and loved ones over the telephone? Individuals who once relied on others to make their calls for them, or even avoided the phone altogether now have telecommunications services available that allow them the freedom to converse with whomever they choose, however they choose. In the beginning Hamilton Telecommunications entered into the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) business in 1991 and in 2003 expanded its services to include Captioned Telephone (CapTelŽ). In 1990, the company’s leadership recognized that it already

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had the ability to successfully provide relay service, making it possible for hearing individuals to communicate via the telephone with individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking. With experience in call center operations and operator services, Hamilton Telecommunications established its first relay center and hired operators — about 14 at the time — to facilitate relay calls. The most common call allowed an individual who was deaf or hard of hearing to type their messages to the operator, who would then read everything word for word to the other party. When it was time for the other party to respond, the operator would type everything heard back to the individual who was deaf or hard of hearing. “When we first entered into the market, our primary competitors were AT&T, MCI, and Sprint, and we really had to work to overcome their national

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brand recognition,” recalls John Nelson, president of Hamilton Relay. “I remember hearing that when Hamilton was selected to be Nebraska Relay’s first provider, a prominent member of the deaf community expressed concern that such an essential service was in the hands of a relatively unknown company and he challenged us throughout the startup process. When we began taking calls at midnight, Jan. 1, 1991, he was one of our first customers. Later that night, he called my father, who was still in the office, to tell him how pleased he was that our communications assistants (CAs) had handled the call in a prompt and professional manner. That experience set the tone for our customer relationships in relay; the customers that challenge us the most are often the ones that bring out our best.” Over the years, a variety of services accommodating a variety of individuals and lifestyles continued to develop. Today, Hamilton Telecommunications has grown to employ operators, better known as CAs, in six call centers throughout the United States.

Hamilton Relay Services provides contracted relay and / or captioned telephone services to 17 states, the District of Columbia and two U.S. territories: 1. Arizona 2. California 3. D.C. 4. Georgia 5. Idaho 6. Iowa 7. Kansas 8. Louisiana 9. Maine 10. Maryland

11. Massachusetts 12. Montana 13. New Mexico 14. Pennsylvania 15. Rhode Island 16. Tennessee 17. Utah 18. Virginia 19. Saipan 20. U.S. Virgin Islands

In addition, Hamilton offers nationwide Internet Relay and National CapTel services (800i, Web and Mobile). HAMILTO N CELEBRATES | S E PT E M B E R 2011

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Services offered: Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Relay calls are simple and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services offered include the following: • TTY for deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals • Voice Carry Over for individuals who have hearing loss and use their voice to speak • Speech-To-Speech and Hearing Carry Over for individuals who have difficulty speaking • Spanish Relay Internet relay Hamilton Internet Relay allows users to connect to relay using a computer, web device or wireless device. In the same way TRS calls are facilitated, a CA facilitates Internet Relay calls — by “voicing” or reading aloud everything the user types to the other party and then typing everything the other party says to the user. In that way, the user can read the conversation on their screen or device. Hamilton Captioned Telephone This service allows individuals who have difficulty hearing on the phone to listen while reading captions of what’s said to them. Behind the scenes, a specially trained operator uses voice recognition technology to generate captions by repeating what the standard phone user says. The captions then appear on the bright, easy-to-read display screen of the uniquely designed CapTel phone. Hamilton also offers CapTel service via the Web and select mobile devices. With Hamilton Web CapTel, a user

For more information on Hamilton Relay Services: • Visit HamiltonRelay.com or HamiltonCapTel.com • Call voice/TTY toll free (800) 618-4781 • Email: Info@HamiltonRelay.com • Connect to Relay by dialing 711 32

with an Internet connection and standard web browser can see every word a caller says on a computer screen while using a standard or mobile telephone. Hamilton Mobile CapTel has expanded options even farther, as users can connect nearly anytime or anywhere using special apps designed for iPhone®, BlackBerry®, and Android™ Smartphones. How one user realized the benefits of Hamilton CapTel Scott Vannoy, Captioned Telephone user, spent most of his life talking to people over the telephone through his wife, Carole. That was until he was introduced to technology that allowed him to talk with his friends and business associates directly over the telephone with Hamilton Captioned Telephone. “I called a friend using CapTel and it was great not to guess about what I was hearing,” Vannoy says. “I immediately felt a sense of confidence.”

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Lori Sporrer, Relay Iowa outreach coordinator, remembers watching Vannoy make his first captioned telephone call. “As he dialed his aunt’s number, his wife stood by me,” says Lori. “There were tears in her eyes as she expressed the relief and happiness she felt in seeing her husband carry on a phone conversation.” “It was a big step forward,” says Scott. “I now have confidence that I can converse with engineers and managers without experiencing problems or distractions. Making business calls is so much easier for me now.” “Not only does relay services make a difference — it can change your life,” Vannoy says.

CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc. The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and registered trademarks of Research in Motion Limited. iPhone is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google, Inc.


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“Not only does relay service

make a difference –

it can

change your life.”

Expanding into CapTel call processing In April 2011, Hamilton Relay partnered with Captioned Telephone, Inc. (CTI) to begin processing CapTel calls through Hamilton Telecommunications’ headquarters in Aurora, Neb. As a result, CapTel phone users experience greater diversity and redundancy in call handling. “Hamilton is proud to provide this service using the latest developments in telecommunications and technology with our own Hamilton workforce,” says Dixie Ziegler, vice president of Hamilton Relay. “This is an exciting opportunity for Hamilton, its employees and the individuals served by CapTel.”

What the future holds Always with an eye toward the future, Hamilton Relay continues to provide innovative services for TRS and CapTel users. To meet the mobile lifestyle needs of many of its customers, Hamilton has quickly evolved and responded by providing technology solutions to fit a variety of mobile platforms. Now, individuals have numerous options to remain connected with their friends, family, businesses, and loved ones from home, office, or while on the go.

Hamilton also provides the opportunity to customize its services in order to meet the individual needs of relay users, giving individuals the freedom to connect independently over the phone – from wherever they are.

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Congratulations Hamilton on your 110th Year

Roger & Judy Salmon

Thank You For Your Trust In Us!

1214 12th St. • 402-694-6521 • Aurora

Congratulations on 110 years!

Congratulations Hamilton from your Central Nebraska men’s wear store. Downtown, St. Paul NE

617 West 3rd Street, Grand Island NE 308-382-8026

Bryan Jensen Clothing 308-754-4813

Thanks for your business & congratulations!

126 N 3rd Hampton 402.725.3256

Grand Island, NE 3120 W Old Potash 308-398-1084 800-422-3471

Aurora, NE

Electrical Rebuilding

916 12th St. 402-694-3198 800-422-3471

Congratulations Hamilton on 110 years of quality service & thank you for your trust in us.

We salute Hamilton Telecommunications for its progressive impact on Aurora.

We help you know.

219 Q Street • Aurora • 402-694-3187 34

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Aurora, NE

Software 4 Retail Solutions congratulates Hamilton Telecommunications on its commitment to innovation.

www.s4.com

402.694.4400


Thanks for your business & congratulations on 110 years!

Congratulations, Hamilton on 110 years and counting...

1314 L Street Aurora, NE PHONE: 402-694-6677 www.sacklumber.doitbest.com

Congratulations Hamilton on 110 Years! Schneider’s Hardware is proud to serve you and Hamilton County.

Schneider’s Hardware, Home & Garden

1st Street & Hwy 34 • Aurora • 402-694-6158 Open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon.-Fri. • 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sat., 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. on Sunday

Hwy 14 & N St. 402-694-6121

Open Mon.-Sat. 7 am - 10 pm & Sun. 8 am - 10 pm

Congratulations Hamilton on 110 years of service... ...and thanks for using Easy Lawn along the way! Easy Lawn

Keith Wasem (402) 694-5296 • (800) 975-8873 www.easylawn.biz

Celebrating 10 Years in Aurora, NE

1111 M Street and West Highway 34 • Aurora, NE 402-694-3131 • 402-694-3333 • 1-800-622-2197 www.advantage-chevrolet.com

“The First Place You Think Of, The Last Place You’ll Stop! The Advantage Crew

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A Tribute to Hamilton Through the Years

“The Central Platte Natural Resource District has been a customer of Hamilton Information Systems for nearly a decade. Their technical staff is very qualified and has been extremely helpful in determining our computer needs for our company and personally. We have always had good service and the staff is friendly and easy to work with.”

“My phone would be of no use to me if it were not for the captions. It is a blessing for anyone with a hearing loss, not only one as severe as mine.” — F. Amann, New York

— Sandy Noecker, data and compliance officer for Central Platte Natural Resource District

“I knew them and I knew that their people would take care of us. I trust them.” — A client in the education industry “DTE Rail Services had an emergency situation that shut down the entire administrative office computers and network. Hamilton Information Systems responded immediately and within hours, our administrative office was up and running.” — Randy Quaife, DTE Rail Service, Inc.

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“Whether it is Traditional Relay Service or Captioned Telephone service, being able to communicate affects not only the individuals using these services, but their families and loved ones as well!” —L  ori Sporrer, Iowa

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“I can use CapTel at home, at a relative’s house or anywhere a computer is available. I don’t need phone lines, so I can use my cell phone. The captions are bigger because I use a computer screen and I’m able to adjust the font size. Plus, if I need to I can print out the conversation. It’s a simple way to get vital pieces of documentation.”

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“At Hamilton, they take their services very seriously; our information is redundant, backed up and reliable. We haven’t had a hardware glitch since we contracted with them. Getting information to our customers in a timely manner is critical to my business.” — A client in the wholesale industry

— M. Honas, Nebraska

“I can honestly say I enjoy using the telephone again.” — L. Webb, Maryland “They have a very good support group. We deal with sharp people who take care of our needs and are not afraid to tell us how they can help us further. They understand our business.” — A client in the wholesale Industry

“Their operations are flexible and available on-call anytime day or night. We had an install earlier this week that literally lasted an entire 12-hour day. We never could have handled that as easily without them right there staying on it until it was resolved.” — A client in the agricultural industry

“Hamilton does a good job of staying up on issues in the technical field,” he said. “They are specialists in many high-tech areas that would be way too costly for us to staff and manage on our own.” — A client in the agricultural industry

“Hamilton CapTel makes a huge difference both in my husband’s professional and private life. Communicating over the phone would be impossible without it.” — S. Frieder, New York

HAMILTO N CELEBRATES | S E PT E M B E R 2011

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Ken Wortman: A story of friendship

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gas station business, motel operation business and owned a Ford dealership, in addition to serving on numerous community, state and national boards. “No politician who wanted to get elected came to Aurora without going to Ken’s office first,” Nelson says. “He had a gentleman’s way of inserting himself into business.” “He’d show up on your doorstep and he’d just kind of ferret out that something is going on that perhaps he

H A MI LTO N C E LE B RAT ES | S E PT E M B E R 2011

could help with,” Nelson says. “All of a sudden, he’d give someone a call, make contacts or get other community players involved.” Wortman died in 2004, seven years after his good friend, Earl.

Photo courtesy of the Aurora News-Register

K

en Wortman knew that when a community was prosperous, its businesses were prosperous and when its businesses were prosperous, the community was prosperous. Wortman, an Aurora businessman and owner of the area’s Ford dealership, has been quoted as saying: “I can’t sell cars to people who don’t have any money, so we need to do all we can to see that the folks in the community have an opportunity to make some.” When Earl Nelson and his business partner started buying up shares of Hamilton Telecommunications stock in the 1960s, Wortman got behind the effort. He knew that a modern communication system was essential to economic development. Wortman encouraged the community to sell its stock so the new owners could convert the telephone system to dial service. A natural friendship and business relationship developed between Nelson and Wortman, and the two were active in the formation of the Aurora Development Corporation, which attracted wide support. Wortman served as a friend to Nelson and later as a mentor to his son, Phil, who says Wortman loved taking young people under his wing and coaching them in business. “Ninety-nine times out of 100, if you went his way, you were probably going the right way,” Nelson says. Wortman, who was born in 1918, was a self-educated man, having completed only eighth grade. He served in the U.S. Air Force, worked for Boeing Aircraft and later entered the


You saw doors where there were none. You’ve opened windows others said were closed. For more than 110 years, you’ve always had the best connections. Here’s to 110 more.

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Congratulations Hamilton Telecommunications on your 110 years of service to rural America!

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HA MI LTO N C E LE B RAT ES | S E PT E M B E R 2011

Hamilton Celebrates  

Through this commemorative anniversary magazine, Hamilton Telecommunications invites you to be part of our celebration. Take a walk in time...

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