CHAMPLAIN - The basic philosophy of Champlain Telephone Company has remained the same over the past century - provide customers service they need and do it in the most efficient way possible.
Champlain Telephone Company - a regulated telecommunications company providing residential and commercial services to Champlain, Mooers, Mooers Forks, Rouses Point, and Altona - was founded Sept. 24, 1903 by Maurice Knapp, Orin Southwick and A.B. Spellman. The business, today overseen by President and Chief Executive Officer Trent Trahan, a descendant of the Knapp family, has seen a world of changes and has made a commitment to bringing the rest of the world to the North Country.
"The vision of this company has not changed since the day it began," said Trahan. "It was expansion ... starting with the idea of getting a telephone pole to go to the next house, then the next house and the next."
That was the business of Champlain Telephone Company for many years, and as technology changed and new opportunities arose, the business was ready and waiting. When the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base closed in 1995, it was the perfect opportunity for Champlain Telephone Company to begin eyeing expanding its operation south, serving people of the greater Plattsburgh area.
Champlain Telephone Company created its subsidiary, PrimeLink, which won bids for telephone service rights-of-way on the former Air Force base and created a telephone system in the city of Plattsburgh. The development and widespread use of the Internet around that time also created a new world and a new way to communicate with people across the globe.
During that same time, the companies began developing a fiber optic system from Montreal to Albany.
"That opened up a whole new world for us," said Trahan. "We started offering dial-up Internet service and we started growing customers as we started offering our own long distance."