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Champlain Telephone Company continues history of service

Until the invention of fiber optics, all telecommunications was done over copper or lead wire, explained Trahan, with a very low bandwidth - the capacity for which data could travel.

"It was pretty amazing," Trahan said of the switch to fiber optics. "It's crystal clear."

The fiber optic network not only made the telecommunications industry move light years ahead of where it was, it also opened the door to many successes for Champlain Telephone Company and PrimeLink.

"We now have 70 percent of the business lines in Plattsburgh," said Trahan. "We've essentially doubled the size of the company between Champlain [Telephone Company] and PrimeLink."

Residential customers have benefitted from the technology, but on a larger scale, schools, law offices, major industries and even those in the healthcare field have found ways to improve how they do business, thereby strengthening the local economy, said Champlain Telephone Company vice president and chief financial officer Greg MacConnell.

"We created a major pipeline between Valcour Imaging and CVPH [Medical Center], which allows them to share and store images electronically," said MacConnell.

The fiber optic "pipeline" gives both ends of the secured connection instant access to patient records that were once hand-delivered in paper form, which took more time, said MacConnell. X-rays and other medical documents can now be readily-accessible at the push of a button, giving those diagnosing conditions more information that can paint a more detailed picture of a person's health history.

"It took three to five business days out of their business cycle," said MacConnell. "Which can mean a lot when you're talking about diagnosing something like a fast-growing cancer."

"I think the medical industry itself, on a global basis, is benefitting tremendously from the availability of fiber optic technology and greater access to bandwidth and connectivity between medical facilities," MacConnell added.

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