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Santel is the market leader rooted in a half-century tradition of delivering the highest level of customer service. Our mission is to positively impact the communities and member-owners we serve through the advancement of broadband technologies. We build member value through a commitment to quality with continued focus on customer needs.


Sanborn Telephone Cooperative was formed in 1952, mostly through the work of Raymond Judy of Forestburg. Sanborn Telephone Cooperative and its subsidiaries merged on January 1, 2002, and became Santel Communications Cooperative. Santel offers telephone service to Alpena, Artesian, Ethan, Forestburg, Letcher, Mount Vernon, Woonsocket, Parkston, Tripp, and Wolsey. As a cooperative, Santel is managed by a board of directors elected from and by its telephone subscribers, and headed by a general manager. Capital credits are allocated and a percentage of them paid out each year.

Santel Communications is the area’s total communications provider. We offer Long Distance; Broadband Internet Access which includes dial up internet access, high-speed broadband, Wireless Broadband; and cable TV. Santel Business Technologies provides business telephone systems and data networking solutions to businesses of all sizes. Santel was instrumental in setting up the SIVN Distance Learning in this area. In 1998 the SIVN Network received an award as second in the nation for the work Santel has done with distance learning between business and industry.

Santel Communication has a history of longevity and is known for success in the telephone industry as an area leader that delivers the newest technology to subscribers before many other areas receive it. Our history includes 4 general managers: Raymond Judy, 1955-1985; Dick Johnston, 1985-1998; Gene Kroell, 1998-2005; and Ryan Thompson, 2006 to present.