We’re Here for YOU!

CL Tel provides ultra-fast broadband Internet, Phone, TV, and Security to residential and business customers. We’re recognized by the NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association as a Smart Rural Community leader and a Certified Gigabit-Capable Provider. Since 1895, CL Tel has been committed to excellence in customer service, to embracing cutting-edge technology, and to giving back to the communities we serve. Clear Lake and Ventura are now 100% Fiber-to-the-Home communities!


Making History

CL Tel has been pioneering new services for area residents throughout its 124-year-old history. Here are just a few of those benchmarks:

Telephone Milestones in Clear Lake:

  • 1878: The telephone becomes available in Clear Lake, just two years after Bell invents it.
  • 1879: Iowa’s first long distance call is made from Clear Lake
  • 1895: Clear Lake Telephone Exchange is formed with a network of five miles of lines
  • 1955: New dial switch cut over, giving Clear Lake one of the most “modern, up-to-date plants in the state” according to the local newspaper
  • 1982: Information age is ushered in with a new NEC digital switch
  • 1989: Long distance competition is offered through a partnership with Iowa Network Services and its statewide fiber optic network
  • 1991: CL Tel is a partner in providing the first cellular telephone service in North Iowa
  • 1993/1994: Fiber optics cable backbone network is deployed
  • 1994: CL Tel is first in Clear Lake to provide local access to the global Internet
  • 1995: A new second generation AT&T digital switch is installed; video conference facility built and 100th anniversary celebrated
  • 1997: More fiber optic cable is deployed in the network, bringing the project upgrade total to $3 million
  • 1998: 20 more miles of fiber optics are deployed
  • 1999: CL Tel joins with Midwest Wireless as its cellular wireless carrier; digital cellular service becomes available
  • 2000: High speed DSL Internet service is deployed; a $7.5 million rebuild of the urban network begins
  • 2002: Urban network rebuild is completed; CLvision digital cable television is launched in January. Residents in Clear Lake and Ventura are the first in the state to have broadband VDSL technology.
  • 2009: Broadband is introduced to North Iowa with the beginning of the Fiber to the Home construction
  • 2012 and 2013: Entire rural area of Clear Lake and Ventura and the community of Ventura are constructed with fiber to the home, providing state of the art gigabit service to those areas.
  • 2013: Hosted PBX is launched in Clear Lake, Ventura and surrounding areas providing state of the art “cloud” VoIP technology to businesses
  • 2013: Construction of a fiber optic route is completed into west Mason City, serving businesses in the industrial park and nearby areas
  • 2015: CL Tel becomes a certified Gig-Capable provider, becoming the first in the region to offer these ultra-fast speeds
  • 2019: Fiber-to-the-Home overbuild is complete, making Clear Lake and Ventura 100% Fiber communities