Est. 1896

Our Roots Run Deep

LigTel was founded as Ligonier Telephone Company in 1896 by Harry Inks and is now in its 6th generation of family ownership.

Today, Ligonier Telephone Company customers enjoy the benefits of a locally owned technology company that has changed and evolved with the times, while never losing sight of the main tenets of business Inks established more than a century ago.

Our corporate philosophy spells out the President’s interpretation of the will of Harry Inks and his son, Burl, who remain as the foundational bricks and mortar of the company. That philosophy can best be stated as: Service is our most important and sellable product; and our second is preventative maintenance.

Over the years, the technology used by the company has evolved to stay up to date with the ever-changing landscape of services–from switchboards with operators to the Siemens EWSD telephone switch installed in the 1980s that was followed by the Metaswitch soft switch, installed circa 2007 to provide telephone service to the Ligonier exchange. The physical outside plant used to provide services to customers has also evolved over the years–from copper pairs to provide telephone service, and Digital Subscriber Line Service (DSL) high-speed Internet services to the fiber optic cable that provides high-speed internet service and SIP telephone services today.

“Service is our most important and sellable product; and our second is preventative maintenance.”

In 2008, Ligonier Telephone Company embarked on a multi-year project to overbuild the entire Ligonier Exchange with Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP), for all residential and business locations. The project is expected to reach 100% of locations in 2024.

In the mid-1990s, the company started offering Long Distance Telephone Services, as well as dial-up internet services, to customers outside the Ligonier exchange through a subsidiary LigTel Communications. Over the years, LigTel’s services have also evolved, along with customer demands and expectations. LigTel offerings included DSL in some areas of Noble County, mainly Albion. In 2004, LigTel launched wireless high-speed internet services using unlicensed spectrum throughout Noble and LaGrange Counties, and reaching into parts of Elkhart, Kosciusko, Dekalb, Steuben, and Whitley Counties.

LigTel also brought fiber optic high-speed internet service to areas throughout Noble County, and parts of LaGrange County. In August of 2019, LigTel was awarded 2 grants from the state of Indiana to build out fiber to areas in Brimfield and Merriam Indiana. In May 2022, LigTel Was awarded 3 additional Grants by the State of Indiana to build out 3 areas in Southern Noble County from Dekalb County to the western border of Noble County.

In 2015, the company went through a reorganization. Heartland Innovations was incorporated as the parent company to Ligonier Telephone Company, which is the regulated entity providing voice services and regulated services in the Ligonier exchange, LigTel Communications, Inc., which is the unregulated entity providing high-speed internet services and other related products to areas outside of the Ligonier Exchange, and Heartland Cellular, Inc., a 25% owner of the Verizon Wireless Indiana RSA-2 partnership.

The Company’s growth in these areas is evidence of its commitment to provide its customers with the most advanced and desired communications services using the most advanced technologies available. Now in its 127th year in business, the company continues to be a good neighbor and provides substantial financial support to local projects to ensure that Ligonier continues to be a vibrant and growing community.

LigTel office building, with a new addition on the right side
The original LigTel Equipment room
The EWSD switch for the company, installed in the 80’s
Year TBD
Switchboard operators for Ligonier Telephone Company
Hidden Crowdfiber form