With the invention of the telephone in 1876, a pathway of connection was opened that had never before been imaginable. In the years since, that pathway has turned into so much more. Connections are made faster than ever with access to the internet, providing us with systems of communication, education, and care like never before. But even though the way we connect has changed, one thing remains the same: the network of people behind it.
Dakota Central, once Dakota Central Telecommunications, a telephone service provider in central North Dakota, has witnessed how connection has changed over time.
Since its formation in 1953, Dakota Central has been providing people with ways to connect. Although it looked a little different then, and occasionally required some “operator assistance,” it has remained dedicated to providing people with a convenient way of interacting with the rest of the world, and, by doing so, making their lives easier.
Now, Dakota Central has taken a different shape, transitioning from a telephone service provider into a full-fledged broadband company—a transition made in an effort to meet the changing needs of the people they serve.
As technology has changed, so has the way we use it. How we use it in business has changed, along with manufacturing, but above all, it has had an impact on how we use it to care for people.
At the Anne Carlsen Center in Jamestown, ND, a change in communication technology hasn’t just meant connection and convenience; it has provided a greater feeling of independence for the patients they serve.
The Anne Carlsen Center is a non-profit organization that provides support services for individuals with developmental disabilities. With unique programs, creative therapies, and advanced assistive technologies, Anne Carlsen Center provides life-changing programming
Many patient programs utilize new technology, such as voice-activated, virtual assistance speakers and learning tablets, that enable patients to be more independent.
“To be able to do things on your own is what life is about. We all want to be independent. We all want to make our own choices; we all like a little bit of control,” said Kris Nitschke, Therapy Operations Manager at Anne Carlsen Center’s Jamestown campus. “It opens up so much to them. Even when it’s so little–it’s something.”
Many of these devices wouldn’t be able to function without a reliable internet connection provided by Dakota Central.
“Dakota Central and Anne Carlsen Center have worked together for approximately ten years,” said Keith Larson, CEO of Dakota Central. “We provided the fiber optic facilities to them…so that the Center can have all the resources of the internet available to them.”
Thanks to the broadband services offered by Dakota Central, Anne Carlsen Center is able to connect with staff members across the state and access an abundance of new resources. With these services, Anne Carlsen Center has what they need to help empower their patients.
“With quality broadband, we are able to reach greater clientele and provide better quality services all around, from border to border,” Nitschke said.
The introduction of new broadband technology has changed the way that caregivers across the state do their work. They are now able to reach more people who need care and provide better care to those within their facilities. Anne Carlsen Center is just one of many incredible stories that showcase how BAND members, like Dakota Central, have built a system to provide care everywhere.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to help Anne Carlsen Center. It really is great to see that we’re empowering children.”
To learn more about BAND and how its member organizations are supporting care in their communities, visit broadbandnd.com.