NVC was established in March of 1997 and began providing its dial-up Internet access to residents of northeast South Dakota. NVC purchased Hard Drive Central in August of 1998 and acquired over 1400 additional Internet customers. The Internet division has continued to grow with the most recent purchases of Advantage Communications of Aberdeen (June 1, 2001) and Turtle Creek Communications of Miller (March 1, 2002). NVC is now the largest Internet service provider in northeast South Dakota and the fourth largest provider in the state.
The 1996 Telecommunications Act paved the way for NVC to compete for telecommunications services in Aberdeen, a US West Communication's service area at that time and now served by Qwest. In April of 1998 the company was granted a Certificate of Authority by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission to become a competitive local exchange carrier.
In April of 1998, NVC hired CEO Doug Eidahl to guide the company's planned expansion and deployment of telecommunications services. A marketing survey was conducted in May of 1998 which showed a need for and an interest in telecommunications services from NVC. In October of 1998, NVC obtained long-term financing and officially began construction of a new telecommunications network for the city of Aberdeen.
The first phase of construction included connection of the fiber optic SONET transport ring from the central office in Groton to the first node located near 3M in the Industrial Park. A node is a facility that contains the network digital electronic equipment and serves the customers that live within a 4000 feet radius. As each node is built, they are linked together with fiber optics to create a SONET ring in Aberdeen. This ring is then connected to the SONET transport ring that routes the traffic to a digital switch at the Groton central office. A SONET ring offers protection to the network - if a fiber is cut, traffic automatically reroutes in the other direction with no outage to customers.
NVC purchased Pro-Link of Aberdeen, a business phone system provider, in March of 1999. This acquisition made NVC the leading provider of phone systems and service and LAN cabling in northeast South Dakota. The company moved its office from Northern Electric Cooperative of Bath to 131 N Roosevelt in Aberdeen in May of 1999 to provide improved customer service and easy walk-in access. Network construction from May of 1999 to December of 1999 included the addition of the Berkshire Node and providing service to Presentation College, the Industrial Park, the Auto Plaza area and along Hwy 12 east of Aberdeen.
In 2000, a central SONET ring was constructed around the town connecting 6 more nodes (Ashwood, Foxridge, Lawson, Melgaard, Swanson and Willow). Ashwood, Foxridge and portions of the other nodes were built out, meaning many customers located within the 4000 foot radius around these nodes were hooked up to NVC's advanced telecommunication services. The fiber to node or VDSL technology that the network offers provides digital data speeds of up to 23 MBs.
In May of 2001, NVC became a soley-owned subsidiary of James Valley Telecommunications of Groton. JVT is a cooperative that has served the area for over 50 years. The Prairiewood node was added in 2001 and build-out of the Lawson, Swanson and other nodes continued, including the downtown Aberdeen area. Construction in 2002 completed the infrastructure of the Lawson Node, which covers much of the southeast portion of Aberdeen. Also in 2002, NVC was awarded the ABBY Award for Customer Service from the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, a great accomplishment for the company.
NVC launched digital cable television service in 2003, giving customers the ability to take phone, high-speed Internet and cable TV services all from one company. In late 2003, NVC launched Net Express, an accelerated dial-up Internet service.