Our history is intertwined with the history of telecommunications in the United States. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s there were very few telecommunications options for business. The local exchange carriers (LECs) provided just about every business with their telephone line service and equipment. The monthly service was expensive, long distance rates were very expensive and the standard-issue equipment was severely outdated. Remember this phone…
The only real “plus” for a business or consumer was that the process was easy: call the company for your monthly service, main number, and equipment. If you had issues, the LECs usually fixed them at no addition charge.
The downside, however, was great. Service was expensive and slow; equipment was outdated; and customer service was virtually nonexistent. These factors gave rise to the effort to reform the telecom industry. The people wanted better pricing, modern equipment, and responsive service.
As these reforms came to be, many small telephone companies were established. Central Telephone was part of this new generation of telecommunications providers. We started as a service company, and other small businesses would hire us to repair their systems. The foundation of our company was built on responsive service and fair pricing. These elements still form the foundation of Central Telephone today.
It was hard for the smaller companies to compete with the large LECs. The big companies held a monopoly on the industry, and many people did not care for that. In 1983 the telecom industry was deregulated (some would say re-regulated). Ma Bell was split into seven Baby Bells and was forced to relinquish their monopoly.
Technology advanced fast. Companies like TIE Communications, Northern Telecom, ITT Executone, and Mitel all introduced new equipment. Now long-distance companies were able to compete and provide rates that businesses enjoyed. Soon we were able to use electronic phones like these.
The interconnect business exploded. And we wanted to be the best. Our goal was to provide the best customer service at the best price with the best equipment. Because we decided to sell top-of-the-line equipment, the price tag associated with that level of quality meant that we didn't sell as much as our competitors, many of whom were peddling inferior technology. These poorer-quality products were not as reliable as many businesses needed, and many business owners became frustrated.
Back in those early days of deregulation, Central Telephone and large companies like US West, Honeywell, GE, ITT, RCA, Norelco, Litton Industries, NYNEX and other major enterprises were selling and servicing telephone systems. Today, of all those companies only Central Telephone Sales and Service is still selling and servicing business telephone systems. How did we outlast those giants? We believe it is because we chose to give the best service with the best equipment at the best price.
The interconnect business continued to advanced. What began as electomechanical and electronic systems evolved to digital systems. Large, expensive 25-pair cable was replaced with 4-pair, then 3-pair and finally single-pair, less costly cable. Telephone system features advanced at a pace that was similar to the computer. It seemed that as soon as a business purchased a new telephone system, new technology was being introduced that out-dated their purchase.
As we moved through the 1980s and 1990s we began to see the advance of technology that would incorporate voicemail into a business telephone system. They would be PC-based voicemail systems but they would integrate into many electronic and digital systems. Now we had not only telephone system manufacturers, long distance companies and dial tone providers, but we also had voicemail manufacturers and peripheral product manufacturers. Telephony was advancing very fast and businesses were taking advantage of the new technology!
Now that we are in the 21st Century, the buzzwords are “VoIP”, “SIP”, “Unified Communications” and “The Cloud”. These are all great advances to the industry but also come at a price. The internet, which is not always as reliable as we would like, is a big part of this new technology. A very good VoIP or cloud-based system can seem terrible with bad internet. For that reason, premise-based, digital telephone systems still exist and will continue to exist. SIP service will soon take over our traditional copper based land lines. We continue to search for the most reliable SIP provider.
Our experience at Central Telephone Sales and Service has been since the beginning of the interconnect and before. When all combined, we have well over 200 years experience in this industry! We have seen technology advance and are constantly re-certifying on the new technology as it comes out. We are always looking for the best possible service options and equipment for our customers. Our consultative approach to every deal will give our customers the best possible service, equipment and customer support at a fair price.