Provider continues legacy of connecting customers to the world
From the humble beginnings of a single telephone line between Iron City and Lawrenceburg in 1897, Loretto Telecom is celebrating 125 years of connecting locals to the world.
Only 36% of U.S. companies last 10 years … much less 125. It’s a feat so rare the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have a clear source of data to track companies passing the 100-year mark.
No doubt there’s much to celebrate. Loretto Telecom, a SkyBest Company, recently unveiled a 125th-anniversary logo and plans to host special events and giveaways for Lawrence County residents in the coming months.
“As one of the oldest continuously operating telephone and communications companies in Tennessee, we want to celebrate with our wonderful customers throughout the county and our hardworking employees, past and present,” says Jason Shelton, Loretto Telecom general manager.
Postmaster William H. Wiggerman purchased the initial phone line run from Iron City, and the company changed ownership several times over its 125 years. As part of Loretto Telecom’s rich history, the 125th anniversary also marks the 75th anniversary of the company’s purchase by Ralph and Louise Passarella, whose family continued at its helm until the SkyBest purchase in 2018.
Often years ahead of the technology used in many rural areas, Loretto Telecom not only introduced locals to the county’s first phone line, but also to the first digital switch, DSL, and now a 100% fiber-optic network.
“Throughout our history, one primary constant is innovation,” Shelton says. “Our pioneering spirit is very much alive today as we build the network that will drive Lawrence County for the next century. We don’t intend to stop until every Lawrence Countian is capable of accessing this future-proof, 100% fiber-optic network.”