About Us

Our History

Sanborn Telephone Cooperative was established in 1952, mostly through the hard work and determination of Raymond Judy, a World War II veteran who returned to his hometown of Forestburg after the war and led the effort to build a new telephone network to serve Sanborn County.  Mr. Judy went on to become the telco’s first general manager, serving for 30 years until his retirement in 1985.

As a cooperative business, Santel is owned by its customers – referred to as “members.”   The company is governed by a board of directors, elected by the membership.  This special business model ensures that Santel always acts in the best interests of its member-owners.

In 2002, the company changed its name to Santel Communications to reflect the broadening array of telecom services it has introduced over the years, including high-speed Internet, digital television, wireless and business solutions.

Serving approximately 4,000 members in the towns of Alpena, Artesian, Ethan, Forestburg, Letcher, Mount Vernon, Woonsocket, Parkston, Tripp, and Wolsey, Santel is also a part-owner of SDN, a statewide fiber network that connects Santel to the world and provides business-class services to major enterprises, government agencies and wireless networks throughout South Dakota and the surrounding states.

Our Mission & Guiding Principles

Santel is the market leader rooted in a half-century tradition of delivering the highest level of customer service.  Our mission is to positively impact the communities and member-owners we serve through the advancement of broadband technologies.  We build member value through a commitment to quality with continued focus on customer needs.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction is our highest priority.  We listen and respond, are timely and exceed expectations with our products and services.

Simplicity, Speed, and Service

We are passionate about leveraging today’s technology to build simple customer-focused solutions, allowing greater quality of life or new opportunities.

Employee Commitment & Pride

Our strength within Santel is our employees.  Our success depends on hiring, developing, and retaining a staff that is knowledgeable, committed to teamwork, proud of what we do, as well as the community where we live and serve.

Continuous Innovation & Improvement

We will always ask and look for our customer’s feedback to improve the use and quality of processes, people, products, and services.

Commitment to Our Community

Living and working in our served communities reminds us daily of who our customers are and what they need to succeed in their personal and professional lives.  We are proud to be part of the greater community’s economic vitality, as well as the assumed social responsibilities for our neighbors.

Value Proposition

Santel works with customers to design, implement, and manage affordable home and business networks, telecommunications, broadband, and entertainment solutions.  We integrate state-of-the-art technologies with superior support and service for a simpler experience.

Santel In The Community

Santel is a driver of economic development in the region. Our fiber-optic network gives businesses, schools, government agencies, healthcare providers and other critical organizations the connectivity they need to operate and thrive here.


Look here for recent happenings that the Santel team is involved with within our service area. 

the Santel Team

Santel is managed by a committed team of telecom professionals. Known for fast and friendly service, they always put members first.

Company Bylaws

(As amended on 9/26/16)

Join the Santel Team

We recognize that great people & skills make the difference in our organization.