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Corporate office of Clear Lake Independent Telephone company

About CL Tel

CL Tel is a locally-owned and operated telecommunications service provider, providing the highest quality Fiber Internet, TV, Phone, and Security services to the communities of Clear Lake, Ventura, Mason City and beyond.

Technician installs fiber optic internet at Lions field stadium
Smart Rural Community Provider

Service & Community-Focused Since 1895

Since 1895, CL Tel has been committed to excellence in customer service, embracing cutting-edge technology and giving back to the communities we serve.

Now in our 5th generation of family leadership, we’re here for the long haul, ensuring Clear Lake, Mason City, Ventura and the surrounding rural areas have access to the best technology available. The communities of Clear Lake and Ventura are now 100% Fiber-to-the-Home communities and are recognized by the NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association as Smart Rural Communities.

Pioneering Telecommunications Services for 125+ Years

At CL Tel, we believe in the power of innovation. Throughout our more than 125-year history, we’ve been pioneering new services for area homes and businesses. We embrace and deliver the latest and best technologies to our customers. Since 1895, we’ve experienced many critical milestones that solidify our expertise and dedication:

  • CL Tel’s founders brought the first telephone to Clear Lake just two years after its invention
  • CL Tel was a founding member of Iowa’s very first statewide fiber-optic network
  • NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association certified CL Tel as a Gig-Capable Provider in 2015, before it took hold across the industry
  • CL Tel partners with the best in the industry, including Calix, Metaswitch, Poly and Cisco

Explore Our History

1878

The telephone becomes available in Clear Lake, just two years after Bell invents it.

1879

Iowa’s first long distance call is made from Clear Lake

1895

Clear Lake Telephone Exchange is formed with a network of five miles of lines

1955

New dial switch cut over, giving Clear Lake one of the most “modern, up-to-date plants in the state” according to the local newspaper

1991

CL Tel is a partner in providing the first cellular telephone service in North Iowa

1993/1994

Fiber optics cable backbone network is deployed

1994

CL Tel is first in Clear Lake to provide local access to the global Internet

1998

20 more miles of fiber optics are deployed

1999

CL Tel joins with Midwest Wireless as its cellular wireless carrier

2000

High speed DSL Internet service is deployed; a $7.5 million rebuild of the urban network begins

2002

CLvision digital cable television is launched, and Clear Lake and Ventura residents are the first in the state to have broadband VDSL technology

2009

Broadband is introduced to North Iowa with the beginning of the Fiber to the Home construction

2012/2013

Entire rural area of Clear Lake and Ventura and the community of Ventura are constructed with Fiber-to-the-Home, providing Gigabit speed service to those areas

2013

Hosted PBX is launched in Clear Lake, Ventura and surrounding areas providing state of the art “cloud” VoIP technology to businesses

2013

Construction of a fiber optic route is completed into west Mason City, serving businesses in the industrial park and nearby areas

2015

CL Tel becomes a certified Gig-Capable provider, becoming the first in the region to offer these ultra-fast speeds

2019

Fiber-to-the-Home overbuild is complete, making Clear Lake and Ventura 100% Fiber communities

2020

SkyBlue expands to serve customers throughout Iowa

2021

CL Tel serves hundreds of businesses in Mason City and continues to grow its Mason City Fiber network

Smiling-business-professionals-shaking-hands

Your Trusted Business Partner

As proud Iowans, we value hard work, fairness, transparency and respect. And as a business owner, you can expect to receive the same from us. You’ll get to work with real people who care about your business’ success. With carefully engineered solutions backed by the power of Fiber, you can trust that our products work. And if an issue ever arises, we’ll be there, ready and willing to help.

“CL Tel is absolutely a joy to work with, and their team is very knowledgeable. Furthermore, they possess great character and competence as a company.”

– Brad Barber, CEO, Cabin Coffee Co
Volunteers stand with COVID relief supplies

Bringing the Future of Fiber to Our Community

The future of Fiber is bright in Iowa. Many of the services we now rely on such as telehealth and working from home require the highest quality connection and speed. And we’re pleased to deliver.

We continuously invest in our community in numerous ways such as spending our dollars to provide advanced broadband infrastructure to attract new business to our area. We also prioritize giving our time to projects that enhance the quality of life within our community such as Youth for Christ, Habitat for Humanity and Earth Day Clear Lake.

Donations, Scholarships & Grants

CL Tel awards the top academic achiever in the Clear Lake High School graduating class with a $2,000.00 scholarship each year. The scholarship has been given since 2003 as part of the annual Academic Excellence Banquet each spring.  

Plus, there are other scholarships and grants available through our industry associations, and we’re pleased to offer grants and donations to various organizations and initiatives.

Round Up Your Monthly Bill for Land of Hope Africa

Land of Hope Africa (LOHA) is a 50-acre orphanage in the bush of Zambia in south-central Africa. It is a newly developed community which houses, feeds, teaches, nurtures and – most importantly – loves and disciples Zambian children who have lost both of their parents.

By rounding up your monthly bill to the next dollar – and donating an additional dollar or two if you are led to do so – you can have a direct impact on the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable children. And by signing up now, you can double your impact, as CL Tel will match every dollar raised through the Round Up program in 2022.