Last week Senator Nelson toured the CenturyLink building in downtown Rochester. The company was founded as the Rochester Telephone Company in 1895 by residents Fred Haines and Arthur Melone. Since then, the company has undergone several name changes including Northwestern Bell and Qwest as it merged and evolved into what it is today. All CenturyLink offices have a backup generator to ensure reliability; landlines will still work during a power outage, allowing customers to make calls. The walls of the basement vault are covered with cables. These are connected up through an automated switchboard which routes calls to where they need to go. The use of copper cables is accompanied by the rise of fiber optics, the use of which is increasing at a higher rate each year. New customers connect to one of several crossboxes around the region which contain communications cables that run back to the CenturyLink central office building. CenturyLink’s Steve Knudson, Jeff Gustafson, Douglas Eaton, and Andrew Schriner accompanied Senator Nelson and shared their excitement for what they do and their priorities to serve their customers.