In late 2009, The Wall Street Journal posted an article interviewing Verizon. In the article Verizon reached out to any company interested in being part of their rural deployment project.
Knowing Verizon Wireless would be inundated with the common plea of, “your service needs work in our area and I can build a tower or two for you,” I immediately opened the service territory map. A large portion of North Central Indiana was left unserved or served via a roaming agreement: Wabash, Miami, Cass, Carroll and Fulton counties.
With the scope and location of the project in mind, I contacted Rochester Telephone Company to see if there was interest in partnering with Swayzee. They were interested and willing to investigate further.
Within two hours of receiving an email from Swayzee / Rochester, we received a call from Verizon wanting to discuss the possibility of joining the Verizon LTE in Rural America (LRA) program. After negotiations, S and R Communications, LLC (Swayzee and Rochester) signed a contract with Verizon to provided LTE service in Wabash, Miami, Cass, Carroll, and Fulton counties by December 31, 2013. Other notable LRA partners are Bluegrass Cellular, Cellcom (near Green Bay, WI), Chat Mobility in IA, and Thumb Wireless in MI.