Through the cooperation of area residents consisting of farmers, businessmen and citizens, the Albany Mutual Telephone Association was established. The intent of the organization was to consolidate farmer-owned switcher lines and to purchase the Albany Telephone Company, with the idea of operating one telephone company on a cooperative basis. The cooperative is participating in several consortiums and joint ventures to provide a number of advanced services. These services consist of long distance, centralized equal access, Internet, cellular and PCS, interactive TV to schools throughout Central Minnesota, directory services and digital television. Albany Mutual Telephone Association operates the three exchanges of Albany, Freeport and New Munich, Minn., which include the communities of St. Anthony, St. Rosa and the surrounding areas. The cooperative serves approximately 3,450 access lines. All three exchanges are tied together via a fiber ring to assure continued operation, as well as a 250-mile toll network. Albany Mutual Telephone Association is headquartered in Albany, Minn.