ITS Telecommunications Systems, Inc. (ITS), one of the thirteen original phone companies in Florida, began as a small rural company in the early 1930’s. It was originally owned and operated by Indiantown Development Corporation, which in turn was owned bye the Seaboard Airline Railroad. The first telephone in the Indiantown, Florida area was located in the railroad station where Indiantown Development Corp. also had a generating plant that supplied electricity to the town’s 300-400 residents and businesses. After World War II, demand for phone services in the western Martin County Florida area grew, and the company installed its first two-line switchboard in a section of the now historic Seminole Inn in order to keep up with the demand.
In the early 1950’s, Yvonne R. Famel, a wealthy West Palm Beach widow, purchased the Indiantown Development Corporation from the stockholders. Near the same time, Mrs. Famel also purchased a small water system and considerable acreage surrounding Indiantown. In 1952, she formed the Indiantown Company, Inc. which included the telephone company, the water company, and plans to install a modern sewage system and treatment plant.
In 1956, the telephone portion of Indiantown Company, Inc. was changed to Indiantown Telephone System, Inc., and a new company president was hired. With its new management under President Robert M. Post, Sr., ITS made its first steps toward catching up with progress. Immediately, Post moved the telephone company’s central office from the Seminole Inn into a larger space, and installed a 100-line automatic switchboard. The company began laying cable throughout the town’s platted areas, opening up phone service to homes or businesses that wanted service but could not get it previously.
ITS really went to work to modernize their facilities and services in 1961. That year, the company moved into a brand new building on Indiantown’s main street, Warfield Boulevard. New equipment and improvements included: a switchboard for 200 phone lines, facilities for automatic direct dialing, replacement of the open-wire toll (long-distance) connection, and installation of buried cable directly to West Palm Beach−vastly improving toll (long distance) service.
During the next decade, the opening of major industrial and agricultural plants in the Indiantown area directly fueled the growth of Indiantown Telephone System, Inc. New equipment, better service, and a larger staff marked the 1970’s. ITS had by now accumulated 1,400 subscribers and 2,500 telephones in its 306 square mile territory. More underground cable was installed in new areas, and even submarine cable was laid under the St. Lucie Canal to better serve the southern and eastern parts of the service area.
By 1984, 596 additional new phone lines were accessed when the lndianwood Golf and Country Club was opened. The 80’s also put Indiantown Telephone Systems, Inc. into the computer/digital age. They upgraded to a state-of-the-art multi-million dollar 2,300-line digital telephone system and also formed a partnership with Telephone Data Systems, Inc. who had been commissioned by the FCC to build and operate a cellular telephone system in Martin and St. Lucie counties.
In 1998, the parent company, Indiantown Company, Inc. went through a complete corporate restructure and formed the current parent company, Postco, Inc. At the same time, the increased need for communications services prompted a name change for ITS from Indiantown Telephone Systems, Inc. to what it is known as today: ITS Telecommunications Systems, Inc. or its DBA, ITS Telecom. Today, Postco, Inc. continues to own the water company and ITS Telecom.
As ITS Telecom progressed toward the millennium, they recognized the need for enhanced phone features, access to the “world-wide web”, computer repair/networking services, and digital video/television products. In 1996, ITS became the first telephone central office to use the new SIEMENS VISION ONE UP enhancement technology which upgraded their existing Digital Central Office to include the capabilities of enhanced digital voice mail, advanced call waiting, call forwarding, and many more features. Internet service was soon added, and in August 2002, ITS introduced high-speed internet service to local customers.
2009 began of a new phase of technology for ITS Telecom. They began plans to equip every dwelling in their service area with 100% fiber-optic technology to the home (FTTH). ITS also became a local authorized dealer of DirecTV (the nation’s leading satellite television provider) and they formed a division called, “ITS Your Computer Guy” to offer expert computer repair and installation services. The 2009 addition of a new state-of-the-art computer-based soft switch and an upgraded router system continued their high-tech expansion. From 2010-2012 the ITS Fiber network was constructed in the Western Martin County area including Indiantown and Cobblestone/Stuart West in Palm City giving the residents and businesses there access to the virtually unlimited bandwidth potential. ITS began offering symmetric bandwidth with speeds up to 1 Gigabit in 2014.
ITS Telecom’s ownership changed in August 2010 when the current CEO, Jeff Leslie, officially purchased ITS parent company, Postco from the Post Family. Mr. Leslie continues his role as the President/CEO and has been moving the company forward toward more success with the creation of ITS Fiber, LLC which sells premium, enterprise-level network, broadband, video and voice services. This expansion into eastern Martin County and Northern Palm Beach County is very exciting and the most recent event being the May 2013 grand opening of the ITS Fiber Data Center, a SSAE 16 SOC 2/Type 2 colocation facility and Network Operations Center on the same premises as ITS Telecom. Also in 2013, the company’s robust fiber network qualified Indiantown for national recognition when it was awarded the Smart Rural Community Award from NTCA. At the time of this award, only seven communities in the US were so honored. ITS was also recognized nationally by Calix and was awarded its 2013 Innovation in Business Transformation Award as a result of its work on integrating its fiber network and Data Center. Between 2013 and 2014 ITS won several other awards and in 2015, they were selected by Grow Florida as one of 50 Florida Companies to Watch.
Presently, ITS continues to expand its fiber network into St. Lucie County and has developed its NOC and IT services into a full service IT consulting business providing most all IT services: cabling to network design and implementation, managed services, physical and virtual infrastructure procurement and installation, and data center virtual and co-location services. ITS is also expanding its Hosted PBX Cloud Voice services and presently offers this service in many areas of Florida and in seven additional states.
The future looks bright for ITS Telecom and ITS Fiber as they continue to serve the communication needs of the Treasure Coast and beyond.