The telecommunications department was formed in 1986 under the direction of Amil Anderson. During his tenure, Anderson broke the long tradition of paying an outside telephone company to provide student long-distance service and independently operated and maintained a private branch exchange, known as a PBX, system to support the college. In 1994, the telecommunications offices of St Olaf and Carleton merged. Roughly 25,000 feet of fiber-optic cable was placed around Northfield during the summers of 2002 and 2003 to connect the college campuses. The combined telecommunications office is in charge of the transport of voice, data, and video. Following the cable installation, St. Olaf College also formed an independent telephone company, known in the industry as a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC). Two years later, the first downtown customer connection was made, allowing the College to sell service to businesses in the greater Northfield area.