By Caitlin Switzer

MONTROSE—Sure, he served as a Rus- sian linguist in the military, got into com- puter science when the industry was young, and became vice president of a bank by the age of 25—the real challenge lies in keeping up with an industry that moves at the speed of sound.

A strong background in computer science has helped Greg Fishering and his company, High Mesa Communications, keep up with advances in telecommunications for more than 25 years. “It’s not a job for the faint of heart,” Fishering says.

For Greg Fishering, owner of High Mesa Communications (1414 Hawk Pkwy in Montrose), a 25-year local business with

locations in Montrose, Delta and Gun- nison, it’s all in a day’s work.

“I had the first cell phone on the Western Slope,” said Fishering. “One day someone came by and asked me to be a dealer, and told me to pick a number—so my cell phone still has the same number as my office.”

A strong background in computer science has served Fishering well in an industry that continues to emerge and evolve.

Today, High Mesa Communications of- fers services ranging from business and phone system and cell phone sales to struc- tured wiring and security systems.

“Technology changes every day, every- thing from the wiring to the connections,” he said.

“We do just about anything—we still have our core business, but everything is different. All the phones are bigger—it keeps us on our toes.”

From large phone systems, to third-party contracts for large corporations, High Me- sa stays on top of the wave by constant reading and learning from every project, Fishering said.

“It’s not a job for the faint of heart,” he said. “When we order our new Iphones, it’s an $80,000 investment—and that’s enough stock to last about two days. Most smart phones cost around $400 to $500, our cost.”

While American consumers have grown accustomed to the price of technology dropping quickly, the cost of the average cell phone—whether you opt for an IPh- one, an Android or Windows 7– has risen dramatically in recent years.

“People are so shocked by that,” Fisher- ing said, “Especially if they break it before they are eligible for an upgrade.”

Despite the mystique of Apple’s IPhone, Fishering himself opts for a Windows 7 phone, which typically sells for $49 to $200.

“It’s a Microsoft product, and it synchs up beautifully with everything,” he said. “There are not as many apps, but it does what I want and it’s the easiest to use.”