History of Shentel: Connecting Communities Since 1902

From Farmers Mutual Telephone System to a Diversified Telecommunications Company


Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel) was founded in 1902, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Then called Farmers Mutual Telephone System, the goal was to bring telephone service found in towns to the countryside. This is still important to Shentel today even though those humble beginnings are far behind us.

Today, Shentel is a diversified telecommunications company providing internet and data services, local exchange telephone services, video, and long distance services through a growing family of brands.

Under the Glo Fiber brand, Shentel offers fiber optic broadband services to business and residential customers.

Under the legacy Shentel brand, Shentel offers video, data and regulated and unregulated voice services through the cable network, as well as DSL internet access in some areas.

Where once Shentel was only available to customers in Shenandoah County, the company offers varying telecom services in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Kentucky.


  • Shentel acquires Horizon Telcom in Ohio.


  • Glo Fiber launches 5 Gig fiber internet service.
  • Glo Fiber expansion continues with over 250K homes passed.


  • Glo Fiber launches fiber-to-the-home service in the cities of Roanoke, Salem and Lynchburg, VA.
  • Sells wireless business with approximately 1.1 million subscribers to T-Mobile for $1.95 billion.


  • Shentel launches Glo Fiber, a fiber to the home internet service, in Harrisonburg, VA offering speeds up to 2G.
  • Shentel acquires Big Sandy Broadband in Eastern KY.
  • Shentel launches 1G internet services across Virginia cable markets.


  • Shentel purchases Colane Cable TV in southwestern West Virginia.
  • Completes acquisition of nTelos, becomes sixth largest public wireless company in the United States.


  • Shentel acquires Jet Broadband, cable systems in southern Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Shentel acquires two small cable systems in Maryland and West Virginia from Suddenlink.


  • Shentel acquires Rapid Communications.


  • Shentel partners with Sprint and becomes the first Sprint PCS Affiliate.


  • Internet service is made available.


  • Shenandoah Cellular launched and became the first company in the state of Virginia to offer cellular service to a rural area.


  • Shenandoah Telephone Company and Shenandoah Cable Television Company become subsidiaries of new holding company - Shenandoah Telecommunications Company (Shentel).


  • Shenandoah Telephone Company introduces Cable TV service.


  • Name changes to Shenandoah Telephone Company.


  • Farmers Mutual Telephone System (FMTS) incorporated as mutual company to serve customers—all of whom owned stock in the business.
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