Solarus, also known as Wood County Telephone Company, began providing telephone service to Central Wisconsin residents in 1896. Over the years, our steadfast commitment to deliver innovative communication solutions has driven numerous technological advancements and facilitated substantial growth. Today, we serve approximately 16,500 customers and have grown to be the largest independent telephone company in the state. We believe our ability to deliver reliable and affordable high speed Internet is vital to the economic development and long-term prosperity of the rural communities we serve.
We first began providing Internet service around 1995 and acquired several substantial dial-up Internet companies in the years that followed. As DSL began to gain ground, we recognized the need for increased bandwidth and improved reliability and set our sights on a transition to fiber based facilities. We began our FTTH & VDSL2 upgrades in 2011 and are currently at about 70% FTTH penetration. We plan to achieve 95% penetration over the next 3 years, and aim to convert the remaining rural areas with routine projects over time.
Today, we are proud to offer a comprehensive service lineup consisting of residential and business high speed internet and wireless broadband, phone, TV, monitoring and home automation solutions. We back our services with 24/7/365 technical support handled by our on-site Technical Assistance Center. Annual customer surveys consistently report Solarus TV & Internet customer satisfaction ratings significantly higher than national ratings. Customers attribute their satisfaction to the overall quality and reliability of their Solarus service.
Solarus is owned by more than 1,000 local stockholders, who are all customers. Both the company and its 100+ employees are proud to give back to area schools, organizations, and community initiatives that align with our commitment to making Central Wisconsin a great place to live, work, and do business.