We were formed as a Delaware limited liability company in 1998 for the purpose of operating and acquiring rural local exchange carriers, which we refer to as RLECs. Since 1999, we have acquired eleven RLEC businesses, four of which serve contiguous territories in north central Alabama; three of which serve territories adjacent to either Portland or Bangor, Maine; and one each serving a portion of western Massachusetts, central Missouri, western Vermont and southern West Virginia. In addition to traditional telephone services, we provide a variety of unregulated telecommunications services in all of our RLEC territories, including internet data lines and long distance services. We have also acquired three facilities-based competitive local exchange carriers, which we refer to as CLECs, which offer services primarily to business and enterprise customers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts and have historically operated under the trade name OTT Communications. The Company completed an initial public offering in December 2004 at which time it converted from a Delaware limited liability company into a Delaware corporation and changed its name to Otelco Inc. In 2018, we transitioned to using the brand name Otelco in all locations where we provide service.
Our RLEC companies trace their history to the introduction of telecommunication services in the areas they serve over 100 years ago. We are able to leverage our long-standing relationship with our local service customers by offering them a broad suite of telecommunications and information services, such as long distance, internet/broadband data access and, in some areas, video and security, thereby increasing customer loyalty and revenue per customer. Each RLEC qualifies as a rural telephone company under the Federal Communications Act of 1934, which we refer to as the Communications Act. We are currently exempt from certain costly interconnection requirements imposed on larger incumbent local telephone companies by the Communications Act. Although this exemption helps us maintain our strong competitive position, we have direct competition in the majority of our RLEC markets, primarily where a cable provider also serves the same market. In addition, the larger wireless carriers have deployed their networks in our markets.
In Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, our facilities-based CLEC serves primarily business and enterprise customers, utilizing both owned and leased fiber as its backbone network. In nearly two decades of operations, the CLEC has grown to serve over 2,000 customers.