Star Telephone Membership was started in 1951, when telephones were scarce in rural North Carolina. The large phone companies said it wasn't profitable to install telephone lines to serve the less populated regions of Bladen, Sampson, Duplin and Columbus counties. To meet the needs of these unserved areas, citizens went door-to-door to get enough subscribers to form the Lower Cape Fear and Cumberland-Sampson Telephone Membership cooperatives. In 1959, the two groups merged to become Star Telephone Membership Corporation. Star received its charter in December 1959. Today, Star provides a variety of advanced telecommunications services to more than 20,000 customers covering a 1,458-square mile operating area. As the telecommunications industry evolves. Star Telephone continues to meet the needs of its customers by offering new services, from long distance calling to broadband Internet access to cable television. The company offers full-service offices in Clinton and Elizabethtown, S.C., with extended business hours at all locations.