TDS invites construction companies to make bids for Colo. broadband project

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TDS Telecom (NYSE: TDS), gearing up for its broadband stimulus build in Colorado, gave 10 construction contractors details on the project at a pre-bid meeting last Wednesday.

TDS Colorado broadband area

Image source: USDA RUS

The contractor candidates have until Feb. 9 to submit bids for the project, which will extend broadband service to 540 customers in TDS' Delta County Tele-Comm, Inc. service area. Specifically, the project will bring service to four sections within that part of Colorado: Bowie and Somerset, a section just south of Cedaredge, a section south of Hotchkiss, and east and west of Crawford.

Larry Boehm, director of network implementation and optimization for TDS, said the ILEC wants "to hire the firms quickly so construction can get underway this spring."

The buildout is one of 44 projects for which TDS received funding via the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA). It hopes to complete most of those projects this year or by 2013.

In addition to two grants totaling $12.5 million from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) in the first round of funding to expand broadband access in Chatham, Mich. and Butler, Ala., the service provider won an additional 42 grants to expand broadband services in 20 states, bringing its total funding to $136 million.

Although TDS said it can currently serve 93 percent of its customer base with broadband data services, the diverse nature of its wireline markets makes it difficult to reach some customers in largely rural areas.

For more:
- see the release

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