TDS Telecom extends broadband to 2,000 rural customers in Alabama, New Hampshire

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TDS Telecom (NYSE: TDS) has wrapped up two more broadband stimulus-funded projects, bringing Internet service to an additional 2,000 households in parts of New Hampshire and Alabama.

In New Hampshire, TDS will be able to provide broadband service to 800 residents around the towns of Warner and Bradford. Regional subsidiary Merrimack County Telephone Company laid about 14 miles of fiber cabling and installed 11 Remote Terminal (RT) cabinets that will house Broadband Loop Carrier (BLC) equipment to deliver service.

The service provider said the project cost about $2.7 million, with the Rural Utilities Services (RUS) grant covering about 75 percent and TDS covering the remaining 25 percent, or $670,000.

Serving areas around Centre and Cedar Bluff, Alabama, TDS is making broadband service available to about 1,200 households. For this project, TDS Telecom subsidiary Peoples Telephone Company installed about 60 miles of fiber cabling and placed 22 cabinets in its territory.

TDS said this network build cost about $5.55 million. Its RUS grant covered 75 percent of the cost and TDS invested the remaining 25 percent, or $1.4 million.

Now that these projects are completed, the telco has enabled a total of nearly 13,000 additional homes with broadband service. In December, TDS announced that it extended broadband to a total of 10,000 households in its serving territory via American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grants.

Larry Boehm, director of network implementation and optimization at TDS, told FierceTelecom they are making continual progress in completing 44 broadband stimulus projects that will deliver service to a total of nearly 27,000 homes. 

"We expect to have everyone enabled short of Arizona by the end of this first quarter," he said. "Arizona is taking a bit longer, but we should have it completed by the end of the year."

While the initial focus is on serving residential customers, the network builds in Alabama and New Hampshire and other locations will have relevance to business and anchor tenant customers such as hospitals and schools.

Because the TDS network infrastructure is built with a mix of metro Ethernet transport to VDSL2 and GPON in the last mile, these network builds can also support nearby business customers.

"A bunch of this application only was residential, but also to make sure that you had the infrastructure to deliver service to what the government calls anchor tenants such as hospitals, schools, libraries so putting in an infrastructure that supported commercial customers in the future was a big deal," he said. 

For more:
- see the release

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