TDS invites telecom contractors to bid on broadband stimulus projects in Idaho, Tenn., and Wash.

As TDS Telecom (NYSE: TDS) gets its broadband stimulus projects underway in Idaho, Tennessee, and Washington state, the service provider has opened the bidding process to construction companies that will help build out the network.

Fifty-one telecom construction contractors participated in the pre-bid meetings, where they gathered information on TDS' broadband stimulus expansion projects.

Having received funding for 44 projects from the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to expand broadband to an additional 27,000 households that were traditionally hard to reach, TDS has held pre-bid meetings for 21 of their broadband stimulus projects.

As it gathers bids for new projects in these states and in Colorado, the service provider is in the process of constructing its first broadband stimulus-related project in Chatham, Mich.

When TDS completes its project in Tennessee, TDS' Tennessee Telephone Company will be able to provide 1,600 customers a new broadband connection.

Larry Boehm, director of network implementation and optimization for TDS, said that they would like to get moving on these projects in the coming months. "Ideally, contracts will be awarded by the end of March and construction will start this spring," he said.

For more:
- see the release

Commentary: Where we're at with broadband stimulus and rural Internet access

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TDS invites construction companies to make bids for Colo. broadband project
TDS Telecom revenues rise to $210.8M with increases in broadband, managed services

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