TDS Telecom sells off North Carolina ILEC properties to Wilkes Communications

TDS Telecom has sold off three of its ILEC properties in North Carolina to Wilkes Communications, a move that illustrates the ongoing consolidation of the independent telco market and TDS Telecom's move to fund the expansion of its broadband network reach.

Under the terms of the agreement, Wilkes will purchase all of the operations in Barnardsville, Saluda and Fair Bluff, representing a total of 3,000 access lines. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

A subsidiary of Wilkes Telephone Membership Cooperative, Wilkes Communications provides services to a mix of residential and commercial subscribers in parts of seven counties in western North Carolina, including broadband Internet, TV, voice, security, VoIP and traditional business phone systems.

As part of the acquisition, three local TDS Telecom field service technicians will join Wilkes Communications in similar roles.

Similar to TDS Telecom, Wilkes Communications has been an advocate of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) and 1 Gbps services. According to the company's website, Wilkes has deployed FTTH to 74 percent of all of its customers with plans to have it available to 100 percent of its customer base by March.

"Wilkes Communications has grown tremendously over the past five years in both our core and non-core footprints," said Eric Cramer, CEO of Wilkes Communications, in a release. "We have completed our Fiber-to-the-Home overbuild, making 1 Gig Internet speeds available to all current subscribers."

Consolidation of the independent ILEC market has been an ongoing trend that TDS Telecom has continued to lead. Besides the North Carolina properties, the service provider sold off three Missouri locations, including Stoutland, Orchard Farms and New London, and one in Condon, Ore., to Direct Communications in June.

For more:
- see the release

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