TDS: Receives $8.6M in stimulus funds to expand broadband access in Chatham, Mich.

For more information:

Andrew Petersen, Director of External Affairs and Communications

TDS Telecommunications Corp.

608-664-4155 / [email protected]

MADISON, Wis. (Dec. 17, 2009) — Today, TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) received official confirmation from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility Service (one of the two federal agencies administering the federal broadband stimulus program), that its application to expand broadband Internet services to TDS customers in the Chatham Telephone Company exchange has been approved. TDS will receive $8,605,935 to expand its services in northern Michigan.

“We’re thrilled with today’s announcement and eager to expand our fiber-based networks,” says Dave Wittwer, president and CEO for TDS. “We’ll be creating quality jobs, helping to grow the local economy, and delighting our rural Michigan customers, the true beneficiaries of today’s announcement.”

TDS is receiving funds from the Rural Utility Service (a department of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law by President Obama in Feb. 2009. The company applied for 13 grants in nine states and is optimistic its remaining 12 applications in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oregon, will also be fully funded.

“Our past work with the Rural Utility Service and demonstrated ability to rapidly deploy quality broadband services are key reasons TDS is among the first providers in the nation to receive stimulus funds for broadband network expansion,” says Andrew Petersen, director of external affairs and communications for TDS. “We appreciate our customers’ patience and look forward to building out our robust network as quickly as possible.”

TDS is experienced at providing rural areas with broadband. In fact, more than 93 percent of its customers (in 30 states) already have access to high-speed Internet service. TDS is intent on connecting its remaining customers with broadband connectivity and federal stimulus funds are certainly assisting to close that gap.

The official news release issued by the federal government today suggested up to $2billion in federal broadband stimulus funds would be awarded within the next 75 days.

“Based on today’s news, TDS remains upbeat and optimistic we could be awarded more stimulus funds in the next several weeks,” Petersen stated. “TDS is delighted to receive the $8.6 million award and looks forward to beginning construction to expand Internet services to more customers in Northern Michigan.”


Editor’s NOTE: TDS’ Chatham Telephone Company exchange includes: AuTrain, Onota, Rock River, Limestone, Mathias, Village of Chatham, Skandia, West Branch, Forsyth, Turin, Maple Ridge, Masonville, Baldwin, and Deerton.

Additional, related/historical news releases include: TDS announces its application for stimulus funds and availability of a summary of the applications.