TDS: Breaks ground in Chatham, Michigan on first broadband expansion stimulus project

For more information contact:

Cindy Tomlinson, Associate Manager-Public Relations

TDS Telecommunications Corp.

608-664-4471 / [email protected]

MADISON, Wis. (May 17, 2011) — Earlier today, TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) hosted a ground breaking ceremony in Chatham, Mich. The event marks the beginning of construction on TDS’ first broadband stimulus project. More than 900 residents will gain access to a high-speed broadband connection as a result. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) granted funding as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act.

During the groundbreaking, David Wittwer, president and CEO of TDS, said “TDS used to be known only as a phone company. Today, we are a broadband company. More than 93 percent of our customers have Internet access. But the last 7 percent are the toughest to reach. Many live in sparsely populated areas, like Chatham. Rural geographies push the limits of technology and make it difficult, albeit nearly impossible to develop a solid business case for deploying broadband. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is giving us a window of opportunity to make broadband available to many more residents in the Chatham area.”

With ground broken, construction of the network is officially underway. It’s expected to be completed by mid-May 2013 announced Joe Kirk, manager of project implementation for TDS, also in attendance at the event. “But we’re going to do everything in our power to beat our estimates and get this built as fast as possible,” he said.

Jim Turner from RUS, Ron Milford, president of Milford Engineering, and representatives from U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s and State Sen. Tom Casperson’s offices were also on hand at the groundbreaking event.


In August 2009, TDS submitted 13 applications for broadband round one funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In December 2009, TDS was awarded an $8.6 million grant from the RUS (one of two federal agencies administering the federal broadband stimulus program) to expand broadband access in Chatham, Mich. (see map of area). TDS received a total of 44 grants; two in round one and 42 in round two. Engineering firms were selected and announced by TDS in February 2011; construction is now getting underway across the United States.

NOTE: For a picture(s) from today’s event, please contact Cindy Tomlinson, 608-664-4471 or [email protected].

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As the eighth largest telecom provider in the U.S., TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) connects people with broadband Internet, phone, and TV entertainment services in hundreds of rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities in 30 states. With more than 40 years of experience and 1.2 million equivalent access lines in service, customers can select from the latest technologies, including: VoIP (managedIP) phone service, dedicated Internet, data networking, and hosted-managed services.

TDS Telecommunications Corp. also manages the data center operations of VISI Incorporated and TEAM Companies, specializing in colocation, cloud computing, and disaster recovery solutions for businesses of all sizes. In total, approximately 2,700 people work for the companies both in local communities and at TDS’ national headquarters in Madison, Wis. Visit,, and for more information.

TDS Telecommunications Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS, TDS.S] Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., a Fortune 500® company, provides wireless, local and long-distance telephone, and broadband services to nearly 7.1 million customers in 36 states through TDS Telecommunications Corp. and U.S. Cellular [NYSE: USM], its 83-percent owned wireless subsidiary. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, Telephone and Data Systems employed 12,100 employees as of March 31, 2011. Visit for more information.