Engineering work has kicked off in Lewis County, Wash.

MADISON, Wis. (June 16, 2017) – Engineering work is now under way to expand and improve broadband to 1,500 locations in Lewis County, Wash. TDS Telecom (TDS®) began work in March in the McDaniel Telephone Company coverage area. Construction will include more than 25 miles of new fiber and is expected to be complete by spring 2018.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated an average of $1.4 million a year for the next 10 years to reach residents in some of the hardest to serve areas in Washington. The funding will also be used to maintain a voice and broadband network as well as building out to these locations. The FCC’s Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) will provide funding to 1,500 homes in Lewis County with hundreds of existing customers expected to also receive benefits from the network upgrade work.Washington residents can visit the TDS website to find out how this federal program may impact their location.

Depending on location, most TDS customers in eligible rural areas will receive guaranteed broadband speeds of 25Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload (25/3). Under the agreement with the FCC, the remaining customers will receive broadband service at lower speeds of 10/1 and 4/1Mbps.

“We are proud to be part of this massive modernization project with the FCC,” said Gail Long, manager – State Government Affairs at TDS. “Over the next 10 years, we are eager to begin work to build faster connections to more than 3,500 locations in Washington.”

In January, TDS announced it elected to receive approximately $75.1 million a year to increase broadband access in 25 states from the FCC’s A-CAM, under the Connect America Fund (CAF) program. TDS will leverage the funds over the next 10 years to support the buildout of rural broadband networks to nearly 160,000 locations across the country.

TDS has been doing business in Washington since 1973 and owns three telephone companies in the state. TDS employs 20 people in Washington.

About Cheryl McCollum

Cheryl McCollum is an Associate Manager of Public Relations at TDS Telecom. She has 25 years of media experience. She’s worked as a newspaper reporter in Northfield, Minn., and Beaver Dam, Wi. She worked in media relations and advocacy for the Wisconsin Medical Society and the Wisconsin Bankers Association. She also worked in communications and advocacy for Habitat for Humanity of Dane County. She has a Journalism and Political Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She’s married, has two adult children and enjoys traveling, especially to U.S. state capitols.
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