Networks being upgraded in southeastern Kentucky

Construction is underway to expand and improve broadband to more than 3,100 locations in southeastern Kentucky. TDS Telecom (TDS®) began work in March in portions of Leslie, Harlan, Perry and Breathitt counties. Construction is expected to be done mid-year, with improvements done by year-end 2018.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated $2.2 million annually to reach residents in some of the hardest to serve areas in Kentucky. 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 more than 3,100 locations in Leslie, Harlan, Perry and Breathitt counties with hundreds of additional customers to receive benefits from the network upgrade work.

Kentucky 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 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 excited to bring faster connections to customers in portions of Leslie, Harlan, Perry and Breathitt counties,” said Bruce Mottern, manager – State Government Affairs at TDS.

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 Kentucky since 1988 and owns three telephone companies in the state. TDS employs 15 people in Kentucky.


Media contact:  Cheryl McCollum, Associate Manager of Public Relations / 608-664-2388 /


TDS Telecommunications Corporation (TDS Telecom/TDS®), a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc., is the seventh largest local exchange telephone company in the U.S. and a growing force in the cable industry. TDS provides 1.2 million connections to high-speed internet, phone, and TV entertainment services in nearly 900 rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities. For residential customers, TDS deploys 1Gig internet access, IPTV service, cable TV options, and traditional wireline services. The company offers businesses advanced solutions, including: VoIP (managedIP Hosted voice), high-speed internet, fiber optics, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit or

Headquartered in Madison, Wis., TDS Telecom operates OneNeck IT Solutions LLC and BendBroadband, which is part of TDS Broadband Service LLC. Combined, the company employs more than 3,400 people.

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS], a Fortune 500® company, provides wireless; cable and wireline broadband, TV and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately six million customers nationwide through its businesses U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions LLC, and TDS Broadband Service LLC. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. employs 10,400 people. Visit



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7 Responses to Networks being upgraded in southeastern Kentucky

  1. eestep July 26, 2017 at 12:51 pm #

    The link provided in the article to see how it impacts our location appears to be down.

  2. Kristopher July 28, 2017 at 7:25 am #

    Awesome post thank you for sharing

  3. Letch Hounshell Jr. December 20, 2017 at 4:18 pm #

    Still not seeing anything in Eastern KY. Our Internet is barely above dialup. It’s frustrating

    • Cheryl McCollum December 20, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

      Construction on the network upgrade project is expected to be done this summer. I am checking on the reason behind your slow internet. I will e-mail you when I hear back. Thank you, Cheryl

  4. Earl Arrowood December 30, 2017 at 3:40 am #

    We been needing upgrade in southeastern Kentucky for years. The system cannot handle the current internet that we use, telephone services work okay. Be so glad to see improvements, we have been paying for the service but poor system in the 295 area of Canoe. All other companies around us have made major improvement, but we are trying to hold out for TDS.

    • Cheryl McCollum January 3, 2018 at 1:30 pm #


      TDS is in the process of installing network upgrade equipment in the Canoe area now. Testing begins after the equipment is installed. We expect phase one of the project will be done by early this summer, which is when TDS customers will see the first uptick in their service. Phase two should be done by the fall of 2018, which is when the second improvement in service will be completed. Let me know if you have any additional questions at Thank you, Cheryl

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