MADISON, Wis. (June 15, 2017) – Construction is under way to expand and improve broadband to more than 3,600 locations in eastern Tennessee. TDS Telecom (TDS®) began work in March in the Tellico Telephone Company coverage area. Construction is expected to be complete by year-end 2018.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated an average of $7.1 million each year to reach residents in some of the hardest to serve areas in Tennessee. 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 3,600 locations in eastern Tennessee with hundreds of additional customers receiving faster service from the network upgrade work.

Tennessee 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 Bruce Mottern, manager – State Government Affairs at TDS. “We are eager to begin work to build faster connections to more than 16,000 locations in Tennessee over the next 10 years.”

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 Tennessee since 1975 and owns four telephone companies in the state covering approximately 2,500 square miles. TDS employs about 200 people in Tennessee.

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


  1. I hope our portion of 2674 Rafter Road In Tellico Plains, TN is included with this project. Dick Tyson

    • Dear Dick,
      Yes, your address is included in the upgrade project. Phase one of the project is expected to be done in late fall. That’s when TDS customers will see the first improvement in their service. Phase two is expected to be done in early 2019. Let me know if you have any additional questions. I can be reached at Thank you, Cheryl

  2. How about 1013 co. Rd. 461 Englewood, tn

    • Yes, your address is in the upgrade area. Phase one is expected to be done in late fall. That’s when TDS customers will notice an improvement in their service. Thank you, Cheryl

  3. What is the scope of phase one and phase two? Will the Vonore to Tellico Plains area see improvement under phase one, then better yet during phase two? Or are these different support areas altogether?

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