April 10, 2012 — Contractors from five telecom construction companies received details earlier today to bid on the broadband Internet expansion project around New Castle, Virginia. TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) hosted the pre-bid meeting to outline the project which will expand the company’s broadband network in the area. Bids are due to TDS by April 26, 2012.

Once complete, nearly 300 customers in TDS’ New Castle Telephone Company (outlined today) in Virginia will have access to a high-speed Internet connection. The areas impacted are around Paint Bank and Abbott. {Click on company name above for map detailing areas where high-speed Internet services will be expanded.}

The project is one of 44 TDS has received funding for from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act via the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS).

More than 93 percent of TDS customers nationwide currently have Internet access. The remaining seven percent are harder to reach and more difficult to provide high-speed Internet services. There are many reasons for this, including sparse population and topography. These 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 provides companies like TDS a window of opportunity to expand broadband services to residents in areas that are currently without access to a reliable high-speed Internet connection.

“The pre-bid meeting is a critical piece to getting this network built,” says Larry Boehm, director of Network Implementation and Optimization for TDS. “We outlined the project and the timelines. Now, contractors have a chance to submit their bid and demonstrate they can meet the project expectations on deadline. We’re looking to hire the firms quickly so construction can get underway this spring. Our customers are ready and waiting for access to high-speed Internet service.”

Press Release