TDS City Center HQ

TDS Telecommunications is serving 33% of its 1.4 million customer addresses with fiber, a calculation that includes cable markets. The company grew those serviceable addresses by 7% year-over-year.

TDS added 22,000 fiber-enabled addresses to its footprint and announced markets in Montana and Wisconsin during the first quarter.

Other first quarter results included an increase in market availability of 1 Gbps service. Total residential broadband connections grew by 6% during the quarter. Sixty-seven percent of its residential customers are taking 100 Mbps or more, compared to 62% a year ago.

“Our 1Gig product, along with 2Gig in certain markets, are important tools that will allow us to defend and win new customers,” Chief Financial Officer Michelle Brukwicki said in a press release about the TDS fiber addresses.

“Our focus on fast, reliable service has generated a 10% increase in total residential broadband revenue. Strong broadband growth is offsetting legacy revenue declines. Total operating revenues increased 1% year over year, largely driven by growth in residential revenues, which increased 4% across all markets.”

During the next five years, TDS anticipates reaching 2.2 million serviceable addresses. About 60% will be reached by fiber.

TDS’ efforts in rural areas, the press release says, would benefit from an extension of the Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) program and funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The FCC is expected to vote later this month on a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on increasing the speeds for rural providers funded through the A-CAM program. The proposal, which also calls for increasing funding per line, was made by a coalition of providers funded through the program. The FCC says that 447 providers receive a combined $1.1 billion annually. The program runs through 2028 for most participants.

The proposal calls for speeds to be increased to at least 100 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream from most participants’ current minimum of 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.

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