TDS Telecommunications this week began construction on a 500-mile 2 Gbps-capable FTTH network in Billings, Montana. The network will eventually connect more than 40,000 homes and businesses.
CEC Facilities Group, which is based in Irving, TX, is working with TDS on the construction. The downtown Billings element of the project began this week. Construction in residential neighborhoods will begin in late November.
“TDS is modernizing and expanding the infrastructure here and the company is bringing services that will greatly help our businesses and residences,” Billings Mayor Bill Cole said in a press release. “Another choice for internet, TV, and phone services is great news for our community. This fiber network will help us build an even stronger economy.”
TDS moved this summer to standardize on a symmetrical 2 Gbps tier in all of its new fiber markets. Official word of the new speed tier was made on August 18 in conjunction with projects in Spokane, WA and Meridian, ID. However, TDS announced the Billings project and its 2 Gbps speed a week earlier.
BroadbandNow lists five providers with active plans in Billings. Most significant are Spectrum and CenturyLink. Spectrum offers nine plans topping out at 1 Gbps. CenturyLink also offers a 940 Mbps tier.
TDS, which is headquartered in Madison, WI, has had a busy summer. In addition to the Spokane, Meridian and Billings announcements, the city of Eau Claire, WI, voted to enter into a memorandum of understanding with TDS to expand service in the city. TDS is making a $30 million capital investment and will build 300 miles of fiber to reach 33,000 homes and business addresses. Work will begin next spring.
TDS is active in 32 states. It provides broadband, television and phone services to more than 1,000 communities with 1.2 million connections.