September 26, 2018 — TDS Telecom (TDS®) has completed network upgrades in the Driftless area of Dane County, which includes portions of the towns of Berry and Vermont and Black Earth. Work in the town of Vermont was completed a year ahead of schedule.
Nearly 700 households can now receive expanded high speed internet broadband services. About 330 households in the town of Vermont, about 170 households in the town of Berry and about 200 households in Black Earth will be impacted by the upgrade project. The majority of these customers will now receive broadband speeds of 25Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload (25/3) with some receiving speeds of 10/1 Mbps.
“We are very pleased with the completion of these projects,” said Drew Petersen, senior vice president of corporate affairs at TDS. “Our customers are the true beneficiaries of our work and these grants, which ensure better, faster and more reliable internet service in these hard to reach areas.”
More than 35 miles of fiber was installed, 12 new Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexers (DSLAMs) were added, six existing DSLAMs were retrofitted with new electronics and vectoring technology. In addition, all direct current power was upgraded at all DSLAMs. A total of 25 Digital Service Areas (DSAs) were upgraded. Six were in the town of Berry, 12 in the town of Vermont and seven in Black Earth.
On Aug. 11, 2016, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin awarded a $156,500 Broadband Expansion grant to the town of Berry and a year later on Aug. 3, 2017, a $285,917 grant was awarded to the town of Vermont. TDS had two years to complete each grant, but finished the town of Vermont project a year ahead of schedule.
TDS is in the process of expanding broadband to more than 35,000 locations in Wisconsin thanks to funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced in 2017. The FCC allocated $18.8 million a year for the next 10 years to reach residents in some of the hardest to serve areas in Wisconsin. In addition, TDS is increasing broadband access in mostly rural areas in 25 states and to nearly 160,000 locations.
On April 12, 2018, PSCW awarded a $351,857 Broadband Expansion Grant to TDS in for a project in the town of New Glarus and $492,915 for a project in the town of Monticello. These projects will serve 1,100 households. On Sept. 20, PSCW awarded a $375,868 Broadband Expansion Grant to TDS in the town of Beetown in Grant County. It will impact 27 businesses and 470 households.