green fiber optics

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS) grew its number of service addresses by 6% compared to the end of the third quarter in 2020, with 2 Gbps speeds launched in some areas and service established in new communities, the company announced.

In the most recent quarter, TDS unveiled plans for new fiber projects in Wisconsin, Idaho, and North Carolina, and entered the state of Montana, which combined will add more than 270,000 additional service addresses to the existing fiber deployment plan.

Previously, the company started projects to deliver 2 Gbps speeds in Billings, MT, Nampa, ID, Spokane, WA and Meridian, ID.

Those projects, once completed to the point that a significant number of subscribers can upgrade to the new speeds, are expected to add to the company’s financial results. In the third quarter, TDS increased its top line revenue by 2%, though planned investment spending on new market launches resulted in lower profitability.

During the quarter, residential connections increased 3%, driven by broadband growth in new and existing markets, though there was a decrease in voice connections. Total broadband residential connections rose 7%, resulting in a 13% increase in broadband revenue.

“Up to 1Gig broadband speeds are now being offered in more than half (57%) of the company’s footprint, including both fiber and DOCSIS 3.1 markets,” TDS said in a press release.

In the first three quarters of the year, TDS finished construction of 51,000 fiber addresses – adding 20,000 service addresses in the third quarter, surpassing 40% of its total wireline service addresses.

“We are significantly advancing our goal to bring state-of-the-art broadband capabilities and competition to more growing communities,” said Vicki Villacrez, TDS CFO and senior vice president of finance, in a prepared statement about TDS growth. “We are very pleased that where we have invested in fiber in our incumbent markets, we have achieved superior market share, and in our expansion markets, we have strong customer pre-registrations. In addition, we continue to drive faster speeds in our more rural incumbent markets by building to meet our A-CAM obligations and utilizing state broadband grants.”

TDS is happy with this progress, but acknowledged it’s been slower than planned due to permitting complexities and contractor scheduling delays.

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