Update on Ruidoso, N.M. service outages

TDS Telecom would like to thank first responders who are working tirelessly to contain the wildfires in the Ruidoso, N.M. area and keep residents safe. We can confirm TDS lost the central facilities that serve Ruidoso; we are grateful all local TDS associates evacuated safely. We are prioritizing safety and will only work to restore services and rebuild facilities when it is safe to do so.

TDS will continue to assess and monitor the impact from the wildfires as the situation evolves. We again thank first responders and local leaders whose quick actions on evacuation orders likely saved lives, and we send our deepest condolences to all those impacted by these tragic events.

Starting June 24, all updates about the current status of TDS services in Ruidoso can be found on the HelloTDS.com blog. 



June 23

We participated in the Southwest Area Management Team Incident Command & Operations Live Event Update today Sunday June 23, 2024, at 5 p.m. MDT. The recording may be available  at: https://www.facebook.com/SWIMT5.

Below are the key portions of our statement from this event:

TDS lost its central equipment hub known as a headend facility that serves Alto, Capitan, Ruidoso, and Ruidoso Downs—as well as the electric service feeding this facility. Based on our initial surveys, we also know our cable infrastructure has been damaged in many areas, which means repair or replacement will be necessary. 

The first step in restoration was to repair TDS’ main fiber optic transport cable that provides connectivity to area cellular providers. 

Thanks to an unprecedented effort by TDS teams, connectivity was restored to ten cell towers Friday night. We continue to work with our cellular partners to identify and complete repairs to additional towers. We are currently working to restore cellular connectivity to Capitan. This is due to the relatively undamaged condition of our network in that area, which we believe will make it possible to stand up services relatively quickly there.

We are also working on a temporary network facility to restore services. TDS is prioritizing reconnecting services to first responders and other critical infrastructure. However, due to the limits on travel and access, we haven’t been able to safely perform a thorough assessment. For that reason, we do not have a timeline for full restoration yet.

The fire has impacted so many of us—including our own associates—but we remain committed to serving customers in Alto, Capitan, Ruidoso, and Ruidoso Downs and look forward to reconnecting everyone to their services as soon as possible. We have a long road ahead with our long-term restoration work and appreciate everyone’s patience.

Customers can get daily updates on our progress on our HelloTDS.com blog. We will also be sending communications to our customers who have provided their e-mail addresses to us. We want to assure everyone we will be crediting impacted TDS customers during this time.

June 22

Thanks to an unprecedented effort by our teams, we are pleased to report connectivity was restored to eight cell towers in the area as of last night. This will aid resident communications as well as the state and federal response. This is the first step of many to restore services to all customers in Alto, Capitan, Ruidoso, and Ruidoso Downs. In addition, we are also working towards a solution to credit customer accounts impacted by this service disruption so there is no need to call in regarding this issue at this time.

Please note: Although your neighborhood may not have been directly impacted by the fire, the TDS network hub that serves the entire area was a total loss. We also expect cables have been melted in the fire and entire spans to require replacement. We will learn more about the full scope of the damage when we are able to safely survey all sections of the network. In the meantime, we are making every effort to restore a temporary network facility.

June 21

Our teams have safely assessed the damage to TDS' main transport cable that provides connectivity to area cellular providers. We are prioritizing these repairs to restore the community’s access to that critical communications resource. Damage assessments will continue when it is safe to do so to help inform our interim and long-range restoration plans. 

June 20

We’ve been able to investigate the Ruidoso area on a limited basis where it is safe for our associates to do so. Through this assessment, we will be able to understand what infrastructure hasn’t been destroyed or damaged to inform our interim and long-term restoration planning. We’re coordinating with other phone companies and cell carriers in the area to help expedite connectivity for residents.

June 19
Services remain offline for the greater Ruidoso area. We are working on restoration plans, but due to mandatory evacuations and the continuing danger the fires present, we are unable to fully assess the damage to our facilities nor make repairs. At this time, given the evolving nature of this disaster, we do not have an estimation of when services will be up and running.

 

 

Media Contact: Mark Schaaf | Manager of Communications | TDS Telecom | 414-326-3588 | mark.schaaf@tdstelecom.com

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom/TDS®) delivers high-speed internet, TV entertainment, and phone services to a mix of small to mid-sized urban, suburban and rural communities throughout the U.S. With 1.2 million connections, TDS is a rapidly growing technology company. Powered by fiber-optics and new industry-leading technologies, TDS delivers up to 8 Gigabit internet speeds and offers internet-protocol based TV entertainment solutions along with traditional phone services. TDS also offers businesses VoIP advanced communications solutions, dedicated internet service, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit tdstelecom.com.

TDS Telecom, headquartered in Madison, Wis., employs 3,400 people and is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS]. Founded in 1969, Telephone and Data Systems provides wireless, broadband, video and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately 6 million connections nationwide through its businesses: UScellular, TDS Telecom, and OneNeck IT Solutions. Visit tdsinc.com.

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