TDS Telecom sets bold 5-year goals
Madison, Wisconsin-based company strives to triple fiber service addresses to 1.2 million by 2026
MADISON, Wisconsin - TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS®) shared its latest accomplishments while setting bold goals in its fourth quarter earnings report. In 2021, the telecommunications company surpassed $1 billion in operating revenues and for the first time in company history, exceeded 500,000 broadband connections. In the next five years, TDS Telecom looks to reach approximately 2.2 million service addresses with about 60% being fiber and 80% capable of 1Gig or faster speeds.
“Our strategy is working,” said President and CEO Jim Butman. “For the past several years, we have ramped up our broadband strategy, investing in our networks, and we are positioning the business for faster growth over the next five years.”
In 2021, TDS deployed 86,000 new marketable fiber service addresses, bringing the total to nearly 400,000. The company continued to plant the flag in new markets and developed an active pipeline of identified markets. TDS also executed on the federal Alternative Connect America Model (A-CAM) and state broadband grant programs, addressing the broadband needs in its most rural markets. In addition, the company continued to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives throughout the organization.
The continued transformation of TDS will be enabled by five strategic pillars: grow scale, grow revenue, reduce platform cost structure, improve customer experience, and transform its workforce.
“The foundation of our entire business is our highly engaged, resilient, and dedicated workforce,” said Butman. “We invest in our people to make sure we attract and retain top talent.”
Total revenues increased 2% in the quarter and 3% for the year as growth from our fiber expansions and increases in broadband subscribers exceeded the declines we experienced in our legacy business. TDS grew total service addresses 7% year over year and is now offering 1Gig or faster speeds to 58% of its total footprint as the company continues to fortify its networks with fiber and expand into new markets. Network construction under the A-CAM program is helping to drive growth in incumbent markets. Adjusted EBITDA increased 2% for the quarter to $75 million but decreased 2% for the full year due to planned investment spending on new markets.
“Our focus on fast, reliable service has generated a 12% increase in total residential broadband revenue,” said Senior Vice President and CFO Vicki Villacrez. “The 1Gig product, along with our 2Gig product in certain markets, are important tools that will allow us to defend and to win new customers.”
TDS also put forward 2022 guidance, forecasting revenues of $1.01 to $1.04 billion. The projected top-line growth will be driven by improvements in residential revenues across all markets, offsetting declines in legacy parts of the business.
As announced in December, TDS Telecom will welcome a new senior vice president and CFO later this month, Michelle Brukwicki, as Villacrez will be assuming the CFO position for the enterprise.
“It has been a pleasure to serve as TDS Telecom’s CFO and drive our shift in strategy to be the preferred broadband provider,” said Villacrez.