Upgrade work begins in Arbuckle Mountains
Project expected to be completed in 2018
Construction is now under way to expand and improve broadband to more than 1,200 locations in southern Oklahoma, in the Arbuckle Mountains area. TDS Telecom (TDS®) began work in February in the Pontotoc, Murray, Coal and Johnston counties area. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated $3.6 million each year to reach residents in some of the hardest to serve areas in Oklahoma. The funding will also be used to maintain a voice and broadband network as well as building out to these locations. The FCC’s Alternative Connect America Cost Model (A-CAM) will provide funding to more than 1,200 locations in southern Oklahoma with hundreds of additional customers to receive benefits from the network upgrade work.
Oklahoma residents can visit the TDS website ( https://tdstelecom.com/networkupgrades.html ) to find out how this federal program may impact their location.
Depending on location, most TDS customers in eligible rural areas will receive guaranteed broadband speeds of 25Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload (25/3). Under the agreement with the FCC, the remaining customers will receive broadband service at lower speeds of 10/1 and 4/1Mbps.
“We are excited to bring faster connections to customers in the Arbuckle Mountain region,” said Jeff Handley, manager – State Government Affairs at TDS.
In January, TDS announced it elected to receive approximately $75.1 million a year to increase broadband access in 25 states from the FCC’s A-CAM, under the Connect America Fund (CAF) program. TDS will leverage the funds over the next 10 years to support the buildout of rural broadband networks to nearly 160,000 locations across the country.
TDS has been doing business in Oklahoma since 1978 and owns two telephone companies in the state. TDS employs about 28 people in Oklahoma.