TDS® reacts to FCC action on Connect America Fund Reform for Rate-of-Return Carriers

On March 30, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a report and order to modernize the federal universal service fund for rate-of-return carriers. The new Connect America Fund (CAF) reforms introduced will shift the focus from a legacy program which provides support for voice services, to a broadband-centric fund that is long overdue.

The following statement can be attributed to David A. Wittwer, president and CEO for TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®):

     “TDS is excited to be able to work with the FCC to hopefully bring broadband services to thousands of high-cost, hard to serve homes and businesses across our service footprint. For years, TDS has focused on providing robust, reliable communications to our rural and suburban customers. In fact, we have invested millions of dollars to bring broadband services to the vast majority of our customers. We believe these services will bring essential educational and economic opportunities to high-cost, rural areas of the country.

     “Today’s action by the FCC begins the journey toward fortifying more of our markets with future-proof broadband services that our customers can rely on for information, education and e-commerce opportunities.

     “In January, TDS leadership traveled to Washington, D.C. and met with all five commissioner offices to express our strong support for modernizing the Connect America Fund. Today, we thank Chairman Tom Wheeler and Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Mike O’Rielly for demonstrating courageous leadership on these matters. A voluntary model-based support plan is something we worked tirelessly on with commission leadership and staff and many industry stakeholders to make a reality.

     “As the largest rate-of-return carrier in the United States, we look forward to reviewing the numerous attributes of the plan that was just released. Our customers, employees and shareholders believe the actions taken by the FCC today hold great promise for our rural and suburban customers.”

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Media Contact: Drew Petersen, VP of external affairs & communications | TDS | 608-664-4155 | andrew.petersen@tdstelecom.com

TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom/TDS®) delivers high-speed internet, TV entertainment, and phone services to nearly 900 rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities across the U.S. With more than 1.2 million connections, TDS is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the United States. Powered by fiber-optics and new industry-leading technologies, TDS delivers up to 1 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 nearly 2,700 people and is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS], a Fortune 1000® company. Founded in 1969, TDS Inc. employs 9,400 people and has approximately six million connections nationwide through its businesses U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions LLC, and TDS Broadband Service. TDS Inc. has been named to several Forbes lists, including America's Best Employers for Diversity, Best Large Employers, and Best Employers for Women. Visit tdsinc.com.

Updated February 2019

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