TDS hosts press conference on National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The new three-digit number, 988, to call, text or chat to the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is now operational. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential help for people in emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Along with all telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers in every state, TDS was required to build the infrastructure for 10-digit dialing and to implement 988 in all our networks. To educate the public about the upcoming change, TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS®) hosted a press conference on Friday, July 15, 2022 with several dignitaries who were key partners to enact this new easy to remember number.

Both Shane West, Senior Vice President of Network Operations for TDS, and Paul Nejedlo, Senior Administrator of Number Management at TDS, and a member of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) North American Numbering Council, spoke to the media as well.

“The move to 988 was more than just a flip of a switch,” said West. “I want to acknowledge and thank Paul Nejedlo on a job well done. Our TDS teams spent the last two years, and more than 500 hours working to meet this deadline. Last month, we accomplished this goal and completed the work ahead of the July 16, 2022, deadline.”

For the past two years, Nejedlo has been attending monthly industry calls. “The process involved a lot of moving parts, but I am so pleased we were able to complete this project ahead of schedule,” Nejedlol said. “Recently, we have been working with a variety of TDS teams to make sure our customers are informed about 988, including blogs, bill inserts, and educational columns. This is a very important step to reduce the stigma of mental health, which will hopefully mean more people will seek help when needed.”

Find more information on the 988 National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline here.

TDS' Kathy Cefalu, vice president – Chief Human Resources Officer, served as the master of cermonies during the press conference. Also speaking were: 

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) - Introduced the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act to create the three-digit phone number of 988 for the National Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline.

Karen Timberlake, Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee

Mary Kolar, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs



Media Contact: Cheryl McCollum | Associate Manager - Communications | TDS Telecom |  

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

TDS Telecom, headquartered in Madison, Wis., employs 3,600 people and is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS], a Fortune 1000® company. 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

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