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Apr 26, 2023

TDS awarded more grant funding for Maine rural fiber broadband upgrades

The Maine Connectivity Authority awarded the new funding through its Reach Me program.

On the heels of being awarded a similar grant earlier this year for fiber broadband upgrades in partnership with the community of Swan’s Island, Maine, TDS Telecommunications LLC (TDS Telecom) this week announced it has won a further $1.3 million in state grant funding for fiber broadband upgrades in portions its rural Maine network.

According to a press release, the Maine Connectivity Authority awarded the new funding through its Reach Me program. The grant helps TDS to cover “last mile” line extension upgrades in five communities including the towns of Kingfield, New Vineyard, North New Portland, Solon, and Strong.

The grant funding is supplemented by funds from TDS. The project is just one component of TDS’ work to expand fiber communication services to a number of municipalities in Maine, which the operator has served since 1971.

The latest round of “last mile” line extension upgrades to the TDS network in rural Maine will be upgraded to fiber internet, with speeds up to 8Gig.

Drew Petersen, TDS senior vice president of corporate affairs, affirmed:

“This funding will help bring faster internet speeds to more than 800 service addresses in Somerset and Franklin counties. No matter where you live, it’s more important than ever to have a strong, reliable internet connection. We thank the Maine Connectivity Authority for approving our application and look forward to beginning work later this year.”

In addition to private investment and state grants, TDS said it is leveraging Alternative Connect America funds to expand and improve broadband service to customers in Maine.

The state of Maine has been a fertile area for fiber broadband service outlays, with TDS, along with Consolidated Communications' Fidium Fiber, as well as service providers such as GoNetspeed recently seen vying for market share, along with others.

TDS notes that the company is a participant in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), whereby qualified ACP customers can receive symmetrical bandwidth speeds up to 200 Mbps at no cost via the company’s TDS Connect product.  

The Madison, Wisconsin-based broadband service provider earlier this year reported that it is halfway to reaching its goal of deploying 1.2 million marketable fiber service addresses, whereby it hopes to arrive in 2026.

The following video takes viewers for a ride on a cable lasher in rural Hollis, New Hampshire as the BSP's more southerly New England crews ready the area for TDS Telecom's 1Gig service.

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