TDS Telecom lights 1 Gbps fiber broadband service in Hollis, N.H.

TDS Telecom is giving its Hollis, N.H., broadband customers more to smile about as it is now offering a 1 Gbps fiber to the home (FTTH) service, the first town in its territory to get the service.

Following the debut of its 300 Mbps service in December, eligible customers can purchase the new tier as either a standalone service or as part of a triple play bundle, which includes its budding IPTV product. While it did not reveal pricing, the telco said that customers who opt to purchase the service as part of a bundle will pay less than $100 a month for service.

A big driver for TDS and its ongoing FTTH deployment strategy is to improve the user experience for its growing IPTV business.

Matt Apps, manager of Internet product management and development at TDS, said that the ultimate broadband solution for its growing Ericsson Mediaroom-based IPTV offering it over fiber.

"We have experience in doing Mediaroom over copper, and while that's a viable solution, we know the long game is to get it on fiber," Apps said. "In Madison, we have a lot of copper and fiber TV and I think it's a great test bed when you can really ratchet the speeds."

While they are only delivering 300 Mbps in Madison, they are looking at upgrading facilities to support 1 Gbps.

Apps said that it is equipping new sites where it has built out FTTH with the ability to migrate to 1 Gbps when ready.  

"Where we have fiber, it wasn't contemplated and launched on day one with saying 'we're going to give our customers a Gig, but the newer sites are,'" Apps said. "Hollis was really the first one of those where Gig was contemplated the entire time."

Besides contemplating bringing the 1 Gbps service to other markets, TDS is also working to improve the in-home experience by improving the Wi-Fi connection.

"You're going to speed test over 900 Mbps, but the next battle we're looking at is making sure the wireless experience is also enhanced to really take advantage of it," Apps said. 

Customers who reside in TDS' FTTH footprint will be able to order the service immediately as part of a TDS TV bundle.

Besides TV, the service includes a free subscription to Remote PC Support, which provides unlimited access to technical expertise. TDS' Remote PC Support technicians can assist customers with device set-up, Internet troubleshooting, plus computer optimization and safety.

To support the service, TDS is using Actiontec CPE at the customer premises and Calix's E7-2 Ethernet Service Access Platform and 700GE family of optical network terminals (ONTs).

TDS did not specify other markets for the 1 Gbps service, but indicated that Hollis is just one stop on its FTTH journey.

"While Hollis is the first TDS-served community with 1 Gig service, it won't be the last," Apps said. "This is just the start for our launch of super-high speed Internet."

Some of the likely targets for the 1 Gbps service could be Halls and La Vergne, Tenn., and Monticello, Minn., where it currently offers a 100 Mbps FTTH service for area customers. It could also extend the service to Concord and parts of Knoxville, Tenn., where it hatched plans to offer 100 Mbps fiber to the home and TDS TV services in July 2013 via its "Fiberville" program. 

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
TDS Telecom serves up 300 Mbps FTTH tier, plans future market expansions
TDS' Fiberville program lures subscribers to IPTV, FTTH
TDS offers 100 Mbps option in Tennessee, Minnesota FTTH markets

Updated article on June 2 with quotes from Matt Apps, manager of Internet product management and development at TDS.