TDS Telecom mulls acquisition of Sun Prairie Utilities’ assets to accelerate fiber broadband coverage

TDS Telecom is on the acquisition hunt again, announcing that it has signed a nonbinding letter of intent (LOI) to purchase Wisconsin-based Sun Prairie Utilities' (SPU) telecom assets to accelerate fiber-based broadband coverage.

Under the terms of the LOI, TDS indicated its interest in acquiring all of the telecommunications assets associated with SPU’s operation, transport, delivery and support of telecommunications services, including all customer agreements.

Drew Petersen, vice president of external affairs and communications at TDS, said in a release that the telco would expand the network to deliver a mix of FTTH-based services to residents and IP services to local businesses.

RELATED: TDS snaps up InterLinx Communications, adds 170 miles of fiber to network

“We plan to expand the network to launch 1 Gigabit broadband speeds, as well as phone service, and our industry leading IPTV solution, TDS TV, to residents,” Petersen said. “For businesses, we would look at providing dedicated fiber connections and our hosted VoIP phone solution, TDS managed IP Hosted.” 

Focus on growth

For TDS, an acquisition of SPU is about scale. SPU, according to the city’s website, has provided fiber-based high speed internet service for 16 years and currently serves more than 242 residents and 31 businesses.

In order to deliver its new services, TDS said it will invest in that network over the next 12 to 24 months. TDS anticipates building out additional fiber-based connections to the majority of the city, including residential and commercial areas.

TDS is also exploring making fiber service available to future business developments, within the city, to help foster business growth and attract more economic development projects.

SPU and TDS said they hope to reach a definitive agreement by the end of March 2017.

Making regional M&A waves

While TDS Telecom has never been one to shy away from M&A, SPU would be the second acquisition in less than six months.

The service provider recently completed its acquisition of InterLinx Communications and its subsidiary Tonaquint Networks in Southern Utah, adding 170 miles of fiber to its network. InterLinx, which has been in business since 2003, provides wholesale fiber connections to businesses, as well as to local ISPs and large carriers. Tonaquint Networks provides residential and business services via FTTH and wireless internet technologies.