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TDS Telecom Approved for $114.5 Million in Federal Broadband Stimulus Projects

08/04/2010
Company awarded 39 broadband expansion grants from USDA totaling $85.9 million

CHICAGO, Aug 04, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

Telephone and Data Systems (NYSE: TDS, TDS.S) today announced that TDS Telecommunications Corp., its wholly owned subsidiary, has been approved by the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for $114.5 million in broadband expansion projects in 18 states.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, TDS Telecom submitted 46 applications in March for the second round of broadband stimulus funding. Today, TDS Telecom received funding approval for 39 of those projects. In total, TDS Telecom will receive $85.9 million in federal grants and provide $28.6 million of its own funds to complete the projects. These awards follow TDS Telecom's success in the first round of funding, when the company received $12.5 million in grants to construct and expand broadband networks in Michigan and Alabama.

"This is great news for our customers and employees alike," said David A. Wittwer, president and CEO of TDS Telecom. "TDS has always believed our rural and suburban customers deserve equal access to high-speed broadband services. We fully support all of the government's initiatives aimed at this common objective."

More approvals could be forthcoming as the RUS continues its work to meet the Sept. 30, 2010 statutory deadline requiring the agency to distribute all $2.6 billion in federal broadband stimulus funding under its jurisdiction.

"The announcement today demonstrates the trust RUS has in TDS Telecom's ability to deliver quality broadband services," said Andrew S. Petersen, director of external affairs and corporate communications for TDS Telecom. "We are experienced at providing rural areas with broadband. In fact, over 93 percent of our customers nationwide have access to our high-speed Internet service today. Now we have the opportunity to bring reliable and affordable broadband out to some of our most difficult to reach customers."

Once contracts are signed, TDS Telecom will have 24 to 36 months to complete construction of these networks. Currently, the company is working on projects in Chatham, Michigan and Butler, Alabama that were funded in the first round. Those projects are on track to be completed in 2012.

    Summary of TDS Telecom broadband expansion project awards nationwide:

                                        Total Cost
              TDS Telecom Company State      for    TDS Telecom   RUS Grant
                                                        Equity
              ------------------- ----- RUS Project    Portion     Amount
                                                       (CAPEX @
                                        -----------       25%)     ------
                                                      ---------
    Peoples Telephone Company,
     Inc.                         AL      $5,551,453  $1,387,863  $4,163,589
    --------------------------    ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    Arizona Telephone Company     AZ      $5,353,077  $1,338,269  $4,014,808
    -------------------------     ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    Blue Ridge Telephone
     Company                      GA      $1,138,357    $284,589    $853,768
    --------------------          ---     ----------    --------    --------
    Potlatch Telephone Company    ID      $2,684,963    $671,241  $2,013,722
    --------------------------    ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Camden Telephone Company,
     Inc.                         IN      $1,453,273    $363,318  $1,089,954
    -------------------------     ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Home Telephone Company,
     Inc.                         IN        $555,657    $138,914    $416,743
    -----------------------       ---       --------    --------    --------
    Tipton Telephone Company,
     Inc.                         IN      $1,349,295    $337,324  $1,011,971
    -------------------------     ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Tri-County Telephone
     Company, Inc.                IN        $791,030    $197,758    $593,273
    --------------------          ---       --------    --------    --------
    Leslie County Telephone
     Company                      KY      $8,225,726  $2,056,432  $6,169,295
    -----------------------       ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    Salem Telephone Company       KY      $2,579,298    $644,825  $1,934,474
    -----------------------       ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Hartland and St. Albans
     Telephone Company            ME      $2,679,362    $669,841  $2,009,522
    -----------------------       ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Somerset Telephone Company    ME      $7,787,151  $1,946,788  $5,840,363
    --------------------------    ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    The West Penobscot
     Telephone and Telegraph
     Company                      ME      $2,073,307    $518,327  $1,554,980
    ------------------------      ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Communication Corporation
     of Michigan                  MI      $1,629,080    $407,270  $1,221,810
    -------------------------     ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Island Telephone Company      MI      $2,668,704    $667,176  $2,001,528
    ------------------------      ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Arvig Telephone Company       MN      $6,730,892  $1,682,723  $5,048,169
    -----------------------       ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    Orchard Farm Telephone Co.    MO        $806,391    $201,598    $604,793
    --------------------------    ---       --------    --------    --------
    Calhoun City Telephone
     Company, Inc.                MS      $3,949,558    $987,390  $2,962,169
    ----------------------        ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Southeast Mississippi
     Telephone Company, Inc.      MS      $2,500,273    $625,068  $1,875,205
    ------------------------      ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Kearsarge Telephone Company   NH        $496,709    $124,177    $372,532
    ---------------------------   ---       --------    --------    --------
    Merrimack County Telephone
     Company                      NH      $2,694,928    $673,732  $2,021,196
    --------------------------    ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Deposit Telephone Company,
     Inc.                         NY      $4,191,785  $1,047,946  $3,143,839
    --------------------------    ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    Port Byron Telephone
     Company                      NY        $852,290    $213,073    $639,218
    --------------------          ---       --------    --------    --------
    Mid-America Telephone, Inc.   OK      $1,525,045    $381,261  $1,143,784
    ---------------------------   ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Wyandotte Telephone Company   OK        $937,243    $234,311    $702,932
    ---------------------------   ---       --------    --------    --------
    Tennessee Telephone Company   TN      $6,867,588  $1,716,897  $5,150,691
    ---------------------------   ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    New Castle Telephone
     Company                      VA      $1,421,761    $355,440  $1,066,321
    --------------------          ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    McDaniel Telephone Company    WA      $1,590,602    $397,650  $1,192,951
    --------------------------    ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Badger Telecom, LLC           WI      $5,441,030  $1,360,258  $4,080,773
    -------------------           ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    Central State Telephone
     Company, LLC                 WI      $5,141,301  $1,285,325  $3,855,976
    -----------------------       ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    EastCoast Telecom of
     Wisconsin, LLC               WI      $2,225,674    $556,418  $1,669,255
    --------------------          ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Grantland Telecom, LLC        WI      $2,207,338    $551,834  $1,655,503
    ----------------------        ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Midway Telephone Company,
     LLC                          WI      $6,240,983  $1,560,246  $4,680,737
    -------------------------     ---     ----------  ----------  ----------
    Riverside Telecom, LLC        WI      $1,091,582    $272,895    $818,686
    ----------------------        ---     ----------    --------    --------
    Scandinavia Telephone
     Company, LLC                 WI      $1,651,745    $412,936  $1,238,809
    ---------------------         ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Southeast Telephone Co. of
     Wisconsin, LLC               WI      $1,263,406    $315,851    $947,554
    --------------------------    ---     ----------    --------    --------
    Stockbridge & Sherwood
     Telephone Company, LLC       WI      $2,449,895    $612,474  $1,837,421
    -----------------------       ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    The Farmers Telephone
     Company, LLC                 WI      $1,920,759    $480,190  $1,440,570
    ---------------------         ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    UTELCO, LLC                   WI      $3,764,701    $941,175  $2,823,526
    -----------                   ---     ----------    --------  ----------
    Totals                              $114,483,212 $28,620,803 $85,862,409



About Telephone and Data Systems

Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS), a Fortune 500(R) company, provides wireless, local and long-distance telephone, and broadband services to approximately 7.3 million customers in 36 states through its business units, U.S. Cellular (wireless) and TDS Telecom (wireline). Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, TDS employed 12,300 people as of March 31, 2010.

Visit www.teldta.com for comprehensive financial information, including earnings releases, quarterly and annual filings, shareholder information and more.

About TDS Telecom

TDS Telecommunications Corp. markets communication services to business and residential customers in 30 states through its brands TDS Telecom(R) and TDS Metrocom(R). With 1.1 million access line equivalents in service, TDS Telecommunications Corp. connects customers to phone, broadband, and digital television service in hundreds of rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities. TDS Telecommunications Corp. is the eighth-largest wire line company in the nation; employing approximately 2,500 people. The company is headquartered in Madison, Wis.

Visit www.tdstelecom.com and www.tdsbusiness.com for more information.

Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: All information set forth in this news release, except historical and factual information, represents forward-looking statements. This includes all statements about the company's plans, beliefs, estimates and expectations. These statements are based on current estimates, projections and assumptions, which involve certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that may affect these forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: The ability of the company to successfully grow its markets; the overall economy; competition; the access to and pricing of unbundled network elements; the ability to obtain or maintain roaming arrangements with other carriers; the state and federal telecommunications regulatory environment; the value of assets and investments; adverse changes in the ratings afforded TDS and U.S. Cellular debt securities by accredited ratings organizations; industry consolidation; advances in telecommunications technology; uncertainty of access to the capital markets; pending and future litigation; changes in income tax rates, laws, regulations or rulings; acquisitions/divestitures of properties and/or licenses; and changes in customer growth rates, average monthly revenue per unit, churn rates, roaming revenue and terms, the availability of handset devices, or the mix of products and services offered by U.S. Cellular and TDS Telecom. Investors are encouraged to consider these and other risks and uncertainties that are discussed in documents furnished to the SEC.

SOURCE Telephone and Data Systems, Inc.

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