TDS® Restores Services Following March 3 Tornado in Tennessee

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TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) reports phone and Internet services are fully restored in Tellico Plains, Tenn. and surrounding communities. In less than 3 days, TDS had restored services to over 90% of the customers. Today, the company is issuing an “all clear”.

“It was no small feat,” says Carl Eubanks, regional field services manager for TDS. “We are so thankful to Fort Loudon Electric Cooperative, our hard working employees, and so many volunteers. Together we got the community reconnected.”

TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) reports phone and Internet services are fully restored in Tellico Plains, Tenn. and surrounding communities. In less than 3 days, TDS had restored services to over 90% of the customers. Today, the company is issuing an “all clear”.

The tornado hit on Friday, March 3 at 11:50 a.m. EST, impacting 8,444 telecom lines, along with major network infrastructure. Tellico Plains and the surrounding communities of: Ball Play, Coker Creek, Niota, Riceville, Vonore and Englewood were all impacted.

“It was no small feat,” says Carl Eubanks, regional field services manager for TDS. “We are so thankful to Fort Loudon Electric Cooperative, our hard working employees, and so many volunteers. Together we got the community reconnected.”

TDS’ response by the numbers:

  •     8,444 access lines were impacted by the twister
  •     21 additional contractors were hired to expedite the repairs
  •     7 TDS field service technicians from Tellico were actively engaged
  •     12 technicians from nearby TDS facilities in Concord, Halls-Crossroads, and Farragut drove in to assist and stayed until the work was completed
  •     15 team members from TDS’ corporate headquarters assisted from Madison, Wis.
  •     Within 57 hours service was restored to a majority of the customers

Local damage in Tellico Plains was extensive. A service garage and warehouse next door to the TDS Telecom central office was completely destroyed; four technicians inside the building took cover in the underground service pit and emerged unharmed. TDS also sustained damage to the local business office and central office that housed all the telecom equipment.

“The entire community deserves a lot of credit. I’d specifically like to thank the Monroe Co. Sherriff’s Dept., volunteer fire and rescue squads, STAR Construction, Millsap’s Roofing, and the local churches for providing over 1,500 meals a day in Tellico at the shelter,” adds Eubanks.

TDS continues to make repairs in the area for customers who are without service due to dropped lines or other damage at their property and final repairs to the roof will be done this week.

TDS Telecommunications Corp. (TDS®) is the seventh largest telecom provider in the U.S. For more than 40 years, the company has been connecting people with high-speed Internet, phone, and TV entertainment services in hundreds of rural, suburban, and metropolitan communities across 30 states. Today, TDS has more than 1.1 million equivalent access lines in service and 2,700 employees. Business customers select from the latest technologies, including: VoIP (managedIP) phone service, dedicated Internet, data networking, and hosted-managed services. Visit http://www.tdstelecom.com or http://www.tdsbusiness.com for more information.

TDS Telecommunications Corp. also manages the operations of VISI Incorporated, TEAM Technologies, and OneNeck IT Services Corp. through TDS Hosted & Managed Services, LLC. These companies employ more than 350 people who specialize in providing hosted application management, managed hosting, cloud services, and next generation data centers. Visit http://www.visi.com, http://www.team-companies.com, and http://www.oneneck.com for details.

TDS Telecommunications Corp. headquartered in Madison, Wis. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. [NYSE: TDS]. A Fortune 500® company, Telephone and Data Systems provides wireless, local and long-distance telephone and broadband services to approximately 7 million customers in 36 states through TDS Telecommunications Corp. and U.S. Cellular [NYSE: USM], its 84-percent owned wireless subsidiary. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, Telephone and Data Systems employed 12,300 employees as of Sept. 30, 2011. Visit http://www.teldta.com for investor information.

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DeAnne Boegli

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