High-speed internet

TDS Telecom plans to buy the Sun Prairie Utilities municipal broadband service -- to expand fiber connections like this, shown above, and offer telephone and television service over the internet, as well.

The city of Sun Prairie plans to sell its municipal broadband service to TDS Telecommunications Corp.

TDS and Sun Prairie Utilities have signed a non-binding letter of intent for the transaction, saying they hope to hammer out terms of the agreement and finalize it by the end of March.

Sun Prairie’s municipal utility built a fiber optic ring around much of the city in 1998 and it now serves nearly 70 locations, the company says on its website.

“However, the operation and expansion of such a business comes with significant risk,” Ted Chase, chairman of the Sun Prairie Utilities Commission, said in a written statement.

“By transitioning our network to TDS, more households and businesses will have access to fiber internet at no risk to the utility,” Chase said.

TDS said it plans to invest in the network over the next two years, adding high-speed fiber optic connections to most of the city of Sun Prairie.

“We plan to expand the network to launch 1-gigabit broadband speeds, as well as phone service, and our industry-leading IPTV (internet protocol television) solution, TDS TV, to residents,” Drew Petersen, TDS vice president of external affairs and communications, said in a written statement.

“For businesses, we would look at providing dedicated fiber connections and our hosted VoIP (voice over internet protocol) phone solution.”

TDS Telecom, based in Madison, is a subsidiary of Telephone and Data Systems, with headquarters in Chicago.

TDS Telecom already offers broadband and other telecommunications services on Madison’s Far West Side and in Middleton, Verona, Cross Plains and Waunakee.


Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.