Broadband coming to rural areas of Decatur County

Published 6:50 pm Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A company announced their broadband project that launched in November will be completed by 2014, bringing broadband access to those in parts of rural Decatur County who may have not had access previously.
TDS Telecommunications Corp. announced its broadband project that is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in early November and the company said this would bring Internet and phone access through nearly 14 miles of underground fiber optic cables. TDS will alert customers when the service is available and ready.
Spokesperson for TDS, Cindy Tomlinson, said this would give services to those who maybe previously could only get dialup or had no type of service at all.
“But now they will finally have access to services with the money from the American Recovery and Investment Act,” Tomlinson said. “We have been able to bring high speed Internet access out to these people who didn’t have it before. This will work through their local phone company and certainly they can sign up for phone service or high-speed Internet service — or they could bundle that together and they could hopefully save on costs.”
Tomlinson said the new project will not reach everyone but it will reach out to connect roughly 400 households in the area south of Fowlstown in Decatur County and in Gadsden County, Fla.
TDS is receiving funding for 44 projects, including this one in Alabama, from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) as part of the ARRA.
Nationwide, more than 95 percent of TDS customers already have access to Internet service. According to TDS, federal stimulus funds are helping to close the gap and deliver Internet connectivity to more than 20,000 customers.