TDS hosts informational meeting

LYNDEBOROUGH – On Oct. 9, TDS representatives Scott Brooks and Shelly Streeter hosted an informational hearing on the conversion of their lines to fiber optics and what programs will then be offered. About 30 people attended the hour-long presentation.

While the company has been installing the fiber, the plan will cover only about 70 percent of the town, due in part to the widely scattered houses.

“The engineering committee determined (where the lines would go),” Brooks said. He noted that people “who are close to the end of the new lines can make arrangements with the company.”

The town has been looking into having broadband extended into town for the past several years, since a higher speed is needed in the town offices.

“It is most frustrating project I’ve ever been through,” Town Administrator Russ Boland said. People have been complaining that they can’t sell their houses because of the lack of Internet services. “People just aren’t moving into town. This is a real issue for people wanting to work from their homes.”

In order to operate within a town, there has to be a franchise agreement. Brooks has been working with the Board of Selectmen for several months. Boland said the town’s attorney reviewed the contract.

Following the hearing, the selectmen signed the contract.

Brooks said TDS began offering fiber optics cable in New Hampshire in 2014 and now serve 25 communities.

Asked when it “would actually happen,” Streeter said they would start selling services during the last week of October. “Once sales happen, connections can begin, “a month or two away.”

Brooks said, “A team will be sent out with contract sign-up information.”

Those salespeople will be identified with names tags and will be known to the police department.

“No TDS customer will be forced to change,” Brooks said. The change will increase both speed and capacity. “We are trying to move forward and offer a product people want.”