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New fiber optic lines gain momentum
Jan. 18, 2016

BY STARRLA CRAY
Associate Editor

WINSTED, MN – Since November 2015, Winsted has been living life in the fast lane – at least in terms of Internet speed.

That’s when the first residents got connected to TDS Telecom’s new fiber optic lines, which offer speeds of 100 megabits per second.

“It’s a pretty cool upgrade for the city,” commented Bo Nelson, who serves as TDS Telecom’s direct sales representative in Winsted.

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Digging for the fiber lines began in July, and continued through the fall.

At the November Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce meeting, Nelson, along with TDS Telecom field marketing/associate manager Sue Courteau, shared details about their progress.

“Things are going really well,” Courteau said at the meeting, noting that 100 customers in Winsted had signed up, and 60 installations had been completed.

Today, more than 130 households in Winsted have fiber optic service through TDS, and more are being installed every week.

According to Nelson, TDS’s most popular fiber package is about $110 per month, plus taxes and fees. The package includes more than 150 TV channels, a DVR box, fiber Internet with WiFi setup, and home phone service with voice mail, caller ID, and call waiting.

Winsted Area Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Campbell said his family saves about $65 per month with fiber services.

“I was able to improve what I had for service, and also save quite a bit of money,” Campbell said, adding that the TV picture quality also seems sharper.

Winsted resident Tom Ollig, who used to work at TDS Telecom, signed up for fiber soon after it was offered.

“We are very pleased with the service, pricing, and product TDS is offering,” Ollig noted. “Winsted is fortunate that TDS made this investment in our community; we will now have some of the fastest residential and business Internet around.”

Seven Winsted businesses are currently in the process of having fiber lines installed, and several more have signed contracts, according to Courteau.

“Even though the cold weather is upon us, we’re still working,” she said. “It’s business as usual for us.”

Frozen ground has prevented the restoration of a few properties, though, and Courteau said she appreciates everyone’s patience.

“As soon as the weather warms up, they’ll be back out there to make any repairs to people’s yards,” she said.

Courteau commented that Winsted residents were extremely good to work with during the construction process, and it was evident that they take pride in their community.

“We had to call on some extra technicians to help us, and they really liked working in Winsted,” Courteau said. “They said the community was so kind and welcoming. It makes their job a whole lot easier.”

To learn more about fiber optic services through TDS Telecom, contact Nelson at (763) 271-6033 or at bo.nelson@tdstelecom.com.

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