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TDS believes faster DSL service will suit small businesses

Madison, Wis. - Not everyone is a fan of providing high-speed Internet service over anything but the most up-to-date technology - fiber to the premises.

The belief that leading-edge businesses won't continue to lead the pack with trailing-edge technology is pervasive, but TDS Telecom believes small and mid-sized businesses have a different calculation.

TDS has introduced its Symmetrical Dedicated Internet, a DSL product that provides business customers with equal upload and download speeds of up to 45 megabits per second (Mbps).

The Madison-based broadband company, which serves nearly 26,000 business customers in Wisconsin and more than 73,000 nationwide, is marketing the technology to businesses that want a faster option to existing DSL without having to commit to costlier data connections.

Dave Wittwer, chief operating officer for TDS, called the product more of a natural evolution of an existing product than a competitive response to other products. "It's more of an enhancement of what we typically provide," he said. "We want to offer services to get them the speed they need without having to leapfrog to the next level, which would be fiber."
According to TDS, the service will allow business customers to transfer larger files and use the additional bandwidth for Virtual Private Networks or for hosting content-rich Web sites.

There are distance limitations, however. TDS said it will guarantee broadband network speeds within the predetermined service range of three to 45 Mbps within 5,000 feet, and from three to 20 Mbps within 12,000 feet from a central office.

The 45 Mpbs compares to average speeds of six Mbps for existing DSL service, Wittwer said.

TDS' new service won qualified praise from James Carlini, an adjunct professor at Northwestern University and president of the business management firm Carlini & Associates. Carlini has been critical of phone companies for their unwillingness to invest in what he calls real broadband - fiber to the premises that offers one gigabit per second of broadband speed - but he said the TDS product is better than another well-publicized effort.

"If they can get 45 megabits per second, that's a heck of a lot better than Project Lightspeed," he said, referring to an AT&T product that offers up to six Mbps of broadband.

Carlini acknowledged that 45 Mbps of speed represents reasonably good service for small business, but he said business consumers can do better. "Most of the traditional phone companies don't want to make the investments that need to be made to provide a [fiber] broadband infrastructure that will serve business needs for the next 50 to 100 years," he said.

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chris responded 8 years ago: #1

At this point I think Carlini is an idiot. He is praising TDS and slamming AT&T for deploying the same technology. TDS is using the same copper turbo stagecoach that carlini complained about in a recent article. Right now AT&T is going after the video market which consumes a large chunch of lightspeed VDSL speed connection. However there is not reason why they could not market similar products that would greatly exceed their current 6meg max offerings.

James Carlini responded 8 years ago: #2

Copper is copper. The Service offerings are different. TDS is data only (from what was explained to me). 45Mbps (the old T3 standard) is fast if you are only using it for data.

As for the data speeds on Lightspeed, the three services are 1,3,and 6Mbps downstream and one up. How does that equate to 45Mbps? AND - future maximum speeds on Lightspeed are touted at 25-30Mbps. That is STILL way under 45Mbps.

When I had math classes, 45 was greater than 25 and 30 and definitely greater than 1, 3 and 6.

Fiber to the premise is still the way to go, so I haven't changed my perspective at all. AT&T, for all of its fanfare, should be bringing out something a lot more spectacular than what they have. AND they have a lot more resources than TDS to accomplish that.

chris responded 8 years ago: #3


The only difference between these two services is how they are marketed. One is data only and the other data+video. VDSL has an upward limit of 50meg if the loops are short enough. This speed degrades as loop length increases. Currently a standard lightspeed connection is 25meg for video and data at distance of at least 3,000 feet.

What speed will TDS deliver with a loop length that long? I doubt it will be 45meg on a single pair.

What is stopping AT&T from marketing a data only VDSL connection in the future? The answer is nothing and I am fairly certain it will exist in the futre as their customers will demand it.

These two companies are using the same technology, but they are marketing them differently. You cannot praise one and slam the other based on the technology they selected as they using basically the same thing.

You really should learn more about what VDSL is capable of and the current lightspeed implemtation before writing too much more about it. Your igorance of VDSL and lightspeed is quite obvious.

Marilyn responded 3 years ago: #4

The service TDS has provided has suddenly gone from good to sub par. There has never been a steady transmission but has been in acceptable range to handle VPN transmission. I received no solid answers about why. when. and how they will fix my problem. If other telecommuters are having the same issues TDS will lose a hug amount of business.

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