A New Chapter for BendBroadband

BendBroadband CEO Amy Tykeson, welcomes Mark Barber and David Wittwer of TDS at the BendBroadband employee gathering yesterday.

BendBroadband has been a proud part of the Central Oregon community for over 50 years.  We are pleased announce a new chapter in our storied history as Central Oregon’s premier communications provider.  Yesterday, BendBroadband disclosed that it is being acquired by Telephone and Data Systems (“TDS”).  The transaction includes our affiliated companies Zolo Media and BendBroadband Vault.

There are many reasons why this transaction is great news for employees, customers, and the community.  First, TDS recognizes that we have a very talented base of employees, so they have committed to keep our employees and our jobs in Central Oregon.  Second, TDS shares our vision of being a trusted partner to customers – so our customers will continue to receive the superior service and support they’ve been accustomed to.  Third, TDS understands the importance of investing in our community – and supports our unwavering commitment to give back.

In a letter to employees, Amy Tykeson, President and CEO of BendBroadband, cited several reasons why this is the right decision for BendBroadband.  One of the most important is that TDS will ensure BendBroadband has the resources and scale necessary to continue to provide great service and support.   “This is a dynamic time in the cable industry and consumers have more choices and options than ever before.  It is also a time of huge consolidation.  By joining forces with a like-minded company we will gain the scale we need,” said Tykeson in her letter to employees.

Dave Wittwer, President and CEO of TDS Telecom, sees BendBroadband as a strategic addition to their business. “BendBroadband’s strong market position and technology leadership will help us achieve significant forward momentum in our cable strategy,” said Wittwer.

As we begin this new chapter, we are excited for the possibilities that this transaction brings.  One thing will not change however, and that is our commitment to provide you with the excellent products and services you expect from the Local Dog.

If you have questions about this news, please read our list of Frequently Asked Questions, which are posted below, or post a comment.


TDS BendBroadband External FAQ


Q: Who is TDS?
A: Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (TDS), a Fortune 500 company, provides wireless; cable and wireline broadband, TV and voice; and hosted and managed services to approximately 5.9 million customers nationwide through its business units, U.S. Cellular, TDS Telecom, OneNeck IT Solutions and Baja Broadband. Founded in 1969 and headquartered in Chicago, TDS employed 10,500 people as of Dec. 31, 2013.

Q: Why did BendBroadband sell to TDS?
A: This is a dynamic time in the cable industry and consumers have more choices and options than ever before.  It is also a time of huge consolidation.  While BendBroadband has made many smart investments, it is clear that we will need to join forces with a like-minded company to gain the scale necessary to provide the cutting-edge technology and personalized customer experiences that consumers expect.

Q: Why did TDS purchase BendBroadband?

A: TDS believes that BendBroadband is a very talented company that can help increase the value across its entire cable, broadband and data center businesses. They plan to build on BendBroadband’s strong market position and technology leadership to achieve their business strategy.

David A. Wittwer, president and CEO, TDS Telecom states, “We will leverage BendBroadband’s considerable expertise across our growing cable business, driving residential and commercial growth by delivering competitive broadband, video and managed services over the high-capacity network. We share BendBroadband’s vision of being a trusted partner to our customers and communities, and growing profitably through quality, service and innovation.”

Q: What will happen to BendBroadband’s employees?
A: TDS will keep our employees here in Bend. TDS knows that our customers will benefit from that continuity.  They are excited to leverage the skills and talents of our employees to grow their cable, broadband and data center operations.

Q: Is this sale related to the LTE wireless sale in any way?

A: No.  Our decision to sell the LTE spectrum was made so that we can focus on our core businesses.  We want to continue to provide excellent cable, broadband and data center services to our customers.  The deal with TDS positions us to do so for many years to come.

Q: What’s happening to the BendBroadband Vault datacenter?
A:  TDS is acquiring the BendBroadband Vault as part of the transaction. We will continue to provide the highest quality colocation and managed services at the Vault.  The Vault fits nicely into TDS’s data center and managed services strategy.

Q: What’s happening to Zolo?
A:  Zolo is included in the transaction, and will continue to operate under TDS’s ownership.  Zolo customers can expect that there will be no material changes to the business or operations in the foreseeable future.  We are excited to continue to help businesses grow their customer base by offering the best available TV advertising options in Central Oregon. Fans of myWindow, ABC, and CBS will continue to enjoy high-quality programming from our local broadcast operations.

Q: When will the sale to TDS be complete?

A: As is common with mergers involving FCC-regulated entities, the acquisition still has to clear some standard regulatory assessments and evaluations.  We anticipate that this may take between four and six months.

Q: What changes should customers expect?
A: Nothing will change for customers in the foreseeable future. We are committed to providing you with the best possible products and services and outstanding customer support.

Q: BendBroadband has been committed to the Central Oregon community for over 50 years, sponsoring many events and charities in the region. Will TDS continue to support those causes?
A: TDS understands that supporting our community is part of BendBroadband’s core values.  TDS shares our sense of commitment and responsibility, and will continue to give back generously to the community.

Q: Will TDS retain the BendBroadband brand?
A: There are currently no plans to change the brand. Our brand was never a statement about our owner’s address; it was and will remain a statement about our 270+ employees living and working in the community we serve. What we share with our neighbors and wider community—our technology, our entertainment, and our value—is as true today as it was yesterday.


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