Beaver Island Net - Beaver Island Places, People, Art, and History
Beaver Beacon - Beaver Island News and Events, Stories, Places, People, Art, Photography, and more.
Beaver Island
Beaver Island Beaver Island Places Excursions Projects Artists History Home



Beaver Island Broadband
DSL Internet

High Speed Internet now available -
Great news for Beaver Islanders: DSL now available to 95% of the Island!

March 15, 2010

Good Morning,

First of all I would like to introduce myself to everyone. My name is Al Ripp and I am the new Market Manager for your area taking over for Chad Mix. I have been in the telephone industry since 1974 and have held a variety of different positions during my tenure. I joined TDS in 2001 through an acquisition of Mid-Plains Telephone which is located in Middleton Wisconsin.

I know that many of you have been waiting for high speed internet for sometime and I wanted to let you know that thanks to Rick Bucholtz and Chad Mix, DSL is now available to 95% of the Island. To order services you may call 1-888-225-5837.

Unfortunately there is a small area along Donegal Bay that has not been deployed at this time because of the additional cost of construction. This is an area that we filed for federal dollars through the round one of stimulus funding but were rejected. TDS is currently in the process of reviewing all those areas for round two funding and will be filing those requests before the March 29th deadline.

I realize that this has been very frustrating for many and appreciate your patience.

I am planning on visiting Beaver Island during the week of 3/29 to get more familar with your area. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or concerns in the mean time.

Al Ripp TDS Market Manager

Posted from


Beaver Island: Now 25ms to Chicago
Thank You TDS!

March 29, 2010

Plans are now available up to 10 mbps down x 768 kbps up on Beaver Island!

The latency over the upgraded system is also very low and very quick!

Beaver Island Speedtest to Chicago:

Beaver Island Speedtest across country to Dallas:

Also symmetrical plans for businesses with larger budgets are now available which offer 3/3, 5/5, or 10/10 and beyond ranging from several hundred dollars per month to a couple thousand dollars per month -- this magnitude of bandwidth was never readily available on the Island before. This could truly be a game-changer for high-tech businesses, healthcare, and education on Beaver Island in the years to come.

Thank You to TDS for all your work to make this happen for the Island!




Archive Beaver Island Broadband News

From the Launch of DSL on Beaver Island through the 2010 Upgrade.


Fast & Healthy again thanks to TDS

August 26, 2009

The packet loss is now resolved and we're back to the great performance to which we're accustomed. Many thanks to TDS for resolving the issue as we're much too spoiled now to the great service to go back to the slow-lane. (satellite during the outage certainly felt laggy in comparison.)

Ping statistics for
Packets: Sent = 100, Received = 100, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 66ms, Maximum = 131ms, Average = 85ms


A couple bumps in the road

August 21, 2009

After a year of flawless service, the Island has now had two noticeable outages. The first lasted a day, and the second started with very slow speeds and then a complete outage which extended into the second day. Now the system is back up, but still experiencing 10% packet loss resulting in performance somewhat less than we've become spoiled to by TDS. But it's a relief to be back online at least as there isn't any option here which holds a candle to DSL; even in the degraded state it's noticeably faster and more consistent than consumer $atellite.

Pinging [] with 32 bytes of data:
Reply from bytes=32 time=150ms TTL=53
Request timed out.
Reply from bytes=32 time=102ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=118ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=115ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=159ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=255ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=170ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=108ms TTL=53
Request timed out.
Reply from bytes=32 time=130ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=124ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=256ms TTL=53
Request timed out.
Reply from bytes=32 time=109ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=103ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=123ms TTL=53
Request timed out.
Reply from bytes=32 time=110ms TTL=53
Reply from bytes=32 time=108ms TTL=53

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 20, Received = 16, Lost = 4 (20% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 102ms, Maximum = 256ms, Average = 140ms

Ping statistics for
    Packets: Sent = 1000, Received = 889, Lost = 111 (11% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 39ms, Maximum = 542ms, Average = 88ms

On a positive note, the outage and impacted service sure make us appreciate how far we've come in the last two years. We take those who work on the system daily to keep things running smoothly for granted when everything is working fine, so thanks to everyone who is working to restore service and performance to the level we've become accustomed to. And thanks to those who provide great service day in and day out except for these few bumps in the road..


To The South... Soon

May 1, 2009

TDS is planning a launch of DSL to the entire Island. Several major projects are being implemented in an effort to get DSL to the businesses and residents of Beaver Island as quickly as possible.

First, TDS has to upgrade all of the DSAs on the Island (there are 5 additional DSAs to be converted).

Second, TDS has to upgrade the Island microwave to accommodate the needs of additional DSL subscribers.

Lastly, TDS has to add additional backhaul to the Island via the microwave to transport the data to the mainland and out to the Internet.

This DSL conversion is a major project. As a result, the time from an approved engineering plan to delivery to the customers is longer than the initial install of DSL in 2008.

TDS is planning to have DSL to the entire Island sometime in the summer months. Of course, this is a large window. However, because of the detail involved within the projects a better timeline canít be provided at this time. TDS is committed to Beaver Islandís businesses and residents. It has committed the necessary capital to deploy DSL throughout the Island. The costs of the total project well exceed several hundred thousand dollars.


July - Fast and Great

Beaver Island DSL speed to Dallas TX
July 22, 2008 test around 8 p.m. EST

Beaver Island DSL speed to Chicago, IL
July 22, 2008 test around 8 p.m. EST

Beaver Island DSL speed to Germantown, WI.
July 22, 2008 test around 8 p.m. EST

July 22, 2008

No major news to report -- everything is working great now in mid-summer.

We believe over a hundred people on the Island now have fast DSL connections with a couple new signups every day it seems based on on-the-street reports.

We were interested to see how the Island infrastructure would handle things as the connections were utilized more heavily. After a few short glitches in June mostly related to the thunderstorms, July has been great!

July 2008 - Highly recommended. 10 out of 10 stars!


Coming through the Spring Thunderstorms

June 13, 2008

After two months of 100% perfection this spring, a week of thunderstorms has been problematic for communication links from Beaver Island (though maybe in the past we faced similar storm seasons but we ourselves simply weren't so dependent on always-on links to the mainland for daily life as we have quickly become spoiled to now.)

On June 13, 2008 the nearby thunderstorm knocked out long distance telephone service (though local telephone service on the Island was not affected), and the DSL network was down until around 11:00 a.m. and was then running congested for several hours (though it was still faster than satellite even in the impacted state.) By the evening broadband was running nice and fast again. Power cycling the modem (which in the early morning failed to get/renew its dhcp ip lease) after the storm outage may have been necessary, or at least brought service up faster.

It was also mentioned that a major mainland cell tower feeding this area was put out of commission by the same storm.

At the start of the week on June 10, 2008 there was an unrelated system-level glitch that interrupted connectivity from the early AM hours until 11:30 a.m. which was a problem beyond Beaver Island.

The week previous, wireless internet competitor Central Solutions suffered a backhaul failure that downed wireless service from Saturday May 24th to Tuesday May 27th.

All in all, it's been a tough early June for communications providers due to mother nature, but at the same time, these few-hour interruptions really make you appreciate it when service comes up again (and all those that work so hard to keep everything running perfectly on a daily basis no matter what is thrown at it.)

As said at the end of April, after having DSL broadband for a few months now, I'm glad we don't have to go back to the slow way of doing everything for any longer than a few hours for a quick glimpse of years past! It would be hard to go back now that we're very spoiled to high speed.

June 2008 - Highly recommended!


After a month... now couldn't live without it!

April 27, 2008

After having TDS DSL since mid-March, we have not encountered a single glitch, problem, or slowdown to date. It just works, well!

Well done TDS!  April 2008 - Highly recommended!


How good is TDS' Beaver Island DSL — Simply Amazing!
Thank you TDS!

March 15, 2008

Modems are now starting to arrive on the Island from orders placed in the past couple of weeks and accounts going online at broadband speed! How is it? No comparison to anything else ever available here outside of town (other than $1000/month T1s)

Beaver Island Broadband DSL performance
Beaver Island Broadband DSL performance

TDS deserves a huge thank you for providing such an amazing service! Nicely done!


TDS Announces: DSL is now available

March 11, 2008

“DSL is now available on Beaver Island,” announces Chad Mix, market manager for TDS. “We’re so excited to bring this much-anticipated service to the residents and businesses on Beaver Island. We appreciate everyone’s patience and hope you’ll enjoy TDS’ new high-speed Internet service.”

As was previously reported, TDS will offer two levels of residential DSL service on Beaver Island: 1.5Mb and 3Mb for $39.95 and $49.95, respectively, per month. Businesses can select speeds of 768Kb, 1.5Mb or 3Mb ranging from $49 – $99/month.

Island Airways will be one of the first customer’s on Beaver Island to get service, according to Mix.

"Island Airways is very excited to be TDS' first customer. With TDS, we know we are getting a fast and very cost effective solution," says Paul Welke, owner of Island Airways.

For more information, or to sign up for TDS’ high-speed Internet service, call TDS at 888-CALL-TDS (888-225-5837).

# # #

TDS Telecom, a growing national company headquartered in Madison, Wis., brings high-quality, locally based telecommunications services to hundreds of rural and suburban communities across the United States. The company, along with its subsidiary TDS Metrocom, provides service for more than 1.2 million access line equivalents. Visit for more information.

TDS Telecom is part of the Telephone and Data Systems, Inc. (AMEX: TDS) family of companies. TDS is a diversified telecommunications corporation founded in 1969. Through its strategic business units, U.S. Cellular (AMEX: USM) and TDS Telecom, TDS operates primarily by providing wireless and local telecommunications service. The company currently employs approximately 11,600 people and serves approximately 6.4 million customers in 36 states.


Beaver Island Residential & Business DSL Broadband Plans

Reprinted from the March 2008 Beacon

As we go to press, the on-Island work has been completed and sign-ups are now being accepted for Beaver Island DSL broadband! (coverage areas listed in the December 2007 Beacon)

Actiontec 701

Residential DSL’ is available in two plans:

$39.95/month for 1.5 Mbps down / 512 kbps up, or

$49.95/month for 3.0 Mbps down / 512 kbps up.

There is no setup fee, but the modem costs $12.95 to ship to the Island. To order call 1-888-CALL-TDS.

Actiontec 701

Business DSL’ is available in three plans:

$49/month for 768kbps down / 512 kbps up,

$69/month for 1.5 Mbps down / 512 kbps up,

or $99/month for 3.0 Mbps down / 512 kbps up,

These prices are for 2-year contracts (or $10 more per month if you only want to sign a 1-year contract).There is a 60-day satisfaction guarantee. To sign up for business broadband service: 1(800) 233-5605 ext 3561 or

Businesses must sign up for business-DSL but residential numbers can sign up either for residential or business DSL. The business plans offer (a) faster response in “minutes or hours” in case of any technical problem, or even a lightning strike taking out a modem on the customer’s end, (b) priority tech support and remote diagnostics, (c) a sleeker looking modem with wireless router built-in, (d) an account rep to streamline signup, and (e) a number of bundled items. Static IP addresses are available too.
Most if not all businesses on the Island have already received a call, but if not, contact Brandon McDonald, Account Executive, TDS Telecom, for full details and answers to questions, or to sign up for business broadband service: 1(800) 233-5605 ext 3561 or

And next time you see a TDS employee, be sure to say thanks for all the work they’ve put in to bring this about!


TDS updates DSL deployment timeline

Jan. 11, 2008

For more information contact:
Cindy Tomlinson
Associate Manager-Public Relations

In mid-February TDS plans to begin delivering its high-speed Internet service to residents and businesses on Beaver Island. Currently, TDS is planning to offer two levels of DSL service: 1.5Mb and 3Mb for $39.95 and $49.95, respectively, per month.

According to Chad Mix, market manager for TDS, the engineering phase has gone extremely well. “Because the engineering went so smoothly, we’ve been able to firm up our deployment timeline. We’ve also identified likely speeds and pricing information – something we received a lot of questions about after our initial announcement.”

Currently, TDS is in the final test phases – and nearly ready to begin delivering this much-anticipated service to many parts of the Island. “We’re very excited and hope that people enjoy their fast connection to the world,” Mix says.

DSL (Digital Subscriber Lines) — also known as high-speed Internet — allows subscribers to be on the phone and the net at the same time. When compared to dial-up, DSL also offers quicker downloads, faster speeds, and a better overall Internet experience.

Barring any unforeseen issues, residents should be able to sign-up in the next few weeks, says Mix who again cautions that because DSL is a distance-sensitive technology, it may not be available to all TDS Telecom customers immediately.

For more information, call TDS at 888-CALL-TDS.

Initial Beaver Island TDS DSL Coverage & Distance Predictions

November 30, 2007

The provisional areas to be covered initially by TDS DSL will likely include:

  • St. James, the Port St. James area including Donegal Bay,
  • Carlisle Road,
  • Barney’s Lake Road North from ~27996 to Four Corners,
  • King’s Highway,
  • Paid een Og’s Road, and
  • East Side Drive from ~31080 north to Four Corners (including roads originating from East Side Drive between these points.)

Speeds, Island DSL pricing, and any future coverage are not yet known.


TDS Press Release

November 16, 2007

For more information contact:
Cindy Tomlinson
Associate Manager-Public Relations

DSL Coming Soon to Beaver Island
High-speed Internet service will soon be available to Beaver Island residents, according to TDS Telecom. DSL (Digital Subscriber Lines), which is high-speed Internet, allows you to be on the phone and the net at the same time.

“We’re excited at the prospect of offering DSL in the very near future here on Beaver Island,” says Chad Mix, market manager for TDS Telecom. ”We know customers have been waiting for DSL and we are happy to finally be able to get it to them. At TDS we take pride in delighting our customers. With what we’ve heard from customers, offering DSL will certainly be a delight.”

According to Mix, TDS is currently in the engineering phase. He says that if everything goes according to plan, TDS hopes to begin offering it to residents and businesses during the first part of 2008.

DSL is a distance-sensitive technology, Mix cautions. Therefore, it may not be available to all TDS Telecom customers initially.

Previous Island Broadband News: Beaver Island Satellite Internet through WildBlue

Other Island Broadband News: Beaver Island Wireless Broadband plans from Central Solutions, Inc.