BendBroadband CEO speaks about sale

Amy Tykeson calls deal 'next natural step to grow'

BendBroadBand boss talks of sale

BEND, Ore. - It's one of the biggest deals for a Central Oregon-based company in years -- if ever.

"This is the next natural step to grow, get bigger and provide more opportunities for our customers, our employees and our communities," said BendBroadband President and CEO, Amy Tykeson.

Tykeson says the company has been on the market for several months.

For $261 million, Telephone and Data Systems, the parent company of TDS Telecom will now be the new "dog" in town.

"No. 1 for me was finding a company that would take our employees and keep those important jobs here in Central Oregon with good benefits," Tykeson said.

With more than 280 employees, BendBroadband is the 15th-largest employer in Central Oregon, according to Economic Development for Central Oregon's latest ranking.

"All the jobs that we have here in Central Oregon will stay here," Tykeson said.

This is some reassurance for employees, but what about customers?

TDS is a Chicago-based company, so has the "local dog" become a stray?

"Even though we don't use the tagline 'local dog,' we are still very much a part of those communities," aid TDS President, David Wittwer. "Our employees live and work and participate in those communities, that's what important to us. So Bend's culture and value structure is very similar to us in that way. We just don't have the 'dog' yet."

The name stays, the branding stays -- but as for your cable bills...

"Nothing will change for our customers in this transition going forward," Tykeson said.

So no rate hikes are coming, at least for now.

"High level of service, customer service, cutting edge technology -- those are the same things that are important to us. So from a customer perspective, don't expect any changes around those," Wittwer said.

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