Another one bites the dust. Telephone and Data Systems (TDS) is buying cable operator BendBroadband for $261 million.

BendBroadband will strengthen TDS’ hand in the cable operator sector. Last year TDS Telecom bought Baja Broadband

The BendBroadband deal is slated to close in the third quarter of this year after it passes the usual regulatory approvals and other conditions.

TDS, which is the parent company of TDS Telecom, is also picking up affiliate companies operated by Bendbroadband. Data center BendBroadband Vault opened its doors three years ago while Zolo Media is a cable advertising and broadcast business. 

"BendBroadband's strong market position and technology leadership will help us achieve significant forward momentum in our cable strategy," said David A. Wittwer, president and CEO, TDS Telecom. "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."

At the close of last year, BendBroadband passed approximately 79,000 homes and businesses, with approximately 36,000 video subscribers, 41,000 high-speed broadband subscribers and 22,000 digital voice subscribers. The company, which is located in Bend, Ore, has severed the area for more than 50 years. 

"TDS is a longstanding, family-controlled company that shares our commitment to our customers, our employees and our communities. With TDS, we will keep hundreds of good jobs in Central Oregon," said Amy Tykeson, president and CEO, BendBroadband. "I am proud of the customer-centered company we have built over 30 years, and I believe TDS is the right fit for our culture and values, and for our future. I want to reassure our customers that there will be no interruption in service, and BendBroadband will remain a strong partner to our Central Oregon communities."

In 2007, Tykeson was named a Vanguard Award winner by the NCTA for her “Distinguished Leadership.” Last year Tykeson was inducted into The Cable Hall of Fame, and she has also garnered numerous other awards over the years.

Despite its small size, BendBroadband has been an innovator in the cable operator industry over the years. BendBroadband was among the first small cable operators to deploy a TV Everywhere service two years ago. In 2008, BendBroadband completed its all-digital conversion project.

Earlier this year, BendBroadband pulled the plug on its LTE-based wireless broadband and phone service.