Effective Date: December 4, 2012

Updated: April 6, 2018

Consistent with FCC regulations, TDS provides this information about our network and broadband Internet access services.  This document is intended to be informational and does not replace or alter the legal terms and conditions of our service agreements (including but not limited to the Telecommunications Service Agreement and our Terms of Service).

Why does TDS manage its network?

TDS manages its network to help provide high quality broadband Internet service to its customers and to protect its network from harm, compromised capacity, degradation in network performance or service levels, or uses of the service which may adversely impact access to, or the use of, the service by its customers.

By using effective network management practices, we can optimize our customers' overall broadband Internet service experience.

How does TDS manage its network during times of congestion?

TDS uses a variety of tools and techniques to manage its network. During times of congestion, TDS uses these tools and techniques to optimize overall customer experience. Specifically, TDS deploys tools that evaluate traffic based on its tolerance for latency and gives the highest priority to traffic types that require low latency. If necessary, traffic is also prioritized based on protocols that can tolerate medium latency with  disproportionate users of bandwidth having their medium latency traffic shaped to a lower priority. Disproportionate users are identified as those in each local service area who, over the previous seven days, are among the top 10% of bandwidth users. Examples of low, medium and high tolerance latency traffic types are as follows:

  • Traffic with Low Latency Tolerance: Voice-over-IP, Gaming, Virtual Private Networking, Interactive Web Browsing.
  • Traffic with Medium Latency Tolerance: Streaming video, streaming audio.
  • Traffic with High Latency Tolerance: Peer-to-Peer and bulk downloading (e.g. software updates, email attachments, FTP transfers, news groups).

The traffic-shaping routine described above is only used during times of congestion.

Will these practices change over time?

Yes. As the Internet and usage of the Internet evolves, the practices we use to manage the network will also evolve. As these practices change we will update the information on this site, provide a description of the new practices and explain how they will work and how they could impact your broadband service. We encourage you to periodically review this Network Management FAQ site to be kept informed about TDS' network management practices.

Why does the speed of my TDS High Speed Internet connection vary?

TDS High Speed Internet services are "up to" the advertised speeds of the service subscribed to, but may be lower for a variety of reasons. Here are a few items that may limit the speed of your connection: the performance of the Internet, particularly destinations or networks not directly connected to TDS, the speed of the destination website, the performance of your computer, the type of connection between your computer and your DSL modem or gateway, etc.

At times the TDS broadband Internet network may experience congestion due to high demand.  

How can I test the performance of my High Speed Internet connection?

You may run a test of your broadband connection by visiting http://speedtest.tds.net. The test measures upload speed, download speed and latency.

Do TDS' network management techniques discriminate against specific Internet content providers?

No. TDS does not block any lawful content, applications or services and does not discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic.  TDS does not block or manage any specific protocols or protocol ports, except in cases of malware, spam and viruses to protect customers (see our network security practices below).  With the exception of network congestion management (see above) and network security practices (see below),  TDS does not target specific types of traffic based on technology, application or provider, modify protocol fields in ways not prescribed by the protocol standard, or otherwise inhibit or favor certain applications or classes of applications.

Does TDS employ network security practices that affect traffic?

Yes. TDS is dedicated to network security and employs a number of security practices to help guard against security threats and protect the integrity and availability  of our network. Due to the dynamic nature of the Internet, new threats are constantly emerging and as a result, TDS' security practices are constantly evolving to mitigate the risk of those threats to our network and customers. If TDS detects a threat, we will work to isolate the threat and take steps to prevent it from spreading throughout the network. In order to protect our network from internal and external abuse, we block a limited set of ports  and protocols commonly used for spam, propagation of viruses, malware, fraud, stealing a user's information or other malicious behavior, including Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. We reserve the right to block additional ports in the future based on threat assessments. These measures are not designed to prevent or restrict a customer's use of their broadband services, as long as their activities are not a threat to the network or other customers. Any online activity which violates TDS' terms of service, acceptable use policy or threatens the security, integrity, or availability of our networks or customer information, may result in suspension or termination of service.

TDS security practices may also include scanning and analyzing network addresses, including ranges assigned to our customers.  The scanning activity is a proactive measure to detect areas of weakness within the network that could be used to cause disruption of service to our customers and  should not have any adverse effect on our quality of service. This activity may be used to: (1) Detect configuration errors or vulnerabilities resulting from mistakes made by our customers when setting up equipment connected to our network; (2) Identify those devices not properly patched with the latest available settings or code, whether the devices are TDS-provided or customer-provided equipment; (3) In some cases, alert customers to such issues and reference methods for them to address any weaknesses.

In addition, TDS offers security tools for our customers to further safeguard our customers' devices and networks. For residential customers, information is available at https://tdstelecom.com/shop/internet-services/safety-security-services.html. For business customers, information is available at https://tdsbusiness.com/products/internet/security.html. If you are using a wireless router provided by TDS, we strongly encourage you to verify that it is securely configured to ensure proper encryption and authentication to prevent abuse of your network connection by unauthorized parties. For instructions on securing your TDS-provided wireless router, please see the following: https://tdstelecom.com/support/internet/setup-secure-wifi-network.html. For our privacy policy please see TDS' privacy policy:


Does TDS provide other IP-based services that share the broadband internet network?

Yes. TDS offers IPTV, security, and support services that share TDS network infrastructure with our Broadband Internet Access Service (BIAS). These other services are known as non-BIAS services.  While the impact these services have on broadband internet performance is generally unnoticeable, it is possible heavy IPTV use (watching and recording multiple HD channels for example) could temporarily impact the broadband performance at the customer's location, particularly if it's during a period of peak usage on the network.

Does TDS block the attachment of non-harmful modems or residential gateways to its network?


Does TDS have rules regarding the attachment of non-recommended modems/gateways to its network by customers?

Yes. TDS High Speed Internet products and services up to 2Gbps are fully supported when customers use the TDS supplied customer premise equipment (CPE). Customers using their own CPE, such as a DSL modem or residential gateway, may do so as long as the CPE does not cause interference or otherwise harm the TDS network. If customer-supplied CPE causes harm or interference on the TDS network, TDS reserves its right to take action including halting internet connectivity to resolve the issue. Please contact TDS at 888-225-5837 (888-CALL TDS) to resolve the issue. In some cases, all that may be needed is to configure your CPE for proper operation on the TDS network. Please note that TDS is not responsible for the configuration or support of customer-provided CPE, nor can we guarantee the proper functioning of the broadband Internet service when customers use their own CPE. Typically customers will need to configure their CPE to obtain a WAN IP address automatically, using DHCP. Customers with ADSL service will also need to configure the WAN PVC to 0/35. 

How can I contact TDS if I have questions about network management?

You may contact TDS with questions regarding our network management practices at https://tdstelecom.com/contactus.

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