Updated: April 1,2024

This policy provides information about TDS’s network and broadband Internet access services, as required by FCC regulations and other state and federal laws that govern internet service providers. This policy is informational only and does not replace or alter the terms and conditions that govern your services. Your use of TDS’s internet service is governed by your service agreement with TDS and any terms, conditions, and policies referenced therein, including TDS’s Acceptable Use Policy at https://tdstelecom.com/policies/acceptable-use-policy.html and TDS’s Privacy Policies at https://tdstelecom.com/policies/privacy-policy.html.

This policy applies to all the Internet service products we offer to our residential and business customers.

If you have any questions or comments about the information contained in this policy, please contact TDS Customer Support at (866) 448-0071.


1. Network Management Overview

TDS uses a variety of reasonable, nondiscriminatory, network management practices, tools, and techniques to manage our network. We monitor network and traffic patterns, manage congestion, place certain restrictions on device attachments, and employ robust network security protocols. We use the same practices in all markets, and for all internet products. Our goal in doing so is to improve overall network performance and ensure a high-quality online experience for all users. Additionally, our network management practices are designed to:

  • Protect our network from harm, compromised capacity, degradation in network performance or service level;
  • Prevent people from using the service in ways that could adversely impact other customers' access to and/or use of the service; and
  • Reduce outages.

Additional details are outlined below. As network management issues arise and as technology develops, we may employ additional or new network management practices. As these practices change, we will update this policy with descriptions of the new practices, explanations of how they will work, and a summary of how they could impact your broadband service. We encourage you to periodically review this policy to stay informed about TDS' network management practices.


2. Traffic Inspection and Management Practices

TDS inspects and analyzes network traffic to monitor network availability and identify potential concerns such as congestion or security risks. Traffic information is collected via a third-party network management software platform and stored by TDS; otherwise, the information is not disclosed to or used by any third parties. TDS may use traffic information for network management and any other purpose described in our Privacy Policies athttps://tdstelecom.com/policies/privacy-policy.html.

2.1. Application-Specific Traffic Management Practices

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). Except for network congestion management and security practices described in this policy, 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.

2.2. User-Specific Target Management Practices

TDS does not target any particular users or user group with specific practices; all traffic management practices are applied uniformly. Specific users may be targeted based on their network activity if such activity is related to a cyber-attack or other threat or a violation of TDS’ Acceptable Use Policy.

2.3. Usage Limits

TDS monitors bandwidth consumption but does not impose any usage limits on its internet customers. If a customer is using excessive bandwidth to the point that they are violating TDS’ Acceptable Use Policy, TDS will take action as described at https://tdstelecom.com/policies/acceptable-use-policy.html.

2.4. Traffic Prioritization

TDS employs third-party software that monitors round trip time on TDS’ network. This measurement reflects the time that data takes to move across the network. If round trip time reaches a certain threshold set by TDS, it indicates that the network has become overloaded with data to the point that its response time slows down, like traffic on a busy highway. When this happens, it triggers TDS’ traffic prioritization methods, as described in further detail below. These methods allow us to clear the congestion, keep our network traffic flowing, and optimize overall customer experience.
The methods used for traffic prioritization can vary and change over time. In general, during periods of network congestion, we deploy tools that evaluate traffic based on its tolerance for latency and prioritize traffic types that require low latency. 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, during the time of congestion, are among the top 5% of bandwidth users. Examples of low, medium, and high tolerance latency traffic types are as follows:

Traffic Type
Low Latency Tolerance:
voice-over-IP, gaming, virtual private networking (VPN), interactive web browsing
Medium Latency Tolerance:
streaming video, streaming audio, non-interactive internet browsing
High Latency Tolerance:
peer-to-peer file sharing and bulk downloading (e.g., software updates, email attachments, data transfer via FTP

2.5. Effect on Customer's Experience

TDS’ traffic management practices are largely imperceptible by end users. Customers should not experience any negative impact due these practices; rather, they are designed to improve the customer experience.


3. Device Attachment Rules

This section addresses any limitations on attaching lawful devices to our network.

3.1. General Device Restrictions

We place no general restrictions on lawful devices that a customer may connect to our network, so long as the device is: (a) compatible with our network; and (b) does not harm our network or other users. Our High-Speed Internet service works with most types of PCs and laptops including Macs, and other Internet compatible devices like game systems and Internet-enabled TVs. If a wireless router is connected to our High-Speed Internet service, wireless Internet compatible devices including computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices can connect to our network. If a customer believes they have an unusual configuration, our customer service department will help determine if there is a compatibility problem.

3.2. Device Restrictions for Services Delivered via Cable Modem

If your High-Speed Internet service requires connection of a modem, gateway / Wi-Fi router, and/or other customer premise equipment (“CPE”) to our network, you can obtain the appropriate CPE from us, or you may purchase one from a third-party retailer. Note: TDS only provides CPE for speeds up to and including 2Gig. For our 5Gig and 8Gig XGS-PON services, Customers are required to supply their own CPE to get speeds above 2Gig.

TDS provides full customer support and troubleshooting for its High-Speed Internet customers who use TDS-supplied CPE. Additionally, TDS will handle any configuration of TDS-supplied CPE to ensure proper operation on the TDS network.

Customers supplying their own CPE will be responsible for its configuration and support; TDS cannot guarantee that a customer’s broadband Internet service will function properly when using customer-supplied CPE. Customers may only connect CPE that (a) has been fully certified by CableLabs as compliant with the DOCSIS 3.0 or DOCSIS 3.1 specifications; and (b) does not interfere with or otherwise harm the TDS network. Additionally, TDS may require a specific version of firmware to be installed on customer-supplied CPE. TDS reserves the right to push necessary firmware to customer-supplied CPE to support the effective management and performance of the TDS network.

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. If customer-supplied CPE interferes with or otherwise harms the TDS network, TDS may require the customer to disconnect their CPE or take other actions to protect the TDS network, including halting the customer’s internet connectivity until the issue is resolved.

Please contact TDS Customer Support at 1-866-448-0071 if you have questions about your CPE.

3.3. Device Restrictions for Services Delivered via Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP)

Certain types of our High-Speed Internet services available to our business customers are delivered via FTTP. For those services, we install a Media Converter or Optical Router at the customer premises. The Media Converter or Optical Router then connects via a cable to a customer-provided device (e.g. Switch, Hub, etc.). If you have a question about your FTTP service, please contact your Account Executive or Sales Engineer for assistance.


4. Network Security Practices

TDS is dedicated to network security and employs several 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.

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 that violates TDS’ terms of service, is prohibited by TDS’ 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 their devices and networks. For residential customers, information is available at https://tdstelecom.com/shop/internet-services/enhancements. For business customers, information is available at https://tdsbusiness.com/products/internet/enhancements.html. We strongly encourage all customers to verify that their wireless router is securely configured to ensure proper encryption and authentication to prevent abuse of your network connection by unauthorized parties. For additional information, please see our Internet Support site at https://tdstelecom.com/support/internet.html.

Additional information regarding your responsibilities related to network security is available in our Acceptable Use Policy at https://tdstelecom.com/policies/acceptable-use-policy.html.


5. General Description of TDS' High-Speed Internet Service

5.1 Service Technology

Our High-Speed Internet service enables a customer to connect an Internet-enabled device to our network and access all lawful content, applications, and services of their choice available on the Internet. We provide these services over our broadband network and through third-party fiber optic lines connecting to the Internet. Unless a customer has dedicated internet access (DIA), all of their internet traffic will traverse a shared network.

The equipment required to connect a computer or other device to the Internet depends on the type of High-Speed Internet service used:

  • Our cable modem Internet service requires a cable modem. Cable modem technology is used for both residential and business customers.
  • Our Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) Internet service requires a TDS media converter or optical router. FTTP technology is available only to our business customers.


5.2. Expected Performance and Applications

We offer our residential and commercial customers a variety of High-Speed Internet plans. A complete description of the internet speed provided with each specific product offering for residential and business customers is available at the time of sale. Our residential and business Internet services are suitable for typical real-time applications including messaging, voice applications, video chat applications, gaming, and Internet video. Certain speeds are not available at all service addresses and are only offered in areas served by TDS Fiber. If users or developers have questions about real-time applications, please contact TDS Customer Support at 1-866-448-0071.

5.3. Internet Speeds

Internet speeds vary depending on the network capabilities between the customer’s location and the TDS network. The speeds we identify for each Internet access service level are the maximum upload and download speeds that customers are likely to experience. Speed ranges are expressed as “up to” the maximum speed. We provision our customers’ modems and engineer our network to deliver the speeds to which our customers subscribe. However, we do not guarantee that a customer will achieve those speeds at all times.

Most customers can expect to receive a stable speed within the range of the product purchased as allowed by the quality and capability of the connection; however, actual speeds experienced by customers vary and are not guaranteed. Some customers may receive lower than the indicated speed range. A variety of factors can affect upload and download speeds, including but not limited to: customer equipment, network equipment, congestion in our network, congestion beyond our network, distance from switching locations, delivery technology, performance issues with an Internet application, content, or service, and more. To maximize Internet speeds above 100Mbps, a compatible network interface card is required. To maximize Internet speeds above 100 Mbps, a gigabit wired Network Interface Card (NIC) and/or a more advanced wireless NIC, preferably 802.11ac or higher is needed.

Customers that are not receiving the indicated speeds may cancel their service or downgrade to a lower-speed service without any termination or switching charges. Otherwise, a service charge may apply to existing customers who switch plans without increasing speed or adding a qualifying service.

5.4. Latency; Packet Loss

Latency is another measurement of Internet performance. Latency is the time delay in transmitting or receiving packets on a network. Latency is primarily a function of the distance between two points of transmission, but also can be affected by the quality of the network or networks used in transmission. As latency varies based on any number of factors, most importantly the distance between a customer's computer and the ultimate Internet destination (as well as the number and variety of networks your packets cross), it is not possible to provide customers with a single figure that will define latency as part of a user experience.

Packet loss, which contributes to latency, may occur during periods of network congestion. TDS uses the congestion management practices described in Section 2.4 to mitigate packet and reduce network latency.

Certain remote markets utilize network infrastructure that inherently causes higher latency (e.g., microwave, long-haul circuits, etc.). In these markets, such latency is unavoidable due to the challenges of delivering internet services to remote geographic locations.

TDS measures latency to the customer gateway/Wi-Fi router; customer premise equipment may impact a customer’s latency measurements.

5.5. Customer Speed and Latency Test

You may run a test of your broadband internet connection at https://tdstelecom.com/support/internet/connection-speed-test.html. The test measures upload speed, download speed and latency. Please note that speed tests produce inconsistent results due to various factors, including the speed test program or website used, the number of devices connected to the customer’s home network and whether the speed test is conducted over Wi-Fi.


6. Impact of Non-BIAS Services

TDS offers IP-based voice, television, 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.

Non-BIAS services rely on similar network practices as described in this policy for BIAS. Non-BIAS services will be prioritized over all types of BIAS traffic in the event of a network failure or other network congestion event.

The impact that non-BIAS services have on broadband internet performance is generally unnoticeable; however, it is possible heavy IPTV use (for example, watching and recording multiple HD channels) could temporarily impact the broadband performance at the customer's location, particularly if it occurs during a period of peak usage on the network. Additionally, during a network congestion event, prioritization of non-BIAS services as described above may impact the end user experience of BIAS.


7. Questions About Network Management

Residential customers may contact TDS with questions regarding our network management practices by calling TDS Customer Support at 1-866-448-0071 or filling out the online contact form at https://tdstelecom.com/contactus.html.

Business customers may contact TDS with questions regarding our network management practices by calling TDS Customer Support at 1-866-448-0071 or filling out the online contact form at https://tdsbusiness.com/contactus.html

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