TDS internet not acceptable

TDS internet not acceptable

Posted in the Farragut Forum

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Knoxville, TN

#1 Jul 4, 2010
We've had TDS phone and internet service for a year and a half now. We're in a new subdivision in the Farragut area, and TDS was our only choice when we moved (I think there are other options now, but need to check).

The phone is ok if you can live with the poor audio and usual glitches of what is essentially a cel phone fed to the house over the last few miles by fiber optic cable.

The internet has not been acceptable. The installer apologized (as did the tech-help people nearly every time I've called) for the performance of the ONLY router they have available for fiber optic use. First, we seldom get the data download speed that we are paying for. Second, the wireless connection is intermittent and spotty. We have both Windows and Mac laptops and devices, and the connection problems are across the board. At the moment, the main problem is that connections time out after 2 to 3 minutes (I'll probably have to restart the router or disconnect/reconnect my Mac's Airport after typing this.)

TDS has been no help. I called again today, and they are sending us another router. But it is the same model number as the one we have---the one the company has been apologizing for over the past 1.5 years. They will not send a person to switch out the routers--I have to do it myself. And I've done this enough to know that it isn't as simple as the non-tech customer service guy assured me that it is.

If this doesn't work, I'll see if we can, by now, get another provider in this area.

Fort Payne, AL

#2 Sep 8, 2010
I also have TDS, fiber-optic to the home internet and agree that the router they provide is shoddy at best. I replaced the router with a quality (non-Best Buy cheapo) router and the wireless/connectivity issues have disappeared.

All in all I think the TDS internet service is very good, but the hardware they provide for free is not very good. I recommend that anyone wishing for rock solid home internet invest in a high quality router, regardless of the service provider.

For what it's worth, TDS is the first provider I've used that actually provided a free router. I see this as more of a "thanks but no thanks" type of issue, though I imagine they've already worked in their cost for the router into the cost of the service.

Fort Payne, AL

#3 Sep 8, 2010
By the way, I want to mention that there's nothing special about the TDS router that makes it work on their system... pretty much any router will do.

State Line, MS

#4 Apr 16, 2012
TDS is by and far the worst internet service I have ever had the misfortune of having to deal with. If there is anyway possible it's worth paying an extra 20 bucks a month for Charter or another service. Not only can we not stay connected for longer than 5 minutes, but the technician admitted that it was in fact a weak signal from -their- end! And trying to get a technician out to your home? HAH! Good luck with that. Three days, twelve calls, and a threat to cancel service and notify the BBB for failure of service was the only thing that -finally- got the technician out to our home.

Knoxville, TN

#5 Jun 6, 2012
I have been working with them on several tech support tickets for slow internet over the past several months. They have readily admitted by now that the slow speeds (particularly in the evening from about 7-11PM) are from their central network and has nothing to do with the routers they provide or even the local infrastructure. They are still working to correct the problem and I expect a refund for the time it's been lackluster, but at least they are listening to me and working to fix it (supposedly.) I'd have switched long ago if I had another reasonable provider as an option.

This evening I am experiencing under 1MBPS download speeds on a connection that should be 25MBPS 24/7. My advice to anyone considering TDS at this time is to avoid them until this issue is corrected for certain.
Bill Baker

Knoxville, TN

#6 Jan 8, 2013
We've had TDS phone/internet/DISH bundle for about 4 years--as long as we've lived in a new Farragut neighborhood where they were only service available. Since the beginning, we've paid for the highest speed internet--primarily because I'm a website developer and need as much bandwidth as I can get. LST, web speed has been decent & Dish has been ok until the past 6 months (now channels won't select without 10-15 tries up/down, get total signal loss frequently--in spite of having them re-aim dish just 2 days ago--no improvement). The worst by far is the fiber optic Action-Tec modem/router. We're on our second one--with zero improvement. Wireless connections are routinely dropped every few minutes by all brands of devices (laptops, phones, pads, etc.). AND I've been told numerous times on the phone and by repair personnel that NO OTHER ROUTER WILL WORK; that I can't go buy my own fiber optic modem/router. On this blog, I'm hearing differently, and it's making me really mad! So, I will now do anything to get rid of their crappy modem. And if they can't get my dish direction calibrated, I'll cancel that for sure! I guess their new internet TV service is streamed programming via their optic cable? Maybe that's a better solution. That and buying my own quality modem (assuming someone makes one). Anyway, beware the Dish/TDS bundle! Especially if it uses the ActionTec modem/router.

Knoxville, TN

#7 Jan 8, 2013
Ditch the action-tec, it's not a modem, it's just a simple wireless router and it's awful. Any router can replace it but I'd suggest a step or 2 above your typical Best Buy router for best results. I'm using a Cisco business router and have had no issues on that end.

The fiber-optic goes through its own modem that is generally on the outside of your home... fiber goes into a box, and a Cat5 network cable goes into the house to a network switch. From there it's all ethernet, which is what the router connects to. No special equipment required to replace their router, and it's a shame they tell you otherwise. They just want to keep you in their tech support bubble, it's easier for them to connect the dots if you use all of their equipment. Not better for you though when their equipment is faulty in the first place.

Knoxville, TN

#8 Jan 15, 2013
Well, unfortunately I have to amend my previous statements. Today I upgraded to the new TDSTV service (with the Cisco cable boxes rather than the ADB ones) and in doing so, they installed a new ActionTec V1000H wireless router than I have NOT been able to bypass. The new TV system runs on your local network rather than being tied directly to the fiber optic switch, and I haven't been able to figure out what makes the new ActionTec so special that I can't bypass it. So if you're on the newer TV system, you may indeed be stuck with the TDS router.

Knoxville, TN

#9 Jan 15, 2013
Bill - The best I was able to muster to avoid using the ActionTec as much as possible was to attach my own (high quality) router to the Action Tec, disable the ActionTec's wireless, set up my router with a static IP address, and set it as DMZ host in the ActionTec settings. This way I can use my GOOD router as my wireless access point and all of my home network, while bypassing the Actiontec to the maximum extent possible.

Knoxville, TN

#11 Nov 12, 2013
This discussion is concerning me. They are just about finished with our new house and it looks like TDS is our only option for internet. The paperwork from the builder said Charter, but when I called them they said it wasn't available at our new address. They had gotten calls from a couple of our new neighbors about service a while back.
Does anyone have their TV and internet service? I looked at the option with Dish and it didn't look good. I read a couple of months back they installed some new fiber in the area which was supposed to improve service.
Where I live in West Knoxville now I have 3 choices for service (AT&T, Comcast or Knology). I can't believe moving to Farragut makes my choices so bad.

Mount Juliet, TN

#12 Jan 18, 2014
Dish has issues and is a bad satellite system. As for the modem, the actiontec is junk as another stated. Get an apple extreme and you'll be happy, or a Dlink dual band wireless router. Stay away from Linkysys and belkin.

Mount Juliet, TN

#13 Jan 18, 2014
For TDS Tv you must use their router. Now there are some advanced tricks that may work, but you had better have some good router of your own to split the tv service off your computer network. The actiontec and Cisco tv box must use switch port 1 on the actiontec. I am certain there is some type of encrypted token there to validate the stream is official TDS service. Cant blame them for protecting their service, as it works well, but I have over 35 devices online at my house (STB's, iPads, computers, iPhones, thermostat, alarm system, ect...) and the actiontec cannot handle the session numbers (simultaneous connections).

If you purchase business class internet with multiple static IP.s you could cleanly segregate it, but thats expensive. I am trying to get someone at TDS to help me use the actiontec in a bridge mode and let my cisco ASA handle the routed traffic. Ill advise if I ever get an answer.

Other than that sticky part, the service for the past 7 years for me has been very goos. Im a net architect for a living, and TDS has provided me excellent internet service at the bandwidth I pay for. TV works well too..the actiontec router is junk!

Jackson, MS

#14 Jan 18, 2014
Updating my previous input, since TDS changed over to their new system, I've been very satisfied with the service. I think I've had 1-2 outages in the last year, one which was fixed by rebooting the router, and another was a hardware failure in the neighborhood fiber optic relay... the latter was fixed by a tech the night i called it in.

I still don't use the TDS router for wireless (though the router still must be used), I configured my own wireless router to operate within my home network downstream of their router, so I can't comment on the quality of their router for wireless.

All in all though, the TDS service in my house is MUCH improved over just a year or 2 ago.

Nashville, TN

#15 Apr 14, 2014
Did you ever get an answer from TDS concerning the possibility of placing the router in bridge mode? I too do not want to use their router if I were to acquire TDS TV service.

United States

#16 Apr 17, 2014
MTJ TDS User wrote:
Did you ever get an answer from TDS concerning the possibility of placing the router in bridge mode? I too do not want to use their router if I were to acquire TDS TV service.
I'd also be curious to hear if there's been any talk on this. I have a business-quality router/firewall that I want to install to use for full-time VPN to my father's house (It's IPSec config supports a remote dynamic peer.) When I installed it, however, everything looked great until we tried using the set-top boxes for TV...
The picture starts when you change channel, then freezes after a few seconds, and you can see the traffic halt on the router's logs. I've disabled the firewall temporarily to see if it was something related to that, but that wasn't it. Since the picture initially works whenever you change channels, I have a sneaking suspicion that there's something proprietary that they're doing with the ActionTec to prevent people from using their own network equipment with the TV service, but I can't be sure.
If I do manage to get it working, I'll post what I did here. Anyone else, please do the same.
software developer

Knoxville, TN

#17 May 9, 2014
I've had the fiber optic service of TDS in Farragut for several years now, and it's by far the best residential Internet service I've ever had. I'm really surprised by some of the comments here. There's never been any problems getting techs out here, which has been needed when lightning takes out the router or a switch on the network (which has happened a few times), and when DVRs have died on us (a couple of times). Neither is the fault of TDS as they don't manufacture the DVRs or the weather.

Regarding the router, I do agree that the wireless on the first Actiontec one we had was crap (don't recall the model number), but the newer V1000H we have works very well and has good range. I still have another access point at the other end of the house for full coverage, but it's completely normal that you won't have perfect signal in the whole house with a single access point.

As for using your own router, I'm thinking about getting one that supports OpenWRT to get more control over the configuration (although I think the standard router's firmware is better than most residential router's I've used). It'll be interesting to see how that works with the set top boxes, but worst case I can use the DMZ trick mentioned by Rynoth above... That should work for sure.
software developer

Knoxville, TN

#18 May 9, 2014
Oh, one more thing... I believe most of use here are talking about their fiber optic Internet/TV/phone service, which is now up to 100 Mbps. The DSL/Dish combos they sell (sold?) in some areas are a whole different thing.
software developer

Knoxville, TN

#19 May 9, 2014
I found this, which probably pretty much explains the requirements for getting TV to work on your own router:

Jones, OK

#20 Jun 10, 2014
I have had TDS this time...for 13 years. It is the worst system in the world. I suspect software developer works for them or a supplier of their equiptment. I had had super slow internet tons of static on my phone, and poor dish service. After 12 years of complaining they finally came out and screwed my receiver down that had come loose Now it's back to the old trick of no service when it rains. I hate TDS and wish we could get a competitor in the area. I don't think we should be 2nd class citizens and have rinky dink service to keep other companies from being monopolies. I'm tired let some other towns suffer for a while.
software developer

Knoxville, TN

#21 Aug 2, 2014
Timetraveler, as I said, I have the fiber optic service with IPTV, not DSL + Dish. Huge difference.

Also, you are posting in the Farragut, TN forum that has such service.

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