The right modem for your TDS plan

As TDS broadband speeds increase, a new modem that’s compatible with TDS products will make a world of difference.

Looking for the right modem for your plan? TDS is now using DOCSIS 3 and DOCSIS 3.1 modems. DOCSIS stands for Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification. DOCSIS is the international standard used to transfer data over cable TV systems, which makes it possible for any cable modem to work with any cable TV system.

Here’s an overview of the DOCSIS 3 and DOCSIS 3.1 modems:

DOCSIS 3 modems can use multiple downstream and upstream channels at the same time (channel bonding) to increase the maximum possible speed. Channel bonding also helps provide more capacity to our users. Some DOCSIS 3 modems only support 4 downstream channels. Some support 8, some 16, some 24, and some 32. The number of upstream channels supported can also vary. Think of channel bonding like highway traffic. An 8×4 modem has eight lanes of traffic going into the city and four lanes of traffic going out.  When considering an internet tier package and a modem, keep in mind that if you have lots of devices (phones, tablets, streaming videos, gaming counsels) going at the same time in your home, that’s a lot of traffic and you’ll need a higher speed package and a DOCSIS 3 modem.


DOCSIS 3.1 modems can support up to 10Gbps downstream and up to 1Gbps upstream, with an improved quality. The use of Active Queue Management allows network delay to be significantly reduced with DOCSIS 3.1, even as data traffic grows on the home network. This is especially helpful in applications like online gaming where responsiveness is critical. Downloading movies and other content will be faster and graphics can display at even higher resolutions. This modem also enables a increase in network capacity. DOCSIS 3.1 technology improves the spectral efficiency of the HFC network and supports up to 4096 QAM (12 bits/symbol) and provides the potential to drastically increase the system capacity. DOCSIS 3.1 now also provides the very latest capabilities in digital communication technologies including:  LDPC encoding, more than 1 GHz of usable spectrum, and support of QoS.



The minimum number of channels that TDS recommends for our Ultra 100 tier is an 8×4 channel modem (8 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels).

For our Ultra 300 package, we recommend at minimum, a 16×4 channel modem.

For our Ultra 600 tier, we recommend at minimum a 24×4 channel modem.

For 1Gig (coming to TDS cable markets), TDS requires a DOCSIS 3.1 modem at minimum 32×8 channel modem.

To offer you the best quality service, we recommend using a TDS-provided modem. These are tested and certified to work correctly with the TDS internet package you order.

Modems supplied by TDS are fully supported by TDS Technical Support. For more information about services contact 855-301-7470.

DOCSIS 2.0 modems do not meet the minimum requirements for our minimum Internet Speed Tier and are no longer supported.

If you choose to supply your own modem, Technical Support is not responsible for the configuration or support of it. TDS also cannot guarantee that Internet service will function properly if you use a modem not provided by TDS. If a Repair Technician visits your home for Internet service issues that are found to be related to a non-TDS-provided modem, you may incur charges.

By Cheryl McCollum

18 Responses to The right modem for your TDS plan

  1. Jenny October 27, 2018 at 4:26 pm #

    This is all great info but how do we know if we have the right one? I have a Docsis 3 and I have had it since I became a customer and that was when I had only 60mbps, then I bumped it to 100mbps and now I have the 600mbps and I still have the same modem and tbh I feel like it is lacking. No one has ever said anything to me about some modem that may do the job better and tbh that does not surprise me but it sure would be nice to know if I need a better one. This is why though your customers go get their own, because your employees do not do their job right and tell customers when they need something better.

    So any info you could provide me as to what one I should have would be super awesome.

    • Cheryl McCollum October 29, 2018 at 4:45 pm #

      Hi Jenny,

      From your e-mail, I wasn’t sure if you rent the modem from TDS or if this is your own modem. If you rent the modem from TDS, the representatives should have been able to see what make and model you have, and determine if it is compatible with the speed you subscribed to. You could always call in to talk to our customer service team at 844-322-8832.

      You can also search the make and model online to find the manufacturer’s specifications. For example, here is a link to the manufacturer’s information on the Arris TG2472:

      Let me know if you have any more questions. Cheryl

  2. Gerry November 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm #

    I currently rent an ARRIS TG862 G/NA-8 modem from TDS. I was told that it was REQUIRED in order to receive telephone service through TDS. I have 100mbps internet with telephone (no tv). If I were to upgrade to 300 or 600 mbps speeds:
    Do I need a new modem? Will the “new” modem support telephone service, or will that also add to the monthly cost of the “new” modem?

    • Cheryl McCollum November 20, 2018 at 3:15 pm #

      Our repair and tech support team can best answer your question about your current TDS modem/router. Please try them at 855/696-8368.

      Thank you, Cheryl

  3. Dick Ladieu November 13, 2018 at 11:30 pm #

    I have a very old modem and have no idea if it is adequate for my TDS service. Do you sell as well as rent modems ?

    • Cheryl McCollum November 19, 2018 at 11:07 pm #

      Yes, modems supplied by TDS are fully supported by TDS Technical Support. For more information about services contact 855-696-8368.


  4. Don January 5, 2019 at 5:01 pm #

    Does your cable internet service in Estes Park Colorado work with an ARRIS SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 modem

    • Cheryl McCollum January 7, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

      The best thing to do is call 855-696-8368. Thanks, Cheryl

      • Pete Santucci January 18, 2024 at 5:05 pm #

        Does a Nether CM700 work with TDS service?

        • Mark Schaaf January 26, 2024 at 8:40 pm #

          Hi Pete – reach out to TDS customer support at 844-322-8832 and someone should be able to assist.

  5. Paul Beyerl August 16, 2021 at 12:54 am #

    Hi Cheryl,

    A common theme here seems to be people that want to buy a modem. The first question should be if you have DSL or Fiber. In my case, I have DSL.

    When I had TDS before, I bought the Actiontec GT784WN. I found out from an installer that it was not usable.

    I found out that TDS was using the Actiontec T3260 modem. They were having problems getting the T3260 and had gone to the Actiontec T3200. I found that I couldn’t buy a T3260. They seem to only be available to rent from TDS.

    I purchased an Actiontec T3200 with a Windstream branding. It would not connect. I then bought another T3200 with Telus branding and advertised as working with TDS, but it also would not connect. There is a firmware issue that TDS said they can’t change. They might have worked if I had a fiber connection.

    On a blog, I saw that the CenturyLink C3000 would work and indeed it did. I was concerned because the PPP setting was still showing CenturyLink. I was told by TDS customer service that TDS does not use PPP so it shouldn’t be a problem.

    I bought a second CenturyLink C3000 as a backup. The second one also worked.

    I hope this helps someone trying to buy their own DSL modem and have run into the same difficulty finding a modem to work.


    Paul B.

  6. Jason November 11, 2021 at 7:14 pm #

    Paul, what steps did you follow to get your C3000 working with TDS? Did you just plug it in and turn it on/not contact TDS at all? Or did you have to call TDS and them do something in order for it to start working?

  7. Paul Beyerl November 11, 2021 at 7:59 pm #

    I just plugged it in. I bought a second one as a backup and it also worked. I had to buy a power supply because they didn’t cone with one.

    Paul B.

    • David April 20, 2022 at 9:50 am #

      Is it a C3000A, C3000Z?

  8. Ryan January 2, 2024 at 6:05 pm #

    I have TDS and rent the modem for $12 a month for 4 years now??? Shouldn’t it have paid for itself by now? I want to by a modem and return theirs to save the “rental” fee. We have a green cord going to it instead of yellow and the clip is smaller than the normal yellow cords. I haven’t been able to find one that accepts the green connection.

    • Mark Schaaf January 26, 2024 at 8:41 pm #

      Ryan – to discuss modem options, reach out to customer support at 844-322-8832 and someone should be able to assist.

  9. Steve Witthuhn March 30, 2024 at 8:39 pm #

    I am going to get internet service from TDS and can I buy the modem from TDS when they install the internet?

    • Mark Schaaf April 4, 2024 at 7:24 pm #

      Hi Steve – give us a call at 844-322-8834 to discuss options. Thanks!

Leave a Reply