Enough Is Enough – No More TDS Telecom Please!

For 7 years now I have been stuck with TDS Telecom for my phone and internet access.  TDS Telecom is a giant company outside of New Hampshire but for some reason they own a small piece of the pie from Lyndeborough, NH to Hollis and some areas north of us.  The issue is not that they are a bad company.  The issue is the provide horrible Internet Access to rural residents.  For the time I have lived in my town, they are the only option along with Satellite TV.  There is NO cable providers here at all and everyone seems to be content with leaving it that way.  Well I’m had it!

We have two people who work from home and we have been forced to pay for TWO 5Meg DSL services, of which the fastest we can squeak out is 3Meg down and a dismal .5 meg up.  Not only are we paying for a speed we cannot even get….twice, but there has been NO significant upgrades to boost service to my town’s homes.  TDS Telecom has been content with collecting our monthly fees and providing sub-par services for rural areas of NH.

What do I want?  CHOICES!  I want Comcast, or Verizon Fios to set up shop in these areas where TDS Telecom has been happily sitting idle by while the consumers are falling behind in technology.  At this point we are basically dial-up to everyone else’s 25Meg or 50Meg speeds and we are being left behind.  Work starts to suffer, we cannot leverage offsite backup options for our data, and yet nobody is speaking up.

Here is my petition to Comcast and others to PLEASE come to Lyndeborough, NH with your services.  Force TDS Telecom to do something about their inferior services they continue to charge us for but do nothing to update.  Frankly you all keep showing me commercials about how I can get faster than DSL speeds on my TV…..yet you don’t come here to install and provide the services?  Why is that exactly?

As of today I have heard back from Comcast who is going to inquire with the local field teams and the Town has even said I am not the first person to complain about the lack of speed, and options for service.  Enough is enough….give me my high-speed internet NOW!  Some people may find this a bit humorous but to us it is no longer a laughing matter.  It’s about both provider choice as well as the need for speed.  Someone has to eventually speak up and frankly HughesNet is not ever going to work for remote office workers.  Their Limitations on 20GB per month would be destroyed by most remote home office workers, so frankly it’s never going to be an option.  We need real broadband here, the time has come.

About Chris Colotti

Chris is active on the VMUG and event speaking circuit and is available for many events if you want to reach out and ask. Previously to this he spent close to a decade working for VMware as a Principal Architect. Previous to his nine plus years at VMware, Chris was a System Administrator that evolved his career into a data center architect. Chris spends a lot of time mentoring co-workers and friends on the benefits of personal growth and professional development. Chris is also amongst the first VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX#37), and author of multiple white papers. In his spare time he helps his wife Julie run her promotional products as the accountant, book keeper, and IT Support. Chris also believes in both a healthy body and healthy mind, and has become heavily involved with fitness as a Diamond Team Beachbody Coach using P90X and other Beachbody Programs. Although Technology is his day job, Chris is passionate about fitness after losing 60 pounds himself in the last few years.


  1. I live in Stetson Maine, and I feel your pain! For me? TDS IS A HORRIBLE company! First of all, I took me almost a month just to convince them that my address existed. I had to contact Fairpoint to get the name and telephone number of the last person at our addy to have phone service, and pass that on to TDS. As for Internet connection? THE BEST I can get is 768Kbps, and they WANTED to charge me an additional $10 a month for the service, because of the difficulties involved with getting service to me…Despite the fact that TDS has a pedestal on my front lawn…The best service in my whole town is up to 8M, and that is being upgraded with fiber optics in some locations, but NOT mine. I was able to score a life time high-speed connection, up to 8M for $30 a month, but that was after I accepted an offer on a mailer, and called to have it installed. I told the rep that I knew those speeds were not avail to me, based on distance, and she assured me they were. I made it a point to not be home with the tech came to set up my service, KNOWING he WOULD set up the 768kbps. They fought with me for more than 2 weeks, to get me to pay the $50 a month for the service, but I successfully argued that we had a legal contract, because they stated I would get speeds UP TO 8m, and 768 DOES meet that criteria, and by hooking me up with service, something of value changed hands. A little over a year later they upped my price, telling me that it costs them more to provide me with service that it used to. I told them that I didn’t care, because I had a life time price, and unless they planned on sending out a sniper, I didn’t plan on dying any time soon. My main complaint is that customers ALREADY getting 8M are being upgraded, while about 40 of us are either not getting service at all, or are paying as much as $20 a month more than the others, for 768kbps. TDS needs to be sued! They are upgrading this area with federal funds. To me, that should mean that those of us with lower, or no access should be upgraded first! Good luck to you in your fight with them, or getting other options!

    • TDS Telecom is one of the only independent Telecom providers in the US that is successfully making the transition from telecom to broadband. Give them a break. For those of you who are complaining about speed so much try and understand everyone’s data backhaul is limited somewhere by someone they cannot control. Just as you pay TDS $X.xxx and expect instant blazing fast internet without caps and limitations they also are required to pay someone for connectivity to the rest of the world. They are slowly (SLOWLY as to maintain a grasp on network growth, profitability, and hopefully please the customers at the same time.) growing their grip on the continental US with major aquisitions, many of which are companies that promised SUPER fast blazing speed with no limitations and found out that in order to pay for the backhaul they ended up bankrupt. In areas that have backhaul issues TDS is in the process of reinforcing as you type. Some of this will be in the form of stimulus upgrades with FTTH, FTTC, or Hybrid fiber coax. Including TDS TV, phone with unlimited long distance at no charge, and 100-300 Mbps internet. Other exchanges with fewer than average homes per square mile will receive upgrades so that their backhaul and available bandwidth will allow so that they will never have to worry about selling TOO many 15 Mbps packages and only being able to provide servie of 1-5 Mbps.

      That brings up another notation. 99% of customer do not understand the difference between 15Mbps and 1 MBps. If you have 15Mbps and your throughput is capable of 1MBps transfers then you are in fact doing at least 8Mbps from a server that is more than likely off of TDS network and out of their control. Be thankful for what you have. If you live in an area that is serviced by TDS then you are lucky. I have worked for all of the “big” name companies and not one of them would offer service in your area.

      Another option is to create competition. Build your own network. You are more than capable of buying your own OC48 or 10Gb fiber link from Level 3 or big bell and creating your own ISP. Then people can complain when your service is in a transitional period between growth and savings yet still maintaining enough profit to not have to sell but rather buy others who forgot to save for a rainy day.

      Population Est. 1600 people at $175/month for telephone, 185 channels to 5-6 tvs, and 100 Mbps internet over fiber. Even if everyone could afford it consistently, which they can’t, that would total about $3,360,000.00 the first year for a project that will cost $19 million to implement and approx. $30,000.00 per month in operational costs. Not including employee salaries, tools and test equipment. If we started to total up the cost to pay for software upgrades for the latest fiber equipment there’s thousands of dollars a year as well. You can see that the cost to implement and maintain operation far outweighs the revenue let alone profit. Complaints are a good thing, and I do feel your pain. I live in a TDS area and am limited to 15 Mbps but I get all of it and so do most of my customers because I am an informed and educated tech. Start at a town meeting, discuss with your town how this service or lack of service is not allowing the growth your community could see with a more reliable, faster link to the outside world. Take a survey of the area and see how many customers would utilize and could afford the newer services if offered. Find out everything you can and turn that info over to TDS. If for nothing more than to let them know you are informed of specific needs and their deficiencies for the area. Another option is to move to a higher population dense area and get those faster speeds.

      Good Luck!


      Happily a TDS employee and customer for over 12 years.

      • Your response was well thought and informative, but says nothing about people like me stuck at 768kbps. While others all around me go from 8MPS to 15MPS. Including customers from other providers, that stop service less than a mile up the road, because TDS owns the phone lines. And says nothing about how they can charge $20 a month more, to customers on the same line, that are just outside the range for speeds over 1MPS. Try a month at 768KBPS, for $50 a month, knowing your neighbor pays just $30 for up to 8MPS

  2. Oh boy do I ever feel your pain. A while back I purchased a 1Meg
    DSL package and later upgraded it to 15Meg for $50/mo and things were great. After a short time had passed I noticed
    speeds to be slower then even slower. Using
    speed test I recorded speeds to be sub 1Meg.
    Then I made the phone call to TDS to complain about their crappie internet
    service. Remedy, they put me on a special Turbo-Internet plan for $10 less/mo. The
    definition of Turbo-Internet is UP TO
    15Meg. Here lies the catch, sub 1Meg falls within “UP TO” so it’s in my face
    and now STFU. I have witnessed TDS degrade to the point of being a substandard
    provider. I may need to return to a wireless internet provider; while not as dependable
    as DSL it at least is faster. Then I’ll
    drop my 5 star package, disconnect the land line and use the cell phone exclusively. That will save me $200/mo. My gain their

  3. Everyone’s complaints here arise from a single, central fact: Your telecom/broadband service is and has been a government protected monopoly. It is a franchise system, where a provider has struck a deal with a county or municipality’s local government for exclusive access to the potential customers of a given region, in return for their investment in physical plant, its installation and maintenance, and a guaranteed minimal, acceptable level of service for a set period of time. The footprint for a given company has generally never had overlap — “overbuild”, as it is called — where more than a single company passes a residence. This is especially prevalent in New England, for some reason I’ve never fathomed.. But boards of supervisors make poor utility regulatory bodies; it’s not their strong suit. “Minimally acceptable service”, when there’s only one company providing it, in pretty short order starts to really suck balls. It is time to flat-out end the exclusive franchise system and let a minimum of two companies build out any given area. The companies won’t like it of course, but if the people they’re seeking for customers demand it of the government officials they elect to represent them, they won’t have any option. The rent-seeking will cease, service will improve, and price-hikes will subside. Get after it, New Englanders. Other regions of the country have been putting their foot down on this, so you can as well.

  4. I’m in Lyndeborough, NH. In the thick of it with ya. I also work from home (3D artist/animator) and I can attest the rates have not changed in the entire time I’ve lived here. It may be my distance from the node (that’s what I’m told) but it’s time then to install more nodes. A board of directors expects company growth, well newsflash – so do it’s consumers! In this day and age, as dependent on inet as the world is becoming, it’s pretty bad that we rate this low. The rates we get here are globally scored as a “D”. That’s like, scored versus Africa, and the Middle East. One would assume “F” is lack of access, we’re one step above that. Let’s start a petition. Some kind of action. This is ridiculous and they’ve displayed no desire to change the direction they’ve taken us in. At all.

    • The funny thing is we finally moved from NH last year….when we got to TN we found out we had comcast on the road and now we are on 50 down small business line. The issue up there is nobody wants to pay for the infrastructure.

  5. 79$ for up to 5mbps from tds telecom in northeast alabama and 30$ of that is taxes and monthly fees. It’s ridiculous, 5 miles up the road charter cable is 15 mbps for 33$

  6. We cancelled TDS three month ago. We left with them owing us about $128.00 For the last three months they have sent us a worthless “credit”. They will not pay their bills – I turned them over to the BBB when I got the last credit. They are not a reputable company.

  7. We cancelled TDS fiber today. They are rude and argue with me when trying to open trouble tickets or change my internet speeds. They kept over charging me monthly, we would call in and were told it would be fixed next billing cycle. It was never fixed and I am facing a bill for services I never received. I would advise anyone who has options to avoid this company like the plague.

  8. Same deal here in rural wisconsin 50 miles outside of madison, hell 5 miles from charter and 100mbps. Nope I’m stuck with frontier giving me 1mbps 2018. I want to blow my brains out every night. I checked with charter they’re 100,000 ft away which I guess is a big deal to them.

  9. This company is atrocious as far as cable television is concerned. Once again I am having to reset the system and this occurs at least three or four times a day. Reported to TDS and their solution is Did u rest the system? Yikes As I am typing this the cable just went out again with that loading symbol showing. Unfortunately we do not have many choices for cable in mesquite nevada.

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