Spectrum vs TDS: Side by Side Comparison

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Spectrum and TDS Telecom in 2022.

Spectrum and TDS Service in 2022:

Spectrum has 7 plans:

View Spectrum and TDS Service in 2022:

Spectrum and TDS Telecom are among the 2,661 internet service providers in the U.S. that offer high-speed internet plans. Spectrum is a cable provider while TDS Telecom offers DSL, cable, and fiber internet service. Customers who do not reside in areas where TDS Telecom’s fiber internet is available may opt for Spectrum’s cable internet plans instead.

No two internet providers are the exact same, which is why we’ve outlined the differences between Spectrum and TDS Telecom below. Speeds and prices vary by location and may not be available in all areas.

Spectrum vs TDS Overall Comparison

Spectrum vs TDS Overall Comparison

  • Speed

    200 Mbps -1 Gbps

  • Pricing


  • Service Type

    Cable, Fiber

  • Equipment Fee

    $0 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

  • Speed

    25 Mbps -1 Gbps

  • Pricing


  • Service Type

    DSL, Fiber, Cable, Copper

  • Equipment Fee

    $10 a month

  • Data Cap

    Unlimited Data

Spectrum is the second-largest cable provider in the U.S., supplying internet service to approximately 102.7 million people across 44 states. The greatest coverage area for Spectrum internet is in California, Texas, and New York. Customers can bundle their internet with TV and/or phone services through double and triple play bundles.

As the 10th largest DSL provider in the U.S., TDS Telecom is available to approximately 2.2 million people in 31 states. Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Michigan are states where TDS Telecom has the greatest coverage. With over 10 high-speed internet plans, TDS Telecom also gives customers the option to bundle their internet with TV and/or phone services.

Spectrum vs TDS: Best Deals

Internet Deals

Spectrum vs TDS: Extra Fees and Contracts


When you sign up for Spectrum, professional installation and self-installation are available. Depending on which plan you choose, professional installation fees range between $49.99-$199.99 but you don’t have to pay for the WiFi activation fee. On the other hand, self-installation does require a $9.99 activation fee but that’s it. Prepare to devote anywhere between 1-3 hours for professional installation. With self-installation, you only need to refer to Spectrum’s helpful guide on their online support page.

TDS Telecom internet plans come with professional installation or self-installation. Depending on the plan, you may be able to waive the $100 processing fee and the $49.95 professional installation fee. Self-installation does not require any fees, but there may be a $15 service charge. WiFi optimization will be performed by one of TDS Telecom’s technicians during a tech visit. Otherwise, you can self-install by referring to their website.

Contracts, Equipment Fees & Fine Print

There are no contract requirements when you sign up for Spectrum.

You won’t have to deal with early termination fees that usually come with long-term agreements. If you switch to their service, Spectrum offers a contract buyout program of up to $500. On top of that, they give you a modem for free so you can avoid equipment fees. Spectrum’s internet plans have download speeds ranging between 100-940 Mbps and upload speeds ranging between 10-35 Mbps.

TDS Telecom requires a contract with a length of 1-2 years.

If you cancel the agreement early, you will have to pay an early termination fee equal to 50 percent of the unpaid balance, 100 percent of the outstanding balance on your contract, and the full equipment price. Early termination fees and equipment fees vary by location and depend on the customer. As for download and upload speeds, TDS Telecom internet speeds range anywhere between 1-1000 Mbps and 512 Kbps-400 Mbps, respectively.

Data Caps

All of Spectrum’s internet plans have unlimited data, so there are no data overage fees. It’s important to check with Spectrum to see which plans are available and how much their speeds vary based on your location.

Most TDS Telecom internet plans do not employ data caps, but unlimited data is not available in all areas. Some areas might have a 250 GB data cap with a $20 overage fee for each additional 250 GB used.

Spectrum vs. TDS Internet Review

As of February 2021, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has surveyed 283 Spectrum customers and asked them to rate Spectrum on 6 different criteria - Reliability, Speed, Equipment, Support, Interaction, and Value.

Overall Spectrum customers rated them a 3.4 out of 5, which is ranked 4th of the 10 internet provider customers we surveyed in our study.

As of May 2022, BroadBandNow’s editorial team has not been able to survey enough TDS customers to provide a comprehensive understanding of how this service is meeting customers’ needs or expectations.

Frequently Asked Questions about Spectrum & TDS Telecom

  • Is Spectrum cheaper than TDS Telecom?

    Pricing will vary for Spectrum and TDS Telecom. TDS Telecom’s lowest-priced internet plan is cheaper than Spectrum’s lowest-priced internet plan but both providers’ highest-priced plans are similarly priced. Spectrum’s monthly costs range between $49.99-$109.99 whereas TDS Telecom’s vary between $29.95-$109.95 per month.

  • Who has faster speeds? Spectrum or TDS Telecom?

    Like prices, speeds also vary by location but both providers offer high-speed internet plans. Spectrum has download speeds ranging from 100-940 Mbps and TDS Telecom has download speeds ranging from 1-1000 Mbps.

  • Do Spectrum and TDS Telecom have unlimited data?

    Spectrum does not employ data caps for any of their internet plans, and as a result, there are no data overage fees. TDS Telecom does offer unlimited data for their plans but it may not be available in certain areas. Some areas will have a 250 GB data cap, and for each additional 250 GB, there is a $20 data overage fee.