Surprised, I overlooked this! Thank you for all your help. I disconnected the public ip address from the Actiontec router, and connected the TP-Link, following instructions their tech support offered. The TP-Link is working, I'm able to connect via lan and wireless with internet connectivity. The connection isn't dropping, so all good for now.
I did notice the TP-link TD-W8960N doesn't have a on-demand release button within the web gui, just wanted to cover all my bases. In the instance, I had to disconnect the public IP address through the TP-link.
Thank you for all your help! It was much appreicated.