Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (“PRTC” or “Company”) provides this Policy in order to disclose its network management practices in accordance with the FCC’s Open Internet Rules. Information about PRTC’s other policies and practices concerning broadband are available at www.prtc.us (“PRTC Website”).

PRTC manages its network to ensure that all of its customers experience a safe and secure broadband Internet environment that is fast, reliable and affordable. PRTC wants its customers to indulge in all that the Internet has to offer, whether it is social networking, streaming videos and music, to communicating through email and videoconferencing.

PRTC manages its network for a number of reasons, including optimization, as well as congestion- and security-protocol-management. PRTC’s customers generally will not be impacted by the protocols and practices that PRTC uses to manage its network.

PRTC’s Network Management Practices

PRTC uses various tools and industry standard techniques to manage its network and deliver fast, secure and reliable Internet service. Such management tools and practices include the following:

I. Managing Congestion

PRTC periodically monitors bandwidth utilization levels on its network in the aggregate and receives an alarm if utilization exceeds a specified utilization percentage. If the utilization percentage is exceeded, PRTC adds upstream capacity to prevent congestion. In order to maximize capacity and service for our customers, PRTC is also installing Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH) technology and increasing its broadband service tiers.

On PRTC’s network, all customers have access to all legal services, applications and content online and, in the unlikely event of congestion, most Internet activities will be unaffected. Some customers, however, may experience longer download or upload times, or slower surf speeds on the web if instances of congestion do occur on PRTC’s network.

Customers using conduct that abuses or threatens the PRTC network or which violates the company’s Acceptable Use Policy, Internet service Terms and Conditions, or the Internet Service Agreement will be asked to stop any such use immediately. A failure to respond or to cease any such conduct could result in service suspension or termination.

PRTC’s network and congestion management practices are ‘application-agnostic’, based on current network conditions, and are not implemented on the basis of customers’ online activities, protocols or applications. PRTC’s network management practices do not relate to any particular customer’s aggregate monthly data usage. PRTC does not prioritize any applications or protocols except for specialized services and does not honor quality of service indicators from other carriers.

II. Network Security

PRTC knows the importance of securing its network and customers from network threats and annoyances. The company promotes the security of its network and patrons by providing resources to its customers for identifying and reporting such threats as spam, viruses, firewall issues, and phishing schemes. PRTC also manages global occurrences of spam and denial of service attacks on its network. However, PRTC does not manage denial of service attacks on individual customer addresses. Spam filters divert spam from an online customer’s email inbox into a quarantine file while allowing the customer to control which emails are identified as spam. Customers may access the spam files through the email. Spam files are automatically deleted if not accessed within seven (7) days.

As its normal practice, PRTC does not block any protocols, content or traffic for purposes of network management except that the company may block or limit such traffic as spam, viruses, malware, or denial of service attacks to protect network integrity and the security of our customers.

To ensure secured access to our network, PRTC uses address authentication to control access. Except as may be provided elsewhere herein, PRTC does not currently engage in any application-specific behaviors nor does it employ any device attachment rules for its network.

III. Monitoring Schedule

PRTC measures bandwidth utilization in real time on its network. When utilization reaches a specified percentage, PRTC adds capacity or reroutes traffic to relieve congestion. PRTC also checks for abnormal traffic flows, network security breaches, malware, loss, and damage to the network. If a breach is detected or high volume users are brought to light by complaint, PRTC provides notification to the customer via email or phone. If a violation of PRTC’s policies has occurred and such violation is not remedied, PRTC will seek to suspend or terminate that customer’s service.

IV. Network Management Technology

PRTC employs a variety of industry-standard tools, applications and devices to monitor, secure and maintain its network, including bandwidth and performance management platforms.

V. Service Descriptions

PRTC offers broadband service over ADSL and Ethernet facilities in residential service tiers shown below. PRTC offers speeds ranges that include 2 MB, 10 MB, 20 MB, 50 MB, and 100 MB.

VI. Network Performance

PRTC does its best and makes every effort to support advertised speeds and will dispatch repair technicians to customer sites to perform speed tests as needed to troubleshoot and resolve speed and application performance caused by PRTC’s network. PRTC is in the process of completing a fiber overbuild which will overcome many issues with slower speeds due to long loop lengths.

PRTC measures availability, latency, and aggregate utilization on the network and strives to meet internal service level targets. However, customer’s service performance may also be affected by one or more of the following: (1) the particular websites being accessed; (2) capacity in the public Internet beyond PRTC’s network; (3) customer’s computer and equipment (including wireless router); and (4) inside wiring at customer’s premise.

PRTC is in the process of developing additional systems that will allow us to measure these indicators out to test points at each major network aggregation site on the edge of our last mile network. Once these systems are developed, PRTC will be able to measure system metrics on a network-wide basis and will disclose the results on its website.

VI. Specialized Services

PRTC provides Internet-Protocol-Television (IPTV) services to end users. These services, also known as Specialized Services, are combined with best effort broadband traffic on portions of the broadband network. The company provides quality of service priority to IPTV. However, there is little impact to customer’s broadband service because PRTC provisions sufficient bandwidth in the last mile to accommodate IPTV video along with best effort broadband traffic.

VII. Commercial Terms

In addition to this Network Management Policy, patrons may also find links to the following on PRTC’s website:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”)
  • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Internet Service Agreement
  • Broadband Service Offerings and Rates
  • Privacy Policy

For questions, complaints or requests for additional information, please contact PRTC’s Network Operation center at noc@prtc.coop

Palmetto Rural Telephone Cooperative is a member-owned cooperative providing a complete telecommunications solution (Voice, Internet, Video and Wireless phone) to the homes and businesses in the Lowcountry.
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