Direct Communications-Maine Broadband Management Policies
Network Management Practices
- Why does UniTel manage its network?
- UniTel manages its network with one goal: to deliver the best possible broadband Internet experience to all of its customers. High-speed bandwidth and network resources are not unlimited. Managing the network is essential to promote the use and enjoyment of the Internet by all of our customers. We use reasonable network management practices that are consistent with industry standards. We also try to use tools and technologies that are minimally intrusive. Just as the Internet continues to change and evolve, so too, will our network management practices to address the challenges and threats on the Internet.
- All Internet service providers need to manage their networks and UniTel is no different. In fact, many of them use the same or similar tools that UniTel does. If we didn’t manage our network, our customers would be subject to the negative effects of spam, viruses, security attacks, network congestion, and other risks and degradations of the service. By engaging in reasonable and responsible network management, UniTel can deliver the best possible Internet experience to all of its customers.
- How does UniTel manage its network?
- UniTel uses various tools and techniques to manage its network, deliver its service, and ensure compliance with the Acceptable Use Policy and the Customer Agreement for Residential Services available at http://www.UniTelme.com/image_upload/Acceptable%20Use%20Policy.pdf. These tools and techniques are dynamic, like the network and its usage, and can and do change frequently. For example, these network management activities may include identifying spam and preventing its delivery to customer email accounts, detecting malicious Internet traffic and preventing the distribution of viruses or other harmful code or content and using other tools and techniques that UniTel may be required to implement in order to meet its goal of delivering the best possible broadband Internet experience to all of its customers.
- Does network management change over time?
- Yes. The Internet is highly dynamic. As the Internet and related technologies continue to evolve and advance, UniTel ‘s network management tools will evolve and keep pace so that we can deliver an excellent, reliable, and safe online experience to all of our customers. We will provide updates here and in other appropriate locations if we make important or significant changes to our network management techniques.
- Congestion Management: UniTel monitors the connections on its network in the aggregate on a daily basis to determine the rate of utilization. If congestion emerges on the network, UniTel will take the appropriate measures to relieve congestion. On UniTel’s network, all customers have access to all legal services, applications and content online and, in the 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 UniTel’s network. Customers using conduct that abuses or threatens the UniTel 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. UniTel’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. UniTel’s network management practices do not relate to any particular customer’s aggregate monthly data usage. UniTel monitors its network on a regular basis to determine utilization on its network. UniTel 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, UniTel provides notification to the customer via email or phone. If a violation of UniTel’s policies has occurred and such violation is not remedied, UniTel will seek to suspend or terminate that customer’s service.
- Does UniTel block P2P traffic or applications like BitTorrent, Gnutella, or others?
- No. UniTel does not block any traffic or applications like BitTorrent, Gnutella, or others as part of its current network congestion management technique.
- Does UniTel discriminate against particular types of online content?
- No. UniTel provides its customers with full access to all the lawful content, services, and applications that the Internet has to offer. However, we are committed to protecting customers from spam, phishing, and other unwanted or harmful online content and activities. UniTel uses industry standard tools and generally accepted best practices and policies to help it meet this customer commitment. In cases where these tools and policies identify certain online content as harmful and unwanted, such as spam or phishing Web sites, this content is usually prevented from reaching customers. In other cases, these tools and policies may permit customers to identify certain content that is not clearly harmful or unwanted, such as bulk email or Web sites with questionable security ratings, and enable those customers to inspect the content further if they want to do so. You can learn more about UniTel’s anti-spam and pro-network security efforts by contacting customer service.
- Does UniTel employ network security practices in addition to the congestion management technique?
- Yes. As described above, UniTel employs a number of practices to help prevent unwanted communications such as spam as well as protect the security of our customers and network. UniTel limits the number of login, SMTP, DNS, and DHC transactions per second (at levels far above ‘normal’ rates) that customers can send to UniTel ’s servers in order to protect them against Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. We do not disclose the exact rate limits in order to maintain the effectiveness of these measures, which ensure that these critical services are available for all of our customers. In addition, UniTel conducts several security initiatives, and offers eScout as our Spam filter, which is configurable at both Provider and Customer levels.
- How can I contact UniTel if I have any questions about network management?
- Go to the page at http://www.unitelme.com/page/937/contact-us for more information about contacting UniTel Customer Service.
- UniTel monitors its network performance to ensure customers receive maximum performance. All internet service is provided on a “best efforts” basis, which means the service is advertised as “up to” a certain speed. Based on our testing and maintenance, we find that most customers can expect to receive speed ranging from 85% to 100% of the “up to” advertised speed, 100 ms of latency and 5% of packet loss during peak hours (7-11pm). However, there are many factors outside of our control that can influence the performance characteristics of your internet service including but not limited to: 1) customer location, 2) condition of the wiring inside your house, 3) the age of equipment you use to access the internet (modems and/or routers, computers, handheld devices etc.) and 4) the performance of a particular website you are accessing.
- UniTel’s customers have a variety of High-Speed Internet solutions that may vary by price, location, and facility availability. UniTel Network designs are engineered and implemented to ensure that our customers can enjoy the speeds obtainable for the subscribed package and the customers physical location. However, due to several factors we do not guarantee that a customer will achieve those speeds at all times. UniTel’s advertised speeds are and “up to” a specific level based on the subscriber’s service package. If a customer wishes to subscribe to a guaranteed speed, UniTel can offer other products that provide speed assurances and Quality Of Service (QOS) guarantees. The “actual” speed that a customer will experience while using the Internet may vary due to a variety of circumstances and or conditions, many of which are beyond UniTel’s control. These conditions include but are not limited to the following:
- The customer’s computer due to its age, processing capability, operating system, applications running on the system and the presence of any viruses and or spyware.
- The type of network beyond UniTel’s demarcation device a customer’s computer is connected to. For example, wireless connections are not as robust as hardwired connections into a router or modem. Wireless connections also may be subject to greater fluctuations, interference, type of wireless and congestion.
- The distance packets travel (round trip time of packets) between a customer’s network and its final destination on the Internet. The Internet is a web of interacting networks. A customer’s connection may travel the networks of numerous other providers before reaching the pre-defined destination. The limitations and oversubscriptions of those networks will most likely affect the speed of that Internet connection.
- The capacity and or speeds of destination website are sometimes controlled in order to contain traffic or ensure performance. Many websites limit the speeds at which a visitor can download from their site in order to insure all customers receive the same experiences. Those limitations will carry through to a customer’s connections within UniTel’s network.
Direct offers various internet service packages. See Direct’s website register.directcom.com for more information regarding packages and pricing or call customer service at 1-207-948-3900 or 1-888-682-3207.
Direct values our customers’ privacy and a copy of our Privacy Statement can be found at https://directcom.com/forms/Acceptable%20Use.pdf
- If you have any questions regarding UniTel’s High-Speed Internet Services you may contact customer service at 207-948-3900, 1-888-682-3207.