Open Internet Management Policy
Effective date of disclosure is: 09/14/18
This document is intended to provide information about performance characteristics, network management practices, and terms applicable to the broadband internet access provided to consumers by Backroads Broadband, consistent with the Federal Communications Commission’s transparency rule 47 CFR § 8.1(a).
Backroads Broadband provides Internet access service utilizing terrestrial fixed wireless, Wi-Fi, and in limited cases, via Fiber optic service. This document covers the provisioning and management of those services.
Network Management Practices
Backroads Broadband manages its network with the goal of delivering the best Internet experience possible with the given technology used to all its customers.
The network resources and high-speed bandwidth are not unlimited, and are costly to deploy in rural markets that are less densely populated, which characterizes most of Backroads Broadband’s network. We at Backroads Broadband obtain the bandwidth we deliver to our customers from several larger Internet access carriers, which provide wholesale Internet transport services to broadband providers like Backroads Broadband. Many of the network management practices and network monitoring characteristics described in this document may be directed or implemented by these carriers as a result of this. These Internet carriers may monitor circuits they provide for maintenance and the protection of their own respective networks. References in this document to Backroads Broadband’s actions and policies necessarily include the actions and policies of Backroads Broadband’s underlying carriers for Internet access services using their networks, which Backroads Broadband and the customers of Backroads Broadband must follow and be subject to in their usage of Backroads Broadband’s Internet services. Accordingly, any reference to Backroads Broadband below may include upstream internet access carriers providing access circuits to Backroads Broadband that Backroads Broadband incorporates into its offering to its customers.
Protecting and managing our network and our underlying carriers networks is essential in order to promote the use and enjoyment of the Internet by all of Backroads Broadband’s customers. Backroads Broadband reserves the right to employ reasonable tailored network management practices that are consistent with industry standards for the networks it operates. These practices are intended to insure that all customers, and application providers, have fair access to a share of Backroads Broadband’s network while not unreasonably discriminating in transmitting lawful broadband traffic. Backroads Broadband and its providers also try to use tools and techniques that are minimally intrusive, but may cause a complete outage of service if a customer’s IP address is determined to be under attack or is being used in an attack with the intent to disrupt or harm service on our network, our carriers network, or any connected network. Just as the Internet evolves over time, so will Backroads Broadband’s network management practices evolve and adapt over time to address new challenges and threats associated with the Internet. By engaging in reasonable and responsible network management, Backroads Broadband can offer the best possible Internet experience to all of its customers.
Traffic Throttling: Backroads Broadband does not engage in throttling of the internet traffic over its network, except for in aggregation for all traffic destined to a given customer, in accordance with the speed of package selected by the customer.
Common package speed and throttling rules are listed below.
Residential fixed wireless
||5 Mbps Download
||2 Mbps Upload
||10 Mbps Download
||3 Mbps Upload
||15 Mbps Download
||5 Mbps Upload
Business fixed wireless
Business plans start at 20 Mbps and are symmetrical and are priced at per Mb per month.
Data Usage: All residential plans have data usage rates applied as part of the plan. Backroads Broadband does not throttle based on data usage, rather your account will be billed $2.50 per every 5Gb over the data limit for the particular plan if you reach your data usage limit. At any time customers can log into their portal. This portal is created upon sign up. Customers can view their perspective data usage associated with their account through this portal. If a customer reaches his/her data limit before the end of each month they can add additional data and pay for that data through their portal. Plan Data usage limits and data add on packages are shown below.
Residential fixed wireless base data limits
Business fixed wireless
Business plans do not have data limits. These plans are strictly for business addresses and are intended for primary usage between 7:00 AM and 6:00 PM CST Monday through Friday.
Data add on plans
Data extension plans can be added to any residential service plan. These extensions come in the following increments. These data extension plans vary in price and each customer should consult our current pricing for each plan. Customers can visit our web page or call for current pricing.
Congestion Management: Congestion management of Internet services will occur for basic reasons. All Internet traffic is considered best effort. Therefore it is subject to congestion management processes. Backroads Broadband, its underlying carriers, and all of their peer Internet network providers employ congestion management such as a combination of buffering and queuing using “first in first out” FIFO tools, multiple upstream connections, and monitoring along with proactive upgrades to upstream connections to accomplish the goal of lessening the impact caused by network congestion. Selection of traffic that will be delayed during times of congestion will be completely random and all customer traffic attempting to access the Internet and resources, behind the point of congestion, will be treated the same regardless of their bandwidth usage or network application. All traffic will be treated equally and subject to the same random factors. Congestion management is based on current network conditions and not based on the applications or content contained in the traffic.
Device attachment rules: Backroads Broadband permits its customers to attach any device to it network, so long as the device’s usage does not cause harm to Backroads Broadband’s network, any attached network, or otherwise violate any of Backroads Broadband’s acceptable use policies. Not all devices are compatible with Backroads Broadband’s network; the compatibility of a device depends on several factors, some of which are age of the device and technology it was designed to connect to.
Application specific Behavior: Backroads Broadband does not prevent users of its service from sending and receiving lawful content of their choice. From running lawful applications and using lawful services of their choice, or connecting their choice of legal devices (subject to the conversation above). This is provided that such applications or services do not harm the network or the provision of broadband Internet access services, facilitate theft of service, or harm other users of Backroads Broadband’s service, or any connected networks service.
Backroads Broadband does not impair or degrade particular content, applications, services or non-harmful devices.
Blocking: As long as traffic is not determined to be, or likely to be malicious in nature or harmful to its network, Backroads Broadband does not block certain applications, or classes of applications received from, or destined to, the public Internet. Backroads Broadband strives to provide the best customer experience for all network applications. Backroads Broadband and its underlying carriers operate service operation centers that monitor the network for abuse and fraud. When and if Backroads Broadband determines either by alert from one of its underlying carriers, either by automated or manual means, the presence of criminal, suspicious, malicious or abusive traffic, or other activity that violates Backroads Broadband’s Acceptable Use Policy, Backroads Broadband reserves the right to, and likely will, temporarily block access to or from its network in order to protect the security and availability of its network, any directly connected networks, and the availability of its network and services to its other customers. This measure may be triggered by conditions like a Denial of Service (DDoS) attack or if Backroads Broadband, or one of its underlying carriers, detects an unusual amount of traffic that may be related to computers suspected of being infected with malicious software. If a customer believes Backroads Broadband is blocking such traffic in error, the customer should contact Backroads Broadband’s customer support at (903) 875-2399.
Security: Backroads Broadband actively seeks to address the threats posed by harmful and unwanted traffic, and strives to protect the security, integrity, and availability of its network and its customers. Malicious software (Malware) like viruses, spyware, worms and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks not only disrupt the performance of the network and effect the quality of service provided to customers, but can be harmful to other networks and other customers computers by compromising their data. Unwanted communications like Spam can lead to similar problems.
Backroads Broadband encourages all of its customers to protect their individual networks and stored data by utilizing one or more of several commercially available tools such as anti-virus protection, Malware protection, and firewalls. It is the customer’s responsibility to maintain safeguards as to the customer’s services and network equipment. The customer is responsible for secure passwords, updated operating system, updated software, updated anti-virus software, updated malware, and firewall to protect their individual networks and equipment.
As discussed in Blocking, Backroads Broadband reserves the right to, and may employ practices that include on a case by case basis blocking as needed to protect its network and the networks of others and its customers from DDoS attacks. These practices could be triggered if Backroads Broadband detects traffic that significantly exceeds certain baselines. These applicable baselines will not be shared to preserve the integrity of the security practices so that our network security stays intact and can not be circumvented. Further, Backroads Broadband, in accordance to common industry practices, and in response to demonstrated harms, Backroads Broadband may on occasion block or inhibit for limited periods of time certain internet ports or IP address ranges, often correlated with geographic regions that are commonly misused to harm networks. This in no way is intended to prevent any Backroads Broadband customer access to lawful Internet content. If a customer believes that Backroads Broadband is blocking this traffic in error, the customer should contact Backroads Broadband’s customer service number at (903)875-2399.
The broadband Internet market place is dynamic in nature and constantly changing. While this document is intended to be thorough and current, Backroads Broadband will continue to evaluate its approach to network management based on changes to technology and internet usage, and reserves the right to adopt new or different network management practices.
Network Performance Characteristics
Backroads Broadband offers Internet service primarily through the use of terrestrial fixed wireless systems, or through the use of Fiber optic connections. These services are subject to availability that is geographically limited. Services can be symmetrical or asymmetrical in nature. We provide a range of both services for residential and business connections. Common speeds and plan data limits are described above in the throttling and Data Usage sections.
As detailed below, speeds are dependent on many factors, some of which are technology deployed for the customer connection. For example: terrestrial fixed wireless speeds can be impacted by wireless interference that may or may not be within Backroads Broadband’s control or ability to identify and resolve. Other factors such as the number of devices connected to a customer’s router, radio frequency interference within the home, network congestion, received signal level, tree growth, path obstructions network congestion and other factors can also impact performance.
Backroads Broadband designs and provisions its network to ensure all of its customers can enjoy the speeds to which they subscribe; however, Backroads Broadband does not guarantee that any particular customer will achieve the subscribed speed 100% of the time. No Internet service provider can guarantee a particular speed at all times. Backroads Broadband advertises its speeds as “up to” speeds based on a specific level or tier of service to which a customer subscribes.
The “actual” speed that a customer will experience while using the internet depends on a variety of conditions, many of which are out of Backroads Broadband’s control.
While it is impossible to list all conditions that can affect the speed of Internet service a few are listed below.
- The performance of a customer’s computer, its age, processing capability, operating system, the number of applications being run at one time, and the presence of any adware, malware or viruses.
- Type of connection between the customer’s computer and router. For example wireless connections may be slower than wired connections into the router. Wireless connections are subject to greater fluctuations in speed than wired connections. Interference and congestion from other household appliances and common household electronics, including but not limited to microwave ovens. Backroads Broadband does not recommend wireless connections when speed is absolutely imperative on a connection. Additionally, older routers may not support higher speeds.
- The distance packets travel round trip between a customer’s computer and its final destination on the Internet, including the quality of the networks between the customer and the destination. The Internet is a “network of networks” so a customer’s connection may traverse the network of multiple providers before reaching its final destination. The limitation of these networks will likely affect the overall speed of the connection.
- Congestion or high usage levels at the website or destination can impact a customer’s Internet connection speed. If a large number of visitors are accessing a site or particular destination or content if the site or destination at the same time, and the site does not have sufficient capacity to serve all the traffic generated by this.
- Some sites use gating to limit speeds at which customers can download from them so this can also appear as slow speeds to the customer.
- Latency: the measure of time it takes to reach the final destination on the Internet, is effected by several factors. It is not possible to predict the latency to all destinations on the Internet, as packets travel through many networks and servers to reach this destination. Backroads Broadband designs its network so that customers typically see between 50 and 100 milliseconds to most common destinations on the Internet.
There are several commercial products out on the market to measure both throughput and latency. Speedtest.net is one of these; customers need to keep several things in mind when running a speed test to one of these sites.
The speed you are getting reflects Backroads Broadband’s network along with the networks the packets cross to get to this site. Usually there is an option for selecting different servers that will be tested to during the setup of this test. Select more than one server when running the test to get an average of the speed you are running.
Additionally, remember you are going through your home network when running these test and if you are connected wirelessly to your home router and there are other devices online at the same time, this can affect the test results. Backroads Broadband sets the speed of the customer connection so that the “up to” speed is measured at the end of the cable connecting the router to the CPE equipment mounted on the home. To get an accurate measure of speed the customer should connect the device performing the test directly to this cable and run the test to several servers so that he/she can get a more accurate view of how the network is performing.
Customers need to also be aware that if they are using data services like VPN or VoIP to establish a link or call that these services will occupy part of the bandwidth they see on their router and can cause other IP traffic to run slower than usual.
Pricing and Commercial Terms
The price a customer pays for installation of equipment and service is determined between Backroads Broadband and the customer at the time service is rendered. Backroads Broadband has several standard installation packages along with data “up to” through put and Data Usage plans available. Backroads Broadband reserves the right to modify these plans from time to time based on factors like special promotions, current equipment cost, and types of equipment and materials needed to provide the service. For an updated price list of standard services offered customers can call Backroads Broadband at 903-875-2399, visit our website at Backroadsbroadband.com, or go to our Facebook page which is just Backroads Broadband for further details.
Backroads Broadband also provides access for customers to access current billing information, make payments online, and open trouble tickets at portal.backroadsbroadband.com.
Privacy: Backroads Broadband does not share any customer information with third parties involved in provisioning or supporting service. Backroads Broadband does use a third party to perform credit card processing.
This document has been reviewed by Neal Silvers, the Owner of Backroads Broadband, who certifies that the information in this disclosure is true and correctly depicts Backroads Broadband’s processes and network management to the best of his knowledge.