MetroCast Network Management Policy


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How does MetroCast apply the FCC's Open Internet Policies?


MetroCast provides Internet services to customers located in New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and South Carolina. Our Internet services are provided over MetroCast's hybrid fiber optic-coaxial cable network, which also delivers video and voice services to our customers. We are committed to providing our Internet services as an open platform for innovation, investment, job creation, economic growth, competition, and free expression.

The purpose of this disclosure is to provide information regarding our network management practices and the performance and commercial terms of our broadband Internet access services to enable our customers to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of our services, in accordance with the disclosure rules of the Federal Communications Commission. MetroCast does not block any lawful content, applications, services, or our customers' use of non-harmful devices, or discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic except as reasonably necessary to manage our network effectively for the benefit of our customers as described below. This disclosure is intended to be informational and does not replace or alter the legal terms and conditions of our service, which are posted at http://www.metrocast.com/policies.cfm.

Internet Service Speeds


MetroCast's broadband Internet services are available at different upload and download speeds and price points depending on the uses that the customer wants to make of the broadband connection (e.g. email, web browsing, video and audio streaming, gaming, or downloading large files). The specific levels of Internet service that are available can be found at http://www.metrocast.com/internet_packages.cfm for all residential Internet packages and at http://www.metrocastbusiness.com/business_internet_packages.cfm for all commercial Internet packages1, where customers can also obtain information about the typical applications that are suitable for each service level.

While MetroCast engineers its network to achieve the "up to" speeds for each of the service levels offered, we cannot guarantee that individual customers always will experience those speeds. The following variables (which are often out of MetroCast's control) can affect the actual speeds experienced by a customer:

  1. Performance of a customer's computer, including its age, processing capability, operating system, the number of applications running simultaneously, and the presence of any adware and viruses.
  2. Type of connection between a customer's computer and modem. For example, wireless connections may be slower than direct connections into a router or modem. Wireless connections also may be subject to greater fluctuations, interference and congestion.
  3. The distance packets travel (round trip time of packets) between a customer's computer and its final destination on the Internet, including the number and quality of the networks of various operators in the transmission path. The Internet is a "network of networks." A customer's connection may cross the networks of multiple providers before reaching its destination, and the limitations of those networks most likely will affect the overall speed of that Internet connection.
  4. Congestion or high usage levels. If a large number of visitors are accessing a site or particular destination at the same time, a customer's connection will be affected if the site or destination does not have sufficient capacity to serve all of the visitors efficiently. Performance also can be affected by heavy use of our Internet service by our customers, which sometimes results in periods of congestion within our network.
  5. Gating of speeds or access by the website or destination. In order to control traffic or performance, many websites limit the speeds at which visitors can download material from their sites. Those limitations will carry through to a customer's connection.
  6. The performance of the cable modem you have installed. Modem performance may degrade over time, and certain modems are not capable of handling higher speeds. Please see the "Equipment" section below.
In addition to the variables described above, customers' Internet speed will depend on the service level to which they subscribe. MetroCast performed internal speed tests from a number of points within our networks. Performance data was collected during the "busy hour" (7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Friday) for each of the Internet service levels offered by MetroCast. Our tests measured broadband performance on a sample of our systems and the results below do not reflect the performance levels to be expected by any individual customer served by any particular MetroCast system.

Internal Test Results2

Service Level Internet Access High Speed Basic High Speed Internet High Speed Ultra
Mean Download Speed 245 Kbps 5.03 Mbps 16.34 Mbps* 45.52 Mbps*
Mean Upload Speed 119 Kbps 714 Kbps 1.43 Mbps* 4.55 Mbps*
Mean Latency (in milliseconds)3 21 21 21 21
*In MetroCast's Carthage MS, Forest MS, Kosciusko MS, and South Carolina systems, the High Speed Basic Service level speeds are up to 1.5 Mbps by 256 Kbps rather than 4 Mbps by 512 Kbps, the High Speed Internet Service level speeds are up to 7 Mbps by 512 Kbps rather than up to 15 Mbps by 1 Mbps, and the High Speed Ultra Service level speeds are up to 10 Mbps by 1 Mbps rather than up to 50 Mbps by 5 Mbps. These systems were not included in the speed testing.

Customers are able to test the speeds that they are receiving on MetroCast's network at http://speedcheck.metrocast.net.

Customers' use of our Digital Phone service has no discernable impact on their Internet service performance.

Commercial Terms of Internet Service


MetroCast has multiple levels of residential Internet service available, and the price of each service level is set forth at http://www.metrocast.com/internet_packages.cfm. From time to time, MetroCast will make available promotional rates and discounts for our Internet services. More information on our current promotions is available at http://www.metrocast.com/promotions.cfm. As set forth in our Internet Acceptable Use Policy available at http://metrocast.com/policy_HSI_AUP.cfm, MetroCast has several monthly bandwidth usage thresholds associated with its different service levels. If a customer exceeds the monthly bandwidth usage threshold associated with their service level, MetroCast may, in its sole discretion, suspend or terminate their Internet service or request that they upgrade their service level, or subscribe to a version of MetroCast's commercial grade service. More information on our commercial grade service levels is available at http://www.metrocastbusiness.com/business_internet_packages.cfm.

Internet Privacy Policies

MetroCast values the privacy of our Internet service customers and follows procedures to ensure that information we collect is reasonably protected. Additional details concerning the types of information MetroCast collects, how the information is used and customer privacy rights can be found at http://www.metrocast.com/policy_HSI_PP.cfm.

Network Management

In order to ensure that our customers receive high quality Internet service, MetroCast uses various practices to manage our network. These practices help to ensure that our customers have access to sufficient broadband capacity at all times, including during periods of high demand, and that our network and customers are protected against malware, spam, viruses and other threats originating over the Internet.

Congestion Management Practices

Except as specifically described below, we do not target specific types of traffic based on the nature of the technology or the identity of the provider, modify protocol fields in ways not prescribed by the protocol standard, or otherwise inhibit or favor certain applications or classes of applications. We may utilize network address translation to enable multiple customers to share a single IP version 4 ("IPv4") address due to the increasing scarcity of IPv4 addresses. In addition, in connection with the transition from IPv4 addresses to IP version 6 ("IPv6") addresses, we may also utilize network address translation or other mechanisms to provide access to IPv4-only supported content to customers whose devices do not support IPv4, or to provide access to IPv6-only supported content to customers whose devices do not support IPv6 content. We do not block or manage any specific protocols or protocol ports, except that we do so to prevent residential Internet customers from operating servers or server-like daemons and processes, or in rare cases we may take other corrective action after providing written notice to a customer who has violated the terms of service.

Residential customers are prohibited from using or running dedicated stand-alone equipment or servers or programs from the customer's premises that provide network content or any other services to others, including, but not limited to, email, web hosting, file sharing and proxy services and servers (e.g. FTP, file or game). For further information regarding prohibited uses see http://www.metrocast.com/policy_HSI_AUP.cfm.

As set forth in our Internet Acceptable Use Policy available at http://www.metrocast.com/policy_HSI_AUP.cfm, MetroCast has monthly bandwidth usage thresholds associated with its different service levels. While MetroCast does not employ any physical methods to limit speeds of heavy users during periods of congestion or restrict traffic, it does contact customers who exceed their applicable monthly bandwidth usage thresholds to advise those customers to reduce their usage, or if they wish to continue consuming bandwidth in excess of their applicable service level limits, to request that they upgrade their service level or subscribe to a version of MetroCast's commercial grade service. As described in the "Commercial Terms of Internet Service" section above, MetroCast reserves the right to suspend or terminate the Internet service of any customer whose use exceeds his or her monthly limits.

Network Security

MetroCast uses a number of tools and techniques to protect its network and customers from malicious and unwanted Internet traffic such as preventing the distribution of viruses or other harmful code and preventing the delivery of spam to customer email accounts. Because the nature of external threats to the network are constantly evolving, MetroCast's network security practices necessarily are dynamic and regularly changing. In general, these security practices should not have any effect on our customers' use of their network connections.

Equipment

MetroCast supports the use of DOCSIS 2.0 and 3.0 modems and non-complying standards will not operate with our network's performance standards. The following modem models are approved by MetroCast to help ensure the best possible Internet performance: DOCSIS 3.0 Motorola SB6121 and SB6180 modems; DOCSIS 3.0 ARRIS CM820 modems; DOCSIS 3.0 Motorola SBG6580 wireless modems; DOCSIS 3.0 ARRIS DG860A wireless modems; DOCSIS 3.0 ARRIS TG852 and TG862 wireless modem/eMTAs; DOCSIS 3.0 ARRIS CM820 modems; and DOCSIS 3.0 ARRIS TM822 eMTAs. Customers may rent modems from us, or obtain them from a third party. Voice eMTAs may only be rented from MetroCast, as eMTAs purchased from third parties are not permitted on our network.


Questions / Complaint Process


Existing MetroCast Customers
Existing MetroCast customers who have any questions or wish to lodge a complaint concerning MetroCast's Internet services or policies should contact your local MetroCast Technical Support department.

If the question or complaint involves the performance of your Internet service, please first run a speed test at http://speedcheck.metrocast.net and provide us with the result when you contact us. If you have home network or wireless devices, try plugging your Ethernet cable directly into your cable modem from your PC to determine whether your devices are the source of the problem.

Other Questions/Complaints
If you are not an existing MetroCast customer but have a question or complaint regarding our Internet service please contact MetroCast's Abuse Department at abuse@metrocast.net.

1In addition, e-rate supported services are offered under standard commercial Internet packages or on individually negotiated terms.

2Testing for each level of service was conducted by MetroCast employees at their personal residences located in MetroCast's service areas. Each tester attempted to test the speed of each level of service once per hour during the "busy hour". The latency was measured once during the "busy hour". The testing was conducted using speed testing software that is loaded on a server that is connected to the router that connects to a major peering point for use with MetroCast's Internet service.

3Latency is the time delay in transmitting or receiving packets on a network and is mainly affected by distance between transmission points, although other variables may be relevant. For all systems other than Mississippi, latency was measured from the test site to the MetroCast test server located in New Hampshire. For the Mississippi systems, latency was measured from the test site to the MetroCast test server located in Mississippi.

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