NETWORK MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
You may find the following information helpful regarding Charter's mass market retail broadband -Internet access services. The following includes information regarding network management practices that Charter may employ and performance characteristics of the Internet services. The information provided below is intended for current and prospective Customers to our services as well as providers of "edge" products (i.e., providers of applications, devices, services, and content accessed over or connected to Charter's broadband Internet access service). It is not intended to address the network management practices, performance characteristics, or commercial terms that may be adopted by third party establishments (such as coffee shops, bookstores, hotels, libraries, etc.) in connection with their provision of Internet service to others.
The information provided below may be revised from time to time as Charter deems appropriate and should be read in conjunction with Charter Residential Internet Acceptable Use Policy ("AUP") and the Charter Internet Residential Customer Agreement, or Charter Commercial Internet Acceptable Use Policy and any governing Charter Internet Commercial Agreement.
Charter's Network and the Management of Our Network
Charter utilizes as necessary a variety of reasonable network management practices consistent with industry standards to ensure that all of its Customers have a high quality online experience. These practices are undertaken without regard to the source, destination, content, application, or service, and which are designed to protect Customers from activities that can unreasonably burden our network or compromise security. Charter's online network is a bidirectional network, the proper management of which is essential to promote the use and enjoyment of the Internet by all of our Customers. Charter monitors its network and attempts to address projected demand for capacity, taking reasonable steps to expand capacity as necessary.
In the event that Customer activity is adversely affecting other Customers’ service Charter has available the following tools and practices (without limitation and as may be adjusted over time):
Spam filtering and spam detection techniques. Charter employs a number of practices to prevent the transmission of unsolicited email (e.g., cyber-marketing, malicious emails, etc.) such as:
- Spam Detection – Our spam filter software is provided to us by a third party, and it scans inbound messages in a search for spam-like characteristics. These characteristics are defined based on previous complaints from our vendor's customers, and can be as simple as one URL. New messages that match the characteristics of previous messages that either drew complaints from the vendor's customers or were deemed spam by the software, are likely to be deemed spam by the software and delivered to the users email into a spam folder. For outbound known spam, the software stops the spam from being sent to the identified users. Charter permits Customers to report spam and create other email filters that will facilitate inbox security, management, and organization.
- Utilize reputation services – Charter uses IP reputation from multiple sources to deny mail relay to suspect IPs off Charter IP space. Charter IP reputation is tracked internally.
- Real-time IP Block lists – Charter uses several third-party block lists, and one of our own, to determine whether or not to accept a connection to our inbound mail servers.
- Port Security – Require encrypted and authenticated ports to send email when not on Charter IP space.
- Email Server-to-Server Traffic Monitoring – When Customer inbound and/or outbound email traffic exceeds thresholds for the following metrics, which are set at levels that significantly exceed the norm for similar activity as measured across Charter’s network, Charter alerts the respective Customers to alter the particular behavior in question:
- Recipients per message
- Recipients per hour
- Recipients per connection
- Simultaneous or concurrent connections
Addressing and correcting the foregoing excessive use is undertaken to ensure there is no violation of correlating restrictions placed on Charter traffic by upstream IP network interconnection partners, edge providers, or other network providers, which in turn gives rise to traffic limitations imposed on Charter traffic by such third parties.
Protection from Viruses and Spyware
Charter’s Security Suite software is included with our Internet Service and upon installation by Customer, has the following capabilities:
- Advanced real-time protection against viruses, spyware and other malicious attacks.
- Secure firewall to prevent hacking attempts, keeping your private data safe.
- Spyware detection and removal to ensure your computer is running smoothly.
- Browsing protection that blocks unsafe sites automatically.
- Parental controls to protect your children against harmful sites
More information on Charter’s postmaster services is available at http://www.spectrum.net/support/internet/charter-postmaster-services.
Charter reserves the right both to modify these as well as to employ other reasonable network management practices in its discretion and in accordance with law as may be necessary and effective to enable the optimum operation of its network to deliver its services.
Application Specific Behavior
Except in the circumstances described above, Charter does not block or degrade its Customers' ability to access lawful content or services. Charter reserves the right to employ network management practices to prevent certain harmful or illegal activity including without limitation the distribution of viruses or other malicious code (e.g., botnets) or the transfer of child pornography or other unlawful content (e.g., Digital Millennium Copyright Act/DMCA violations).
Information concerning the approval of devices for use on the network is available in the DOCSIS Modem Policy.
Network and End-User Security
Charter reserves the right to protect the integrity of its network and resources by any lawful means it deems appropriate. Charter takes steps to protect the security of its network and its Customers which may include e-mail virus scanning, denying e-mail from certain domains, spam detection techniques and putting limits on the number of emails sent/received in a given amount of time.
In order to further protect our Customers, Charter may block or limit sources that are commonly used to send spam (see above), launch malicious attacks, or steal a user's information. Charter may enforce limits on the number of login, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Domain Name System (DNS), and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) transactions per second that Customers can send to Charter's servers. In addition, in order to protect Charters network and our Customers against Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, Charter may block or limit protocols commonly used for these attacks, such as Chargen, Quote of the Day (QOTD), Simple Service Delivery Protocol (SSDP), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) and Network Time Protocol (NTP). Charter also makes available certain security tools for use by our Customers. Additional information about these tools is available at http://www.spectrum.net/security.
Charter Internet offers residential and commercial customers their choice of a variety of broadband Internet access service tiers, each of which offers varying speeds and features that may affect the suitability of such service for real-time applications. The features, pricing and other commercial terms of our service offerings are modified from time to time and not all packages are available in all areas. Full descriptions of currently available packaging and pricing can be found at www.Spectrum.com.
Charter provisions its Customers' modems and engineers its network to maximize our Customers' ability to receive the maximum speed levels for each tier of service. However, Charter does not guarantee that a customer will achieve those speeds at all times. Like all other ISPs, Charter advertises its speeds as "up to" a specific level based on the tier of service to which a customer subscribes. The "actual" speed a customer experiences may vary based on a number of factors and conditions, many of which are beyond the control of an ISP such as Charter. These conditions include:
- The performance of a customer's Internet connected device, including its age, memory, processing capability, its operating system, the number of applications running simultaneously, and the presence of any malware or viruses has an effect on your Internet connected device's ability to communicate with the Internet. Often, increasing the amount of memory (RAM) in your Internet connected device can have a positive effect on how quickly your Internet connected device can communicate with the Internet. You should make sure you are running the most up-to-date operating system your Internet connected device can handle (with all available patches installed) to maximize your connection speeds. In addition, Charter offers an Internet security suite at no additional charge to help protect your computer from viruses and malware. If connecting to your Internet service wirelessly, the connection speed you experience also may be affected by the capabilities of your computer/device’s wireless antenna(s).”
- Type of connection between a customer's Internet connected device and modem. If there is a router between your modem and your Internet connected device, the connection speed you experience can often depend on the model and configuration of the router. Certain routers are able to pass data to your Internet connected device more quickly than others. For example, wireless routers using the 802.11b protocol are limited to 11 Mbps and, depending on your signal strength, may give you significantly slower connection speeds. Wireless connections also may be subject to greater fluctuations in speed and latency and may be affected by interference, congestion, distance, and other factors
- The distance packets travel (round trip time of packets) between a customer's Internet connected device 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 to websites/content may traverse the networks of multiple providers before reaching its destination, and the limitations of those third party networks will most likely affect the overall speed of that Internet connection.
- Congestion or high usage levels at the website or destination. If a large number of visitors are accessing a site or particular destination at the same time, your connection will be affected if the site or destination does not have sufficient capacity to serve all of the visitors efficiently.
- Gating of speeds or access by the website or destination. In order to control traffic or performance, many websites limit the speeds at which a visitor can download from their site, which may adversely impact a customer's connection.
- The suitability of the cable modem. Some modems may not be capable of handling higher speeds. Charter-provided modems, which may be provided at no cost with its Internet Service, are certified to ensure they are capable of delivering the Customer-selected respective Internet Service speeds at the time the modem is provided. Modem software updates or upgrades may be necessary over time as upgrades are made to Charter’s Internet speed offerings and underlying network.
Charter Internet Customers can check the speed performance of their current Internet connection using the Charter Speed Test on Spectrum.com or Spectrum.net, which tests the speed that they are receiving on Charter's network. These tests are dependent on a variety of factors, including the customer's home network configuration, modem, and Internet connected devices, and the time of day, and therefore do not reflect the performance of the Charter network only. See Charter’s applicable broadband label disclosure for more information regarding performance metrics.
Like Charter's Internet services, Charter Phone service and Charter Cable TV in IP format are based on internet protocol, but the provision of these services should not have any discernible effect on your Internet services. As Charter develops other Internet protocol services, Charter intends to manage them so that they should also have no discernible effect on your Internet services.
Charter offers various Internet service offerings. See Charter’s applicable broadband label disclosure for more information regarding pricing or call 1-877-304-2364.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your Charter Internet service, you may contact customer service by calling 1-888-438-2427. If you are an edge technology or service provider with questions or concerns, please contact us at PriorityEscalationTeam@charter.com. The FCC has established procedures for addressing informal and formal complaints regarding broadband service. For information, you can contact the FCC by phone at 1-888-225-5322, online at consumercomplaints.fcc.gov or online at www.fcc.gov/guides/getting-broadband.