Network Management Practices


You may find the following information helpful regarding Charter's mass market retail broadband Internet access services. It includes information regarding network management practices that Charter employs, the performance characteristics of our services, and the commercial terms of our service offerings.

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.

Network Management

Charter's Network and the Management of Our Network

Charter uses reasonable network management practices consistent with industry standards to ensure that all of its Customers have a high quality online experience. Charter's online network is a bidirectional, shared network, the proper management of which is essential to promote the use and enjoyment of the Internet by all of our Customers. The potential for congestion which could adversely affect our network exists when a small number of users place an unusually heavy demand on the available network bandwidth. To this end, we employ legally permitted "reasonable network management practices that alleviate congestion without regard to the source, destination, content, application, or service" to protect Customers from activities that can unreasonably burden our network or cause service degradation, including network congestion and security attacks. In the event the periods of congestion necessitate such management, Charter has available the following tools and practices (without limitation and as may be adjusted over time): (i) Subscriber Traffic Management (STM) technology (Cisco CMTS served areas) and Service Class Agility (SCA) technology (Arris CMTS served areas) to temporarily manage upstream and downstream traffic during times of peak congestion in a protocol-agnostic manner; (ii) spam filtering and spam detection techniques; and (iii) use of an upper limit of bandwidth allocated for uploading of files during congested periods. Charter also employs certain automated processes to more evenly distribute the available bandwidth to users. Most Customers do not notice any change in their Internet experience as a result of these practices. Charter reserves the right to modify these network management practices in its discretion and in accordance with law. Moreover, except in the limited circumstances described herein, Charter does not engage in any application-specific bandwidth restriction techniques.

Usage Limits
In addition to managing network usage to ensure that the activity of a small number of Customers does not degrade, inhibit, or interfere with the use of the network by others, Charter maintains an excessive use policy to address data consumption by Customers that is wholly uncharacteristic of a typical user of the Service as determined by the Company in its sole discretion. Common activities include numerous or continuous bulk transfers of files and other high capacity traffic using file transfer protocol ("FTP"), peer-to-peer applications, and newsgroups which result in excessive data consumption. More information regarding Charter's excessive use policy can be found in Charter Internet Acceptable Use Policy - Residential Customers.

Application Specific Behavior
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 such as the distribution of viruses or other malicious code or the transfer of child pornography or other unlawful content.

Device Attachment
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 rate limit sources that are commonly used to send spam, 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 rate 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 https://www.charter.net/security-suite/.

Performance Characteristics

Service Description
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.Charter.com.

Below we disclose information regarding the expected and actual speed and latency of our Internet access service offerings. 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:

1. 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.

2. 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, interference and congestion.

3. 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 may traverse the networks of multiple providers before reaching its destination, and the limitations of those networks will most likely affect the overall speed of that Internet connection.

4. 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.

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 a visitor can download from their site. Those limitations will carry through to a customer's connection.

6. The suitability of the cable modem. Some modems may not be capable of handling higher speeds.

The table below shows Charter Internet's advertised maximum downstream and upstream speeds as compared to the average actual downstream and upstream speeds for September 6, 2015 through October 3, 2015, for the Charter Internet Express and Plus levels of service, as reported by the SamKnows - FCC Industry Panel.

 

Performance Characteristics - Speed

Service

Downstream

Upstream

Advertised Maximum

Average

24 Hour Mon-Sun

Average

7pm-11pm Mon-Fri

Advertised Maximum

Average

24 Hour Mon-Sun

Average

7pm-11pm Mon-Fri

Express

(no longer offered)

15.00 Mbps

16.82 Mbps

17.36 Mbps

3.00 Mbps

3.08 Mbps

3.05 Mbps

Plus (30Mbps)

30.00 Mbps

32.88 Mbps

32.26 Mbps

4.00 Mbps

4.17 Mbps

4.14 Mbps

Plus (60Mbps)

60.00 Mbps

63.71 Mbps

62.51 Mbps

4.00 Mbps

4.22 Mbps

4.19 Mbps

Plus (100Mbps)

100.00 Mbps

106.01 Mbps

101.94 Mbps

4.00 Mbps

4.25 Mbps

4.22 Mbps

 

Latency is another measurement of Internet performance that refers to the time it takes for a packet of data to travel from one designated point to another on a network. Since many communication protocols depend upon an acknowledgement that packets were received successfully, or otherwise involve transmission of data packets back and forth along a path in the network, latency is often measured by round-trip time. Some applications are particularly sensitive to latency, such as some high-definition multiplayer online games. Latency is typically measured in milliseconds, and generally has no significant impact on typical everyday Internet usage. As latency varies based on any number of factors, most importantly the distance between a customer's Internet connected device and the ultimate Internet destination (as well as the number, variety, and quality of networks your packets cross), it is not possible to provide customers with a single figure that will define latency as part of a user experience.

The table below shows Charter Internet's average latency during the peak period ("Busy Hour") of 7pm to 11pm Monday through Friday from September 6, 2015 through October 3,2015, for the Charter Internet Express and Plus levels of service, as reported by the SamKnows FCC Industry Panel.

 

Performance Characteristics Latency

Service

Mean
Latency during Busy Hour

Express

(no longer offered)

35.91 milliseconds

Plus (30 Mbps)

36.49 milliseconds

Plus (60 Mbps)

31.19 milliseconds

Plus (100 Mbps)

32.79 milliseconds

 

Charter Internet customers can check the speed performance of their current Internet connection using the Charter Speed Test on Charter.com or Charter.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.

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.

Commercial Terms

Pricing

Charter Internet offers multiple tiers of broadband Internet access service each at a flat monthly rate. Charter ’s residential Internet service offerings and promotional pricing can be found at charter.com or by calling 1-877-304-2364. An Internet security suite is offered at no additional charge.

Privacy Policy

Charter values our Customers' privacy and will collect, use and otherwise handle your information in accordance with Charter's Privacy Policy.

Redress Options

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your Charter Internet service, you may contact customer service by calling 1-855-757-7328. 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