Acceptable Use and Network Management Policy

ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY AND NETWORK MANAGEMENT POLICY

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INTRODUCTION

The Company has adopted this Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”) to outline the acceptable use of the Company’s Internet Service by residential and business customers (“Customer(s)”). This AUP is in addition to any terms and conditions contained in the subscriber agreement or other contract with the Company applicable to the Customer’s Internet Service (collectively, the “Terms and Conditions”).

The Company may revise this AUP from time to time by posting a new version on the Company’s website at www.northstate.net. Revised versions of this AUP are effective immediately upon posting. Customer recognizes and agrees that Customer’s continued use of the Company’s Internet Service will constitute Customer’s acceptance of this AUP as it may be amended.

Customer agrees to abide by and require each user of the Internet Service to abide by the terms of this AUP. Failure to do so could result in the suspension or termination of Customer’s Internet Service account. If any user does not agree to comply with this AUP, Customer must immediately stop all use of the Internet Service and notify the Company so that it can close the account. Questions regarding this AUP, or complaints of violations of it, should be directed to the Company at www.northstate.net. 

PROHIBITED USES AND ACTIVITIES

General Prohibitions: This AUP prohibits any use of the Internet Service that is unlawful, harmful to the Company’s network, interferes with the use or enjoyment of the Internet Service received by others, infringes the intellectual property rights of others, or results in the publication of threatening or offensive material.

No Illegal or Fraudulent Use:  The Internet Service may be used only for lawful purposes. Customer will not use or allow others to use the Internet Service in any manner that is in violation of any applicable federal, state, local or international law, order or regulation.

Security Violations: Customers are solely responsible for maintaining the security of their systems and equipment that connect to and use the Internet Service. Any use of the Internet Service that violates the security or integrity of the Company’s network is prohibited. Such violations include but are not limited to:

  1. Disrupting or degrading the performance of the Internet Service, including, without limitation, transmitting any files that contain a virus or other harmful feature regardless of intent, purpose or knowledge;
  2. Accessing any other person’s or entity’s computer or computer system, network, software or data without their knowledge and consent;
  3. Reselling or redistributing (for example, through Wi-Fi) the Internet Service to anyone outside Customer’s premises, unless you are a business Customer subject to a written contract that expressly permits such use. Residential Customers agree to use the Internet Service for personal and non-commercial use only and agree not to use the Internet Service for any business purpose (whether or not for profit);
  4. Using the Internet Service or facilities for web-hosting, email hosting or other unusually high-bandwidth consumption unless you are a business Customer subject to a written contract that expressly permits such use; or
  5. Using the Internet Service with anything other than a dynamic Internet Protocol (“IP”) address that adheres to the dynamic host configuration protocol (“DHCP”), unless you are a business Customer subject to a written contract that expressly permits use of a static IP address.

Violation of Intellectual Property Rights:  The Internet Service shall not be used to upload, download, post, publish, transmit, reproduce, or distribute in any way information, software or other material that is protected by copyright or other proprietary right, without obtaining any required permission of the owner.

Threatening Material or Content: The Internet Service shall not be used to post or transmit material or content which is libelous, obscene, unlawful, threatening or defamatory, or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense.

Spam:  The Internet Service shall not be used to transmit, or collect responses from, unsolicited bulk or commercial messages commonly known as “spam.”

NETWORK MANAGEMENT

The Company uses reasonable tools and techniques that are consistent with industry standards to manage its network, deliver the Internet Service, and ensure compliance with this AUP and the Terms and Conditions. These tools and techniques are dynamic, like the network and its usage, and can and do change frequently. Refer to the Company’s Network Management Policy for more information.

AUP ENFORCEMENT

The Company reserves the right to investigate violations of this AUP.  The Company prefers to inform Customers of inappropriate activities and give them a reasonable period of time in which to take corrective action. However, if the Internet Service is used in a way that the Company, in its sole discretion, believes violates this AUP, the Company may take any responsive actions it deems appropriate under the circumstances with or without notice, including, but not limited to, suspending or terminating Customer’s Internet Service account.

NO WAIVER

The failure of the Company to enforce this AUP, for whatever reason, shall not be construed as a waiver of any right to do so at any time. Customer agrees that if any portion of this AUP is held invalid or unenforceable, that portion will be construed consistent with applicable law as nearly as possible, and the remaining portions of this AUP will remain in full force and effect.

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND DIGITAL MILLENNIUM COPYRIGHT ACT

The Company is committed to complying with U.S. copyright and related laws, and requires all Customers and users of the Internet Service to comply with these laws. Owners of copyrighted works who believe that their rights under U.S. copyright law have been infringed may take advantage of certain provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (the “DMCA”) to report alleged infringements. It is the Company’s policy, in accordance with the DMCA and other applicable laws, to reserve the right to terminate the Internet Service, with or without notice, for any Customer or user who is either found to infringe third party copyright or other intellectual property rights, including repeat infringers, or who the Company, in its sole discretion, believes is infringing these rights.

Upon the Company’s receipt of a notice of claimed infringement that satisfies the requirements of the DMCA, the Company will respond expeditiously to either directly or indirectly (i) remove the allegedly infringing work(s) stored on the Internet Service or (ii) disable access to the work(s). The Company will also notify the affected Customer or user of the Internet Service of the removal or disabling of access to the work(s). If the affected Customer or user believes in good faith that the allegedly infringing works have been removed or blocked by mistake or misidentification, then that person may send a counter notification to the Company. Upon the Company’s receipt of a counter notification that satisfies the requirements of DMCA, the Company will provide a copy of the counter notification to the person who sent the original notification of claimed infringement and will follow the DMCA’s procedures with respect to a received counter notification. In all events, Customer expressly agrees that the Company will not be a party to any disputes or lawsuits regarding alleged copyright infringement.

Designation of Agent to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement

Full Legal Name of Service Provider: North State Telephone, LLC d/b/a North State Communications. Alternative Name(s) of Service Provider: NorthState Communications, North State Communications, NorthState. Address of Service Provider: 4100 Mendenhall Oaks Parkway, Suite 300, High Point, NC 27265. Agent Designated to Receive Notification of Claimed Infringement: Abuse Department. Full Address of Designated Agent to which Notification Should be Sent: 111 N. Main Street, P.O. Box 2326, High Point, NC 27261. Telephone Number of Designated Agent: 336-886-3600. Email Address of Designated Agent: abuse@nstel.com.

ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY FOR VIDEO (TV) SERVICES

GENERAL POLICY

The Company reserves the sole discretion to deny or restrict any of Customer’s Video / Television Services, or immediately suspend or terminate any such Service, if the use of any Service by Customer or anyone using it, in the Company’s sole discretion, violates the Company’s Terms and Conditions or any other Company policies, is objectionable or unlawful, interferes with the functioning or use of the Internet or the Company’s network by the Company or other users, or violates the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”). Capitalized terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the meaning for such term set forth in the Company’s Terms and Conditions. For avoidance of doubt, this AUP applies in addition to, and not in lieu of, any Acceptable Use Policy adopted by the Company relating to Internet Services.

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT; REPEAT INFRINGER POLICY

The Company respects the intellectual property rights of third parties. Accordingly, Customer may not store any material or use the Company’s systems or servers in any manner that constitutes or results in an infringement of third party intellectual property rights, including under U.S. copyright law. In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) and other applicable laws, the Company may suspend or terminate any Service provided to any subscriber or account holder who is deemed to infringe third party intellectual property rights, including repeat infringers of copyrights. In addition, the Company expressly reserves the right to suspend, terminate or take other interim action regarding any Service of any subscriber or account holder if the Company, in its sole judgment, believes that circumstances relating to an infringement of third party intellectual property rights warrant such action. These policies are in addition to and do not affect or modify any other rights the Company may have under law or contract. If you believe that copyrighted material has been used in violation of this policy or otherwise been made available through the Services in a manner that is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent or the law, please contact the Company. The Company may, but is not required to, monitor Customer’s compliance, or the compliance of other customers, with this AUP. Customer acknowledges that the Company shall have the right, but not the obligation, to pre-screen, refuse, move or remove any content available through the Services, including but not limited to content that violates the law, the Company’s Terms and Conditions or this AUP.

NETWORK MANAGEMENT POLICY

North State Telephone Company d/b/a North State Communications and its affiliates (collectively, “North State” or “Company”) provide this statement in accordance with the Federal Communication Commission’s (“FCC”) Open Internet Rules. This statement explains the network management practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms of the mass-market broadband Internet access services (“Broadband Services”) sold by North State on a standardized basis to residential customers, small businesses, and other end-user customers such as schools and libraries. This statement is intended to help current and prospective customers make informed choices about the use of North State’s Broadband Services, as well to help providers of Internet applications, services, and content make use of North State’s network to reach users. This statement is provided for informational purposes only and may be changed at any time without notice. Information about North State’s other policies and practices are available at www.northstate.net (“North State Website”). North State manages its network to ensure that all of its customers experience a safe and secure broadband Internet environment that is fast, reliable and affordable. North State wants its customers to enjoy all that the Internet has to offer, whether it is social networking, streaming videos and music, to communicating through email and video conferencing. North State manages its network for a number of reasons, including optimization, as well as congestion and security-protocol-management. North State uses various tools and industry standard techniques to manage its network and deliver fast, secure and reliable Internet service. Such management tools and practices include the following:

I. Network Management Practices

A. Managing Congestion

North State periodically monitors the connections on its network in the aggregate to determine the rate of utilization. If congestion emerges on the network, North State will engage in the re-routing of Internet traffic to relieve congestion. In order to reduce instances of congestion, North State has capacity management procedures in place. On our core and access networks, North State may increase capacity by adding FTTH nodes, transport, Internet aggregation routers and bandwidth, as needed. On North State’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 when instances of congestion do occur on North State’s network. Customers whose conduct abuses or threatens North State’s network or which violates the Company’s Acceptable Use Policy or Internet Service Terms and Conditions will be requested to stop any such use immediately. A failure to respond to such request or to cease any such conduct could result in service suspension or termination. North State’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. North State does not manage congestion by capping an individual customer’s usage, reducing the speed of an individual customer’s service once a certain amount of usage is exceeded, or other similar strategies. Instead, North State focuses on anticipating and avoiding congestion by monitoring network usage and augmenting capacity in a targeted manner. As Internet traffic volumes continue to grow, it may not be possible to manage network congestion through capacity upgrades alone. As a result, North State will continue to evaluate its practices in this respect and will revise its approach as needed to deliver a quality online experience, including possibly offering tiers of service with different usage allowances and/or assessing fees for exceeding such allowances.

B. Network Security

North State knows the importance of attempting to secure its network and customers from network threats and annoyances. The Company promotes the security of its network and patrons by providing resources to its customers for identifying and reporting such threats as spam, viruses, firewall issues, and phishing schemes. North State also deploys spam filters in order to divert spam from an online customer’s email inbox while allowing the customer to control which emails are identified as spam. As its normal practice, North State does not block any protocols, content or traffic for purposes of network management, except that the Company may block or limit such traffic as spam, viruses, malware, or denial of service attacks to protect network integrity and the security of our customers. North State also has a port filtering policy aimed at reducing the spread of computer-related viruses and protecting your computer from intruder access.

C. Application-Specific Behavior and Device Attachment Rules

Except as may be provided elsewhere herein, North State does not currently engage in any application-specific behaviors nor does it employ any device attachment rules for its network.

D. Technology

North State’s network management employs a variety of industry-standard tools, applications and devices to monitor, secure and maintain its network. North State uses network management software to monitor aggregate traffic usage.

E. Monitoring Schedule

North State uses network management software to conduct periodic monitoring of the network in order to detect abnormal traffic flows, congestion, network security breaches, malware, loss, and damage to the network.

II. Network Performance

A. Service Description

North State offers a variety of Broadband Services over copper and fiber-based technologies, each of which may have a different service capability speed. The term speed is often used to describe the capacity at which a particular Broadband Service can transmit data. The capacity is typically measured in the number of kilobits, megabits, or gigabits that can be transmitted in one second (Kbps, Mbps or Gbps). Some applications such as sending email without attachment or basic web browsing do not require high service capability speeds to function optimally. Other activities like transferring large data files can be performed faster with higher-speed services. Your service capability speed may not be suitable for some applications, particularly those involving real-time or near real-time, high-bandwidth uses such as streaming video or video conferencing.

B. Expected and Actual Speed and Latency

North State strives to support advertised speeds and will dispatch repair technicians to customer sites to perform speed tests as needed to troubleshoot and resolve speed and application performance issues caused by North State’s network. North State measures availability, latency, and aggregate utilization on the network and strives to meet internal service level targets. However, customer’s service performance may be affected multiple factors, (refer to https://www.northstate.net/Content/pdf/Support/Res_Internet_Email_Help.pdf for assistance) such as the condition of wiring inside a specific location or the electromagnetic interference on the customer’s line; general Internet backbone configurations and computer configuration; network or Internet congestion; and the server speeds of websites accessed. The North State speed test can be found at https://speedtest.northstate.net/. Because speed tests measure performance at that particular time, results may vary depending on when the test is run. North State is in the process of developing additional systems that will allow us to measure these indicators out to test points at each major network aggregation site on the edge of our last mile network. Once these systems are developed, North State will be able to measure system metrics on a network-wide basis and will disclose the results on its website.

C. Impact of Specialized Services

North State and its subsidiaries provide specialized services such as Fiber TV. These real time services command optimal bandwidth. The specialized service is combined with the general Internet traffic on North State’s network. Although unlikely, broadband customers could experience service delays if there is an occurrence of congestion on North State’s network because, in any such event, these specialized services are given priority over general Internet traffic.

III. Commercial Terms

A description of North State’s service offerings and rates may be found on North State’s website at the following link: www.northstate.net. North State’s Privacy Policy may be found on North State’s website at the following link: www.northstate.net/PrivacyPolicy. For questions, complaints or requests for additional information, please contact North State at: 336-886-3600 or toll free at 1-866-542-5900.

Revised 04-19-2021

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