Southern Linc's ("we" or "our") Internet Practices address our efforts to preserve the principles of open Internet access for customers subscribing to plans with Internet access through our regional Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network. When describing our Internet Practices, we use "System" to describe practices that apply to our LTE network. Not all customers will have Internet-accessible plans or phones. Here are more details on how we seek to manage our System:
- Optimization: Your device and the System may have built-in optimization technologies. These may include caching less data, using less capacity, limiting resolution, and sizing files more appropriately for mobile devices, e.g., via a proxy server that automatically compresses media files and websites. When a file is capable of compression, the file may be compressed regardless of source and content. While compression may result in reduced resolution and color accuracy, it facilitates faster loading and uses less memory and network capacity, resulting in less consumption of your data usage allowance and a better experience for you and other users on the network.
- Websites: When you visit a website on your browser, the site may automatically optimize so that it consumes less memory and loads more quickly. Any website, including our sites, may undergo this optimization process.
- Image and Video Files: Your device may automatically optimize outgoing images, and the System may automatically optimize incoming files. Any video files, including streaming, regardless of content or source, may be automatically optimized via buffering, transcoding, caching, duration limitation, and/or resolution degradation in order to function. Optimization removes bits of data, such as colors, in order to decrease file size while maintaining sufficient quality for viewing on a mobile device screen.
- Network Monitoring: We monitor the network to make sure that it is operating at the high standards you expect. Some performance elements we monitor are: (1) packet loss (errors and discards) within the core network and over the links to the Internet; (2) the quality of the backhaul links between our core network and each cell site; and (3) the radiofrequency conditions, through statistical analysis, at each cell site to give you the best available coverage and customer experience. Steps are taken to protect the network and users from harm such as denial of service attacks, spam, outside attacks, tampering, malicious activity, and network events that may disrupt or degrade your ability to use the System. We block traffic that would be harmful to you or our network through measures such as firewall rules and other intrusion prevention tools.
- Devices and Applications:
- We do not block devices that have properly provisioned SIM card(s), but only our Southern Linc LTE devices are designed to function on our System. If you insert SIM card(s) from another wireless provider, you may experience minimal or no functionality on the device, and we take no responsibility for poor performance in such situations. Devices compatible with our System may be purchased through a Southern Linc Authorized Dealer, Retail Store, Direct Sales Representative, or our website. To connect to our System, you will need to obtain SIM card(s) from us by subscribing to a plan, which may require payment of an activation fee and other charges, subject to terms and conditions. If you have questions about connecting a particular device, please contact a dealer, Retail Store, Direct Sales Representative, or Customer Solutions.
- Content and applications developed by third parties (e.g., downloadable or networked applications, wallpaper, ringtones, games, and productivity tools) ("Content & Apps") may be preloaded on your device, or you may purchase Content & Apps for your device. Some Content & Apps may not be compatible with or function on your Unit. We are not responsible for any third party Content & Apps preloaded on your device, or any Content & Apps that you download, and we make no warranties they will function on your Unit. In general, we do not block downloads of any Content & Apps, subject to the limitations described below under "Security and Extreme Congestion Procedures." For more information regarding Content & Apps, please see the "Content and Applications" section of our Acceptable Use Policy.
- Apps are available for download from third parties via our Web site and other third party app stores or sites. We are not responsible for any apps you download, and we make no warranties that any apps will function on your device.
- No Blocking of Websites:
- If your plan offers Internet access, you can generally go to any website supported by your device and the System. Website access may be blocked according to the limitations described below under "Security and Extreme Congestion Procedures" and our Acceptable Use Policy. Website access may also be limited by device design and network architecture.
- If your device is a feature phone (not a smartphone), it may be designed to access only wireless application protocol ("WAP") websites rather than standard Internet protocol "HTTP" websites, which means you can visit simplified sites configured to load via the WAP gateway (formatted Web content for small phone screens).
- Please contact Customer Solutions if you have questions about the websites your device supports. We enable access to the Internet via our System, but we do not provide Wi-Fi service. Most smartphones allow users to connect to third party Wi-Fi systems. If you plan to access the Internet through a third party Wi-Fi system, please check with the Wi-Fi provider for information about their network management practices.
- Usage Type and Allowances: Your use of the System is subject to our Acceptable Use Policy. Please see our Acceptable Use Policy for a description of prohibited content and transmission structures as well as data usage allowances. If your usage violates the Acceptable Use Policy or adversely affects the System, network performance, or the experience of other customers, we reserve the right to restrict your data usage or services.
- Security and Extreme Congestion Procedures:
- If we determine that the operation, stability, or security of our System is threatened, subject to interference or penetration, or is otherwise experiencing an emergency situation, we reserve the right to take any and all actions we deem appropriate to secure and protect the System. Such actions could include, but are not limited to, blocking websites, programs, and/or apps we believe are associated with the threat. Examples of such threats include, but are not limited to, Internet sources of spam and sources that aggressively scan Internet addresses. Moreover, access to a limited number of Internet addresses may be blocked if those addresses are disruptive or malicious and typically persistent as determined by review of third party industry-wide intelligence.
- You are responsible for taking security measures to protect your device from the spread of viruses, malware, spam, or other threats.
- The System generally prioritizes voice calls over data transmissions by design, promoting quality voice services. Although performance may be slower during peak usage times, we generally do not take action to restrict Internet or media usage during times of high usage, except as discussed above under "Security and Extreme Congestion Procedures." If your device allows access to third party Wi-Fi, you may experience faster download and upload speeds while on Wi-Fi.
- The System is not designed to handle programs, systems, apps, or other usage that drive continuously heavy traffic or data sessions, and such use is prohibited because it would impair System functionality and delivery of service to you and other customers. Please refer to our Acceptable Use Policy for further information.
- "Speed" describes the capacity at which an Internet access service can transmit data. Capacity is usually measured in the number of kilobits or megabits that can be transmitted in one second (Kbps or Mbps). Some applications, such as email, do not need a high rate of speed to function optimally, while other applications do, such as the transfer of large data files. The actual speeds you experience on the System will vary depending on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, signal strength and signal quality between the cell tower and your device, cell site utilization by other callers and data session users, and availability of the third party Internet server being accessed. Speeds of data transmissions on LTE are generally considered 4G data transmissions. If you are a single user of a channel on a cell tower, you may experience data speeds between 3-22 Mbps, but if you are one of several users on a channel, your data speed may be slower. We do not guarantee that you will experience these speeds or that you will be able to engage in any data usage at any particular location or point in time on the System.
- Another measure of a network's speed is latency, which is the amount of time it takes a message to traverse the system end-to-end. On Internet Protocol networks, latency is commonly measured as round-trip time (RTT). RTT is the time, usually reported in milliseconds (ms), taken for a data packet to reach its destination and then return to the sender. Latency in an LTE network usually averages about 100 ms. This measure varies widely because of the myriad of conditions and scenarios that any given transmission may experience at any given moment over a wireless network. We cannot guarantee the degree of latency you will encounter at any given location or time on the System.
- We respect our customers' privacy. We use network traffic information for network-related purposes and do not sell that information to third parties.
- We protect certain usage-related information about the quantity, type, and usage patterns, called your Customer Proprietary Network Information ("CPNI"), as required by federal law and FCC regulations. Please see our CPNI Guidelines for more information.
- We offer multiple calling plans and add-on options, with pricing information available at Service Plans and Add-on Packages.
- Service terms applicable to all plans and promotions, including, but not limited to, termination fees and services limitations, are available at Promotion Details. Our Acceptable Use Policy can be found at Acceptable Use Policy.
- If you have a complaint or questions, including questions about our Internet Practices as described above, please contact Customer Solutions.