HCTC Network Transparency Statement

Hill Country Telephone Cooperative (“HCTC” or “Company”) provides this Network Transparency Statement in accordance with the FCC’s Restore Internet Freedom Rules to ensure that you have sufficient information to make informed choices about the purchase of broadband services. Information about HCTC’s other policies and practices concerning broadband are available at www.hctc.net (“HCTC Website”).

HCTC engages in network management practices that are tailored and appropriate for achieving optimization on the network considering the particular network architecture and technology of its broadband Internet access service. HCTC’s goal is to ensure that all of its customers experience a safe and secure broadband Internet environment that is fast, reliable and affordable. HCTC wants its customers to indulge in all that the Internet has to offer, whether it is social networking, streaming videos and music, to communicating through email and videoconferencing.

HCTC’s network management includes congestion- and security-protocol-management and customers generally will not be impacted by the protocols and practices that HCTC uses to manage its network.

A.   HCTC’s Network Transparency Disclosures 

HCTC uses various tools and industry standard techniques to manage its network and deliver fast, secure and reliable Internet service. HCTC believes in full transparency and provides the following disclosures about its network management practices:

  1. Blocking: HCTC does not block or discriminate against lawful content subject to reasonable network management
  2. Throttling: HCTC does not throttle, impair or degrade lawful Internet
  3. Affiliated Prioritization: HCTC does not prioritize Internet traffic and has no plans to do
  4. Paid Prioritization: HCTC has never engaged in paid We don’t prioritize Internet for consideration to benefit particular content, applications, services or devices. HCTC does not have plans to enter into paid prioritization deals to create fast lanes.
  5. Congestion Management: HCTC monitors the connections on its network in the aggregate on a continuous basis to determine the rate of utilization. If congestion emerges on the network, HCTC will take the appropriate measures to help relieve congestion.On HCTC’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 if instances of congestion does occur on or beyond HCTC’s network.Customers using conduct that abuses or threatens the HCTC network or which violates the company’s Acceptable Use Policy, Internet service Terms and Conditions, or the Internet Service Agreement will be asked to stop any such use immediately. A failure to respond or to cease any such conduct could result in service suspension or termination.HCTC’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. HCTC’s network management practices do not relate to any particular customer’s aggregate monthly data usage.HCTC monitors its network on a continuous basis to determine utilization on its network. HCTC also checks for abnormal traffic flows, malicious traffic across the network, if malicious activity by any users is brought to light by complaint, HCTC provides notification to the customer via email or phone or USPS. If a violation of HCTC’s policies has occurred and such violation is not remedied, HCTC will seek to suspend or terminate that customer’s service.
  6. Application-Specific Behavior: Except as may be provided elsewhere herein, HCTC does not currently engage in any application-specific behaviors on its network. Customers may use any lawful applications with
  7. Device Attachment Rules: Customers must use PPPoE for authentication of point to point connections between devices on the network. There is a limit of one (1) PPPoE session per account. For best results, DSL modems, wireless modems, or other proprietary network gateways used on the HCTC broadband network should be provided by HCTC. Customers may attach devices of their choosing to their modems, including wired or wireless routers, laptops, desktop computers, video game systems, televisions, or other network-enabled electronics equipment. However, customers are responsible for ensuring that their equipment does not harm HCTC’s network or impair the service of other customers. HCTC is not responsible for the functionality or compatibility of any equipment provided by its Customers are responsible for securing their own equipment to prevent unauthorized access to HCTC’s broadband network by third parties and will be held responsible for the actions of such third parties who gain unauthorized access through unsecured customer equipment.
  8. Network Security: HCTC knows the importance of securing its ISP E-Mail network and HTCT.net customers from network threats and annoyances. The company promotes the security of its network and patrons by protections from such threats as spam, viruses, firewall issues, and phishing schemes. HCTC also deploys spam filters in order to divert spam from an online customer’s email inbox into a quarantine file while allowing the customer to control which emails are identified as spam. Customers may access the spam files through the Spam files are automatically deleted if not accessed within 15 days.As its normal practice, HCTC does not block any protocols, content or traffic for purposes of network management, but HCTC 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.

B.   Network Performance

  1. Service Descriptions: HCTC deploys Internet access to its subscribers over Dial-Up, DSL, Fiber-To-The-Home facilities,  satellite, fixed wireless, and leased transport. Not all service plans are offered on all technologies. Details of the service plans and the rates are listed on the website at Broadband Disclosures
  2. Network Performance: HCTC makes every effort 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 caused by HCTC’ network. HCTC measures availability, latency, and aggregate utilization on the network and strives to meet internal service levelHowever, the bandwidth speed at which a particular distant website or other Internet resources may be downloaded, or the   speed at which your customer information may be uploaded to a distant website or Internet location is affected by factors beyond HCTC’ control, including the speed of the connection from a distant web server to the Internet, congestion on intermediate networks, and/or limitations on your own computer equipment, including a wireless router. In addition, your service performance may be affected by the inside wiring at your premise. Accordingly, you, the customer, must consider the capabilities of your own equipment when choosing a HCTC broadband service. Your computers and/or wireless or other networks in your homes or offices may need an upgrade in order to take full advantage of the chosen HCTC broadband plan. For the wireless service, HCTC measures Bit Error Rate (BER) and the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) parameters for transmission rates, latency, and traffic every 15 min. For DSL, Fiber and T1 service, HCTC measures traffic every 5 min. All services are best effort.HCTC tests each service for actual and expected access speeds at the time of network installation to demonstrate that the service is capable of supporting the advertised speed. Customers may also test their actual speeds using the speed test located at http://speedtest.hctc.net/ on HCTC’s website and may request assistance by calling our business office at1-800-292-5457 or by email at busofc@hctc.net.Based on the network information HCTC receives from its monitoring efforts, HCTC’ network is delivering data transmission rates advertised for the different high-speed Internet services. To be sure, HCTC has implemented a program of testing the performance of its network by using a test protocol similar to the one sanctioned by the FCC. We installed specific network performance monitoring equipment at aggregation points across our network and conducted a series of tests using this equipment. HCTC reports the results of this testing below. This result applies to both upload and download data rates, and applies for measurements made both at peak times and over a 24-hour period.Download and Upload SpeedsDetails of download and upload speeds are listed on the website at: Broadband Disclosures
  3. Impact of Non-BIAS Data Services: The FCC has defined Non-Broadband Internet Access Services (Non-BIAS) to include services offered by broadband providers that share capacity with Broadband Internet Access Services (BIAS) (previously known as “Specialized Services”) also offered by the provider over the last-mile

Real time services, such as Non-BIAS services, include Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Internet Protocol (IP) video services, command optimal bandwidth. As Non-BIAS traffic is combined with general Internet traffic on HCTC’s network, broadband customers could experience service delays, although very unlikely, if there is an occurrence of congestion on HCTC’s network. In any such event, the Non-BIAS traffic is given priority over general Internet traffic.

VoIP Non-BIAS data service Language:

HCTC provides Voice-over-the-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) to its fixed wireless customers. The VoIP traffic uses private RFC 1918 addresses, dedicated paths for VoIP and QoS on the routers/switches it touches.   The QoS priority is based on the source  and destination IP. Where VoIP traffic is combined with best effort Internet traffic and QoS priority is employed, the network could endure marginal delays if there are instances of bandwidth contention, although very unlikely.

C.   Commercial Terms

Pricing and additional service information may be found here.

In addition to this Network Transparency Statement, patrons may also find links to the following on the HCTC Website:

For questions, complaints or requests for additional information, please contact HCTC at: Business Office at 800.292.5457

Email at busofc@hctc.coop