Rock Island’s Open Internet Policy
Broadband services and characteristics
Rock Island provides broadband internet access (BIA) services to our customers over a number of different network technologies, which provide different levels of performance.
- Fiber-To-The-Home (FTTH)
- 4G LTE Fixed Wireless Broadband (LTE)
Our Fiber To The Home (FTTH) offering provides a number of symmetrical speed profiles ranging from 30Mbs bidirectional all the way up to bidirectional 1Gbps. For those who are unable to take advantage of the benefits of our all fiber network, we offer Internet access over LTE and Wifi at speeds up to 25Mbs down, and 25Mbps up, as well as xDSL at speeds up to 10Mbps Down and 2Mbps Up.
With LTE, many factors affect the speed and performance that customers experience, including the programs running on the device, proximity to a cell site, the capacity of the cell site, the surrounding terrain, use inside a building, radio frequency interference, how many other customers are attempting to use the same spectrum resources. Even within coverage areas – network changes, traffic volume, outages, technical limitations, signal strength, obstructions, weather, and other conditions may impact speeds and service availability.
Network Management for Congestion
Rock Island does not selectively manage congestion on the network through methods such as real-time throttling, blocking, or dropping of specific end user traffic based on source or content. There are no download or upload volume usage caps applicable to any of Rock Island’s retail BIA services.
Q: How does the current congestion management work?
A: The current congestion management techniques are very basic. All internet data traffic is considered “best effort”, and is therefore subject to congestion management processes. The actual techniques will use a combination of buffering and “first in first out” tools to accomplish the goal of lessening the impact caused by the congestion. Selection of traffic to delay during times of congestion will be completely random and all customer traffic regardless of their bandwidth usage or network application will be equally subject to the same factors of randomization.
Q: Does the congestion management target peer-to-peer (“P2P”) or other applications, or make decisions about the content of my traffic?
A: No. The technique is “protocol-agnostic,” which means that the system does not manage congestion based on the applications being used by customers. It is also content neutral, so it does not depend on the type of content that is generating traffic congestion. Said another way, customer traffic is congestion-managed not based on the applications or content being used, but based on current network conditions and recent amounts of data transferred by users.
Q: How does the congestion management impact me and my use of Rock Island’s Internet service?
A: Being protocol-agnostic customers will most likely not notice a change in their Internet experience. The goal of congestion management is to enable all users to have access to a fair share of the network at peak times even if congestion should occasionally occur. Congestion management focuses on the consumption activity of the network as a whole whereby everyone is impacted the same. In fact, our FTTH customers are rarely if ever affected because of our bandwidth capabilities.
Q: How often does Rock Island expect to use any congestion management processes?
A: Based on our experience, network performance congestion is not common. Rock Island monitors how user traffic is affected during high usage periods and would make the adjustments reasonably necessary to ensure that our Internet customers have a high-quality online experience. Rock Island also routinely evaluates its overall network performance and periodically enhances its network by adding capacity which continues to alleviate possible network congestion.
Q: Does this congestion management process apply to both Commercial and Residential services?
Q: Does Rock Island block P2P traffic or applications like BitTorrent, Gnutella, or others?
A: No. Rock Island does not block P2P traffic or applications like BitTorrent, Gnutella, or others as part of network congestion management.
Q: Does Rock Island discriminate against particular types of online content?
A: No. Rock Island provides its customers with full access to all the lawful content, services, and applications that the Internet has to offer.
Network Security Practices
Q: Does Rock Island employ network security practices in addition to the congestion management processes?
A: Yes. Rock Island employs a number of practices to help prevent unwanted communications such as spam as well as protect the security of our customers and network. In order to further protect our customers, Rock Island blocks a limited number of ports that are commonly used to send spam, launch malicious attacks, or steal a customer’s information, for example. In addition, Rock Island conducts several security initiatives, and offers security tools for our customers.
Customers may attach devices of their choice to the modem provided by Rock Island. Any attached devices must be used in a manner consistent with our Terms of Service and Acceptable Use Policy.
Network Privacy Protection
Q: How does Rock Island protect the privacy of information received from customers and 3rd parties?
Network Performance Factors
Q: What are the factors for determining performance for a Broadband Provider?
A: Rock Island provisions its network to ensure that its customers can enjoy the speeds to which they subscribe. However, Rock Island does not guarantee that a customer will actually achieve those speeds at all times. Rock Island advertises its non-fiber speeds as “up to” a specific level based on the tier of service to which a customer subscribes.
The “actual” speed that a customer will experience while using the Internet depends upon a variety of conditions, many of which are beyond the control of an ISP such as Rock Island. These conditions include:
- Performance of a customer’s computer, including its age, processing capability, its operating system, the number of applications running simultaneously, and the presence of any adware and viruses.
- Type of connection between a customer’s computer and modem. For example, wireless connections may be slower than direct connections into a router or modem. Wireless connections also may be subject to greater fluctuations, interference and congestion. Rock Island recommends our high-performance wifi mesh product for use with higher speed tiers as many wireless connections do not perform at the speeds delivered by these tiers.
- The distance packets travel (round trip time of packets) between a customer’s computer 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.
- 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. Those limitations will carry through to a customer’s connection
Latency is another measurement of Internet performance. Latency is the time delay in transmitting or receiving packets on a network. Latency is primarily a function of the distance between two points of transmission, but also can be affected by the quality of the network or networks used in transmission. 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 computer and the ultimate Internet destination (as well as the number and variety 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.