Network Transparency Statement

Dakota Central (“Dakota Central” 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 Dakota Central’s other policies and practices concerning broadband are available at http://www.dakotacentral.com/ (“Dakota Central Website”). 

 

Dakota Central 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.  Dakota Central’s goal is to ensure that all of its customers experience a safe and secure broadband Internet environment that is fast, reliable and affordable.  Dakota Central 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. 

 

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

 

A.     Dakota Central’s Network Transparency Disclosures

 

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

 

 

1.      Blocking: Dakota Central does not block or discriminate against lawful content. 

 

2.      Throttling: Dakota Central does not throttle, impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic.

 

3.      Affiliated Prioritization: Dakota Central does not prioritize Internet traffic and has no plans to do so.

 

4.      Paid Prioritization: Dakota Central has never engaged in paid prioritization.  We don’t prioritize Internet for consideration to benefit particular content, applications, services or devices. Dakota Central does not have plans to enter into paid prioritization deals to create fast lanes.

 

5.      Congestion Management: Dakota Central monitors network connections on a daily basis using Calix Flow Analyze.  Traffic utilization data is collected at network aggregation points.  Congestion at an aggregation point can cause a reduction in data throughput or perceived sluggish Internet performance from the customer perspective. If congestion emerges (over 80% utilization of an aggregation point), Dakota Central will take the appropriate measures by adding additional physical transport links and thereby increase overall traffic capacity. Individual customer connections (the customer selected Internet package) can also experience congestion due to concurrent sessions of over-the-top video, gaming, web applications, etc. In these individual cases where a customer has congestion specific to their connection, we recommend that they upgrade to a higher speed Internet package.

 

On Dakota Central’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 do occur on Dakota Central’s network. 

 

Customers using conduct that abuses or threatens the Dakota Central 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. 

 

Dakota Central’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. Dakota Central’s network management practices do not relate to any particular customer’s aggregate monthly data usage.

 

Dakota Central monitors its network on a weekly basis to determine utilization on its network.  Dakota Central also checks for abnormal traffic flows, network security breaches, malware, loss, and damage to the network. If a breach is detected or high volume users are brought to light by complaint, Dakota Central provides notification to the customer via email or phone.  If a violation of Dakota Central’s policies has occurred and such violation is not remedied, Dakota Central will seek to suspend or terminate that customer’s service. 

 

 

6.   Application-Specific Behavior: Except as may be provided elsewhere herein, Dakota Central does not currently engage in any application-specific behaviors on its network.  Customers may use any lawful applications with Dakota Central.

 

7.   Device Attachment Rules: Customers may attach devices of their choosing to the Dakota Central provided Ethernet port, 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 Dakota Central’s network or impair the service of other customers. Dakota Central is not responsible for the functionality or compatibility of any equipment provided by its customers. Customers are responsible for securing their own equipment to prevent unauthorized access to Dakota Central’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: Dakota Central knows the importance of securing its network and 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.  Dakota Central 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 email.  Spam files are automatically deleted if not accessed within 14 days.

 

As its normal practice, Dakota Central does not block any protocols, content or traffic for purposes of network management, but Dakota Central 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

 

Dakota Central deploys Internet access to its subscribers through a Fiber ONT (Optical Network Terminal) and in limited cases VDSL or fixed wireless services.   

 

2.      Network Performance

 

Dakota Central 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 Dakota Central’s network.  Dakota Central measures availability, latency, and aggregate utilization on the network and strives to meet internal service level targets. 

 

However, 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 Dakota Central’s 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 Dakota Central 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 Dakota Central broadband plan. For the wireless service, Dakota Central measures Bit Error Rate (BER) and the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) parameters for transmission rates, latency, and traffic every 15 min.  For Fiber service, Dakota Central measures traffic every 5 min.  All services are best effort. 

 

Dakota Central 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 here on Dakota Central’s website and may request assistance by calling our business office at 701-652-3184 or 701-952-1000 or by email at helpdesk@dakotacentral.com. 

 

Based on the network information Dakota Central receives from its monitoring efforts, Dakota Central’s network is delivering data transmission rates advertised for the different high-speed Internet services. To be sure, Dakota Central performs tests at aggregation points across our network as well as monitoring overall usage. Dakota Central 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 & UPLOAD SPEEDS

 

Download Speeds

 

ADVERTISED

ACTUAL SUSTAINED

PERCENTAGE DIFFERENTIAL

60 Mbps

51 Mbps

85%

100 Mbps

82 Mbps

82%

200 Mbps

160 Mbps

80%













 

Upload Speeds

 

ADVERTISED

ACTUAL SUSTAINED

PERCENTAGE DIFFERENTIAL

6 Mbps

5.16 Mbps

86%

10 Mbps

8.5 Mbps

85%

20 Mbps

16 Mbps

80%

     
     
     
     

 

 

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 facilities.  

 

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 Dakota Central’s network, broadband customers could experience service delays, although very unlikely, if there is an occurrence of congestion on Dakota Central’s network.  In any such event, the Non-BIAS traffic is given priority over general Internet traffic.

             

C. Commercial Terms

 

Additional service information may be found here.

 

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

 

§  Privacy Policy

§  Copyright Infringement Notification

§  Acceptable Use Policy

 

For questions, complaints or requests for additional information, please contact Dakota Central at: customerservice@dakotacentral.com. Dakota Central reviews all correspondence in the order received and attempts to respond as soon as possible.