Network Neutrality

In this document, the terms "you" and "your" refer to customers of La Ward communications Internet Access Service. Ther terms "we" and "our" refer to La Ward Communications (La Ward) and La Ward's Internet Access Service.

Definitions
Service - Internet access purchased from La Ward. This includes connectivity from your equipment at your premises to the Internet equipment at La Ward's office, connections of La Wards' equipment to the Internet, and La Ward's equipment that is used to route and manage your traffic to and from the Internet and to provide you with services such as e-mail, web surfing, file transfer, Internet video, and others.

Bandwidth - The amount of data per second. This may be thought of as the "pipe" that carries Internet traffic.

Bandwidth capacity is the amount of bandwidth that we or another network provider makes available for your use, such as the amount of data that can be sent over a wire or fiber optic system.

Bandwidth demand is the amount of bandwidth that a customer wants to use.

Congestion - A situation where the total bandwidth demand (in bits of information per second) on a component of the Internet, including on any part of our network or other networks that we connect to, exceeds the bandwidth capacity of that component to such an extent that traffic flow and service experience degradation. Congestion is usually of transitory nature, however, in some cases, such as an extremely popular website, it may last for a significant period.

Degradation of Service - Less than optimal performance of Internet Services. This may appear to you as slow response on web sites and e-mail or distorted or frozen video.

Nominal Bandwidth - The bandwidth of the service package you purchase. This is your maximum allowed bandwidth.

Terms of Service and Network Management Practices

The bandwidth you purchase (your service package or nominal bandwidth) is the MAXIMUM bandwidth available to you. Unless you have purchased a Committed Bandwidth service that specifically guarantees a fixed bandwidth, such as a T-1 circuit, your nominal bandwidth is not a guaranteed bandwidth. La Ward will make its best effort to transmit your data in a timely fashion, however, La Ward does not guarantee you that you will be able to use you entire nominal bandwidth at any given time. This is referred to as "best effort" service.

La Ward strives to make your total nominal bandwidth available for you to use within our network. La Ward cannot control bandwidth available, congestion, or service quality on those parts of the Internet beyond our network.

When other customers use our network, you may not be able to use your maximum nominal bandwidth because all customers share total bandwidth capacity at some points on our network and on the Internet. If the bandwidth demand of all customers at the network location exceeds the bandwidth capacity provided, you may not be able to use your entire nominal bandwidth. All services other than Committed Bandwidth services are "shared services" used by many customers.

We size our Internet services by the bandwidth demand of all our customers, including your service, based on best-of-breed engineering practices. Service is provided equally to all customers, and every customer's data has an equal chance to be served.

Service is provided equally to all customers and to all Internet services, protocols, sources, or destinations on the Internet such as websites, e-mail servers, etc.

La Ward may block any service, protocol, source, or destination that La Ward determines to be illegal or a threat to life, property, or national security, or if ordered to block or otherwise modify your data by law enforcement agencies.

La Ward may block any service, protocol, source, or destination where La Ward determines, at its sole discretion, that such blocking is necessary to protect our customers and/or our network from security vulnerability such as viruses or malicious software, or known exploits such as phishing or routing redirects. This includes situations where your computer has been "hijacked" by malicious software such as a Trojan horse or in situations where we determine that your computer is a source of "spam". We will attempt to contact you in such situation, but we reserve the right to block any customer's computer from access to our network prior to contacting you if we determine such action is necessary to protect other customers, our network, or other sources or destinations on the Internet.

At this time, La Ward does not implement network management techniques when congestion occurs, however, in times of congestion on La Ward's network, La Ward may, at its sole discretion, implement reasonable network management techniques to protect the services of all of La Ward's customers so that each customer has adequate service quality. La Ward will not implement network management if degradation of service is caused by congestion on portions of the Internet outside of La Ward's network. La Ward will notify our customers on this website of changes to our network management policy.

Devices & Software that may be Attached to La Ward's Internet Access Service

There are no restrictions on types of devices you may connect to La Ward's network other than that they must be approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for use in the US telecommunications network. You may not connect any equipment to La Ward's network that is not approved by the FCC. Most commercially available equipment such as modems, routers, and PCs are approved. All equipment approved by the FCC will have a label stating that it is approved and what the type of the approval is. This information is also found in the user's manual or printed instruction that are provided with the equipment and may be found online at the manufacturer's website. You should read this label whenever you buy any equipment you wish to connect to La Ward's network. If you have questions about any particular equipment, please call us at (361) 872-2211.

La Ward's Internet access service is designed to function with accepted industry standard interface software such as provided by Microsoft, Apple, and others. If you use a type of software not widely used in the worldwide Internet, you may experience some problems with compatibility between your software and La Ward's Internet access service. If you have any questions, please call us at (361) 872-2211, and we will try to help you resolve this problem. It is the customer's responsibility to assure that their software and operating interfaces conform to industry accepted specifications.

Network Security

La Ward uses the latest industry-best-practices to maintain integrity and security of its network. This may include security protections that interfere with some types of customer traffic. If you believe your services are being disrupted by our security systems, please contact us at (361) 872-2211.

La Ward provides a level of protection for your computers from spam, viruses, and other malicious or unwanted items. While La Ward strives to provide the best protection possible for your computer, we make no guarantees that we can prevent all malicious or unwanted items from accessing your computer. It is your responsibility to protect your computers and other devices from unwanted or harmful items. It is strongly recommended that you provide your own virus and malware protection, spam filtering, and firewall software, solutions are available on the La Ward website.

There are additional considerations regarding Internet security related to La Ward's Internet access service. See our Acceptable Use Policy on our internet application here. La Ward Internet

Services La Ward Offers

La Ward offers the following Internet access services. Pricing may be found on our Internet application here.

The bandwidths listed are the maximum bandwidth of the service. You will not be provided additional bandwidth above what you purchased, even for short periods of time. You are not permitted to "burst" traffic above your purchased bandwidth.

Best Effort Services

Residential
2Mb/512Kb
3Mb/768Kb
6Mb/1Mb

Business
3Mb/768Kb
6Mb/1Mb
10Mb/1Mb

Use of La Ward's Services for Real-Time Applications such as Streaming Video

The Best Effort services above may be suitable for real-time applications if the customer has purchased adequate bandwidth for that service. Disruption during times of congestion, if any, which you experience will be minimized if you purchase adequate bandwidth for the services you wish to use. However, since there are occasionally conditions of extreme congestion at various points in the Internet, including La Ward's network, unless you have purchased a Committed Bandwidth service that specifically guarantees a fixed bandwidth, such as a T1 circuit, La Ward does not guarantee that your service will never be degraded.

Note that bandwidth requirements will differ by real-time applications. For example, video such as that offered by various services such as YouTube may require somewhat less total bandwidth than entertainment quality streaming video. Bandwidth requirements may also differ among providers.

Privacy of Customer Information

La Ward inspects packets of data you send or receive over our network to allow us to route and, where applicable, prioritize data. We inspect only the packet headers which tell us where to send your data and the type of data it is, i.e.: web surf, video, file transfer, etc.

La Ward does not examine the content of your data, i.e.: the data which you send or receive, such as the messages from and to e-mail addresses of your e-mail, which web sites you visit, the sources of your video, or the contents of files you send or receive.

La Ward does not store your data, or sell or reveal it to any third parties.

La Ward may provide any of your data, both on an active, real time basis and stored data such as your billing records, to law enforcement under appropriate legal orders if law enforcement requests your information in matters dealing with illegal acts or a threat to life, property, or national security.

Contact Us

If you have questions or comments regarding our network management policies or practices, please contact us at (361) 872-2211 or visit our directory by clicking here.