Residential Broadband Network Management Information
EarthLink believes that reasonable network management practices are necessary for EarthLink to provide all our EarthLink and PeoplePC residential customers, including residential broadband access customers, with award winning Internet services. EarthLink uses a variety of tools and methods to manage our network, including managing any network congestion, and address security concerns. Our industry standard network management practices help us protect our network and our customers from harmful online activity (like spamming, viruses and phishing) and help ensure compliance with our Service Agreements and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). EarthLink's Service Agreements and AUP are available at http://www.earthlink.net/about/policies/use.faces.
So that we can address the ever changing issues and threats that affect our network and all our customers, we continually evaluate the effectiveness of our network management practices and reserve the right to change those practices. We will update this page to keep our customers informed of any significant changes to our residential broadband network management practices.
1. Network Practices
EarthLink continuously monitors our network with the goal of providing all our residential customers with full access to all the lawful activities, content, applications and services that our customers seek on the Internet. When we find network congestion that may impact our customers' use of our services, we work to alleviate the congestion by obtaining more capacity to support our customers. We do not restrict our customers by protocol, application, ports or devices except to protect our network and our customers.
EarthLink uses various tools and methods to protect the security of our network and, in turn, our customers. We have implemented several network-based security tools designed to identify and block malicious activity. We monitor for unusual login, firewall and other specific malicious network activity on our network. To try to reduce the delivery of spam emails to our customers, we check inbound email against several third party reputation services.In order to combat distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, EarthLink employs various practices which may include temporarily blocking certain incoming traffic into our network if we detect malicious activity or traffic volumes that exceed certain baseline metrics, or if the source of the traffic is potentially harmful to our customers or known to be associated with illegal behavior. We may block ports and Internet Protocol addresses and cancel or suspend customer accounts that are used to host malicious websites, send phishers or spam, launch malicious attacks, or attempt to steal customer information. In order to maintain the integrity of our network and our security programs, we do not disclose the specific details about our security tools and methods.
In addition, we offer our customers various security tools for the customers' own use. Information on these security tools is available at http://www.earthlink.net/software/staysafe.faces.
2. Third Party Network Practices
In order to provide high speed Internet access service to our residential customers, we use the DSL and cable Internet access services of various third parties. We work with these third parties in an effort to provide our customers with robust services. These third parties may have network management practices of their own that differ from EarthLink's practices. If you have any questions or would like information about the network management practices of any third party that helps EarthLink provide high speed Internet access to you, please contact us or go to the third party websites listed in Section 3 below. To contact EarthLink Customer Service via telephone or live chat go to http://www.earthlink.net/about/contact/. To contact PeoplePC Customer Service via telephone or live chat go to https://support.peoplepc.com/contact/contact.php.
3. Performance Characteristics
As described above, EarthLink provides high speed Internet access service to our residential customers, in part, by using the DSL and cable Internet access services of various third parties. The performance of EarthLink's high speed Internet access services, including the speed1 and latency2 of these services, depends on the performance of these third party networks and on many factors outside the control of EarthLink and its third party providers. Such factors may include the quality of your home network and inside wiring, the devices being used, and simultaneous usage by multiple users. For more information on service speed or to test the speed of your high speed Internet access service go to https://support.earthlink.net/articles/dsl/earthlink-speed-test-tool.php.
Information on the network management practices and performance characteristics of our third party DSL and cable Internet access service providers is available on their websites:
In addition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released studies and reports on the performance of certain nationwide residential DSL, cable, fiber and satellite broadband services in the United States, including most of the third parties that help EarthLink provide residential high speed Internet access service. The most recent of these studies examined and reported on the service offerings of the largest DSL, cable, fiber and satellite broadband providers using automated, direct measurements of broadband service performance delivered to the homes of thousands of volunteers during September 2013. For more information on the FCC studies and reports and the performance data go to http://www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america.
1 Generally describes the capacity at which a service can transmit data.
2 Generally describes the time it takes a data package to travel from one point to another point in a network.
4. Commercial Terms
In general, EarthLink does not place usage limits on our residential high speed Internet access services. However, certain third party cable Internet access service providers that EarthLink uses may limit the amount of data that customers can upload or download per month. More information on these limits can be found in Section 5 of EarthLink's Cable Internet Service Agreement available at http://www.earthlink.net/about/policies/cable.faces.
To contact EarthLink with any questions or concerns about its network management practices or any other issues, please go to http://www.earthlink.net/about/contact/.
Dated: November 10, 2011; Updated on January 6, 2012 and September 24, 2014