GVTC Telephone Cooperative
Acceptable Use Policy for Internet services

Guadalupe Valley Telephone Cooperative, including its subsidiary GVTC Communications Systems, L.P. and other subsidiaries (collectively “GVTC”) has adopted this Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”) to outline the acceptable use of GVTC’s Internet service.  Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) at www.gvtc.com/support/faqs which includes explanations of how GVTC implements and applies many of the provisions contained in this AUP.

You, the customer, must comply with this AUP.  Your failure to do so could result in the suspension or termination of your Internet Service account.  If you do not agree to comply with this AUP, you must immediately stop all use of the Internet Service and notify GVTC so that it can close your account. By using the Internet Service, you agree to follow this AUP.

All capitalized terms used in this AUP that are not defined here have the meanings given to them in the Subscriber Agreement.

GVTC may revise this AUP from time to time by posting a new version on the Web site at www.gvtc.com (the “GVTC website”).  GVTC will use reasonable efforts to make customers aware of any changes to this AUP, which may include sending e-mail announcements or posting information on the GVTC website or including changes into the AUP.  Revised versions of this AUP are effective immediately upon posting.  Accordingly, customers of the GVTC Internet Service should read any GVTC announcements they receive and regularly visit the GVTC web site and review this AUP to ensure that their activities conform to the most recent version.  If you have questions regarding this AUP, or to report violations of it, you can contact GVTC at www.gvtc.com.  

I. Prohibited Uses and Activities

In general, this AUP prohibits uses and activities involving the Internet Service that are illegal, infringe the rights of others, or interfere with or diminish the use and enjoyment of the Internet Service by others.

A. Network and Usage Restrictions

No user of the Internet Service, Customer Equipment, or GVTC Equipment may, individually or in combination with another:

1. restrict, inhibit, or otherwise interfere with the ability of any other person, regardless of intent, purpose or knowledge, to use or enjoy the Internet Service (except for safety and security functions such as parental controls, for example), including, without limitation, posting or transmitting any information or software which contains a worm, virus, or other harmful feature, or generating levels of traffic sufficient to impede others' ability to use, send, or retrieve information;

2. restrict, inhibit, interfere with, or otherwise disrupt performance of the Internet Service or cause a performance degradation regardless of intent, purpose or knowledge, to the Internet Service or any GVTC (or GVTC supplier) host, server, backbone network, node or service, or otherwise cause a performance degradation to any GVTC (or GVTC supplier) facilities used to deliver the Internet Service;

3. resell the Internet Service or otherwise make available to anyone outside the Premises the ability to use the Internet Service (for example, through Wi-Fi or other methods of networking), in whole or in part, directly or indirectly.  The Internet Service is for personal use only and you agree not to use the Internet Service for operation as an Internet service provider or for offering service to others without express written approval of GVTC (e.g. businesses wishing to contract to offer Wi-Fi service at their location to their customers); 

4. connect the GVTC Equipment to any computer outside of your Premises;

5. interfere with computer networking or telecommunications service to any user, host or network, including, without limitation, denial of service attacks, flooding of a network, overloading a service, improper seizing and abusing operator privileges, and attempts to “crash” a host; and

6. accessing and using the Internet Service with anything other than a dynamic Internet Protocol (“IP”) address that adheres to the dynamic host configuration protocol (“DHCP”).  You may not configure the Internet Service or any related equipment to access or use a static IP address or use any protocol other than DHCP unless you are subject to an Internet Service plan that expressly permits you to do so.

B. Conduct and Information Restrictions

No user of the Internet Service, customer equipment, or GVTC’s equipment may, individually or in combination with another:

1. avoid incurring charges for or otherwise being required to pay for usage of the Broadband Service;

2. invade another person’s privacy, stalk, harass, or otherwise violate the rights of other persons;

3. undertake or accomplish any unlawful purpose. This includes, but is not limited to, posting, storing, transmitting or disseminating information, data or material which is libelous, obscene, unlawful, threatening or defamatory, or which infringes the intellectual property rights of any person or entity, or which in any way constitutes or encourages conduct that would constitute a criminal offense, or otherwise violate any local, state, federal, or non-U.S. law, order, or regulation;

4. post, store, send, transmit, or disseminate any information or material which a reasonable person could deem to be unlawful;

5. upload, post, publish, transmit, reproduce, create derivative works of, or distribute in any way information, software or other material obtained through the Broadband Service or otherwise that is protected by copyright or other proprietary right, without obtaining any required permission of the owner;

6. collect, or attempt to collect, personal information about third parties without their consent;

7. transmit unsolicited bulk or commercial messages commonly known as “spam;”

8. send voluminous copies of the same or substantially similar messages, empty messages, or messages which contain no substantive content, or send very large messages or files that disrupts a server, account, blog, newsgroup, chat, or similar service;

9. initiate, perpetuate, or in any way participate in any pyramid or other illegal scheme;

10. participate in the collection of voluminous amounts of e-mail addresses, screen names, or other identifiers of others (without their prior consent), a practice sometimes known as spidering or harvesting, or participate in the use of software (including “spyware”) designed to facilitate this activity;

11. collect responses from unsolicited bulk messages;

12. falsify, alter, or remove message headers;

13. falsify references to GVTC or its network, by name or other identifier, in messages;

14. impersonate any person or entity, engage in sender address falsification, forge anyone else's digital or manual signature, or perform any other similar fraudulent activity (for example, “phishing”); and

15. violate the rules, regulations, terms of service, or policies applicable to any network, server, computer database, service, application, system, or Web site that you access or use.

C. Technical Restrictions

No user of the Internet Service, customer equipment, or the GVTC equipment may, individually or in combination with another:

1. use the Internet service or facilities for web-hosting, e-mail hosting, or other unusually high-bandwidth consumption unless you have made special subscription arrangements with GVTC and the usage does not otherwise violate law or regulation;

2. access any other person's computer or computer system, network, software, or data without his or her knowledge and consent; breach the security of another user or system; or attempt to circumvent the user authentication or security of any host, network, or account.  This includes, but is not limited to, accessing data not intended for you, logging into or making use of a server or account you are not expressly authorized to access, or probing the security of other hosts, networks, or accounts without express permission to do so;

3. use or distribute tools or devices designed or used for compromising security or whose use is otherwise unauthorized, such as password guessing programs, decoders, password gatherers, keystroke loggers, analyzers, cracking tools, packet sniffers, encryption circumvention devices, or Trojan Horse programs.  Unauthorized port scanning is strictly prohibited;

4. copy, distribute, or sublicense any proprietary software provided in connection with the Internet Service by GVTC or any third party, except that you may make one copy of each software program for back-up purposes only;

5. distribute programs that make unauthorized changes to software (cracks);

6. use or run dedicated, stand-alone equipment or servers from the Premises that provide network content or any other services to anyone outside of your Premises local area network (“Premises LAN”), also commonly referred to as public services or servers. Examples of prohibited equipment and servers include, but are not limited to: e-mail, Web hosting, file sharing, and proxy services and servers; and

7. service, alter, modify, or tamper with GVTC Equipment or Internet Service or permit any other person to do the same who is not authorized by GVTC.

II. Customer Conduct and Features of the Broadband Service

A. Customer Obligations

In addition to being responsible for your own compliance with this AUP, you are also responsible for any use or misuse of the Internet Service that violates this AUP, even if it was committed by a friend, family member, or guest with access to your Internet Service account.  Therefore, you must take steps to ensure that others do not use your account to gain unauthorized access to the Internet Service by, for example, strictly maintaining the confidentiality of your Internet Service login and password.  In all cases, you are solely responsible for the security of any device you choose to connect to the Internet Service, including any data stored or shared on that device.  It is also your responsibility to secure the customer equipment and any other Premises equipment or programs not provided by GVTC that connect to the Internet Service from external threats such as viruses, spam, bot nets, and other methods of intrusion.

B. GVTC’s Rights

GVTC reserves the right to refuse to transmit or post, and to remove or fail to transmit, any information or materials, in whole or in part, that it, in its reasonable discretion, deems to be in violation of Sections I or II of this AUP, or otherwise harmful to GVTC's network or customers using the Internet Service, if it violates this AUP.  Neither GVTC nor any of its affiliates, suppliers, or agents have any obligation to monitor transmissions or postings (including, but not limited to: e-mail, file transfer, blog, newsgroup, and instant message transmissions) made on the Internet Service.  However, GVTC and its affiliates, suppliers, and agents have the right to monitor these transmissions and postings from time to time for violations of this AUP and to disclose, fail to transmit, or remove them in accordance with this AUP, the Subscriber Agreement, and applicable law.

C. Service Restrictions

All of GVTC’s network and system services are provided according to scheduled fees for each type of service.  You agree to use such services in accordance with the terms set forth below.

1. Email and Web-Hosting Services

(i) Unsolicited e-mail Prohibited - You may not use GVTC-hosted e-mail addresses for the purpose of sending unsolicited e-mail.  You may not use or cause to be used GVTC’s equipment, network connectivity, or other resources to originate, deliver, relay or otherwise transmit unsolicited e-mail messages.  You may not engage in any of the foregoing prohibited activities by using the service of any other provider, third-party agent, remailing service or address forwarding service, in such a way that GVTC’s network addresses or GVTC-hosted web or e-mail services are in any way identified as being associated with the sending of unsolicited e-mail.

(ii) Unauthorized use, or forging, of mail header information (e.g.  “spoofing”) is prohibited.

(iii) Fraudulent Activity Prohibited – You may not use the GVTC e-mail and web-hosting services to make fraudulent offers to sell or buy products, items, services, or to advance any type of financial scam such as “pyramid schemes”, “Ponzi schemes”, or “chain letters.”  You may not use techniques to hide or obscure the source of any e-mail or other communications.

(iv) GVTC reserves the right to suspend or delay delivery of e-mail to Customer utilizing GVTC e-mail services and/or the virtual domain e-mail if the volume of e-mail being redirected, stored, or delivered on the Customer’s behalf is deemed excessive.  Excessive traffic is e-mail traffic that noticeably degrades performance on the server in question, in the sole reasonable discretion of GVTC.  GVTC will attempt to notify the account holder via the account contact information on record; however, GVTC reserves the right to delete the contents of such e-mail boxes upon thirty (30) days after attempted notification.

The Internet Service may not be used to communicate or distribute e-mail or other forms of communications in violation of Section I of this AUP. As described below in Section III of this AUP.  GVTC uses reasonable network management tools and techniques to protect customers from receiving spam and from sending spam (often without their knowledge over an infected computer).

GVTC is not responsible for deleting or forwarding any e-mail sent to the wrong e-mail address by you or by someone else trying to send e-mail to you.  GVTC is also not responsible for forwarding e-mail sent to any account that has been suspended or terminated.  This e-mail will be returned to the sender, ignored, deleted, or stored temporarily at GVTC's sole discretion.  If GVTC believes in its sole discretion that any subscriber name, account name, or e-mail address (collectively, an “identifier”) on the Internet Service may be used for, or is being used for, any misleading, fraudulent, or other improper or illegal purpose, GVTC (i) reserves the right to block access to and prevent the use of any of these identifiers and (ii) may at any time require any customer to change his or her identifier.  In addition, GVTC may at any time reserve any identifiers on the Internet Service for GVTC's own purposes.  If an Internet Service account is terminated for any reason, all e-mail associated with that account (and any secondary accounts) will be permanently deleted as well.

2. Instant, Video, and Audio Messages

Each user is responsible for the contents of his or her instant, video, and audio messages and the consequences of any of these messages.  GVTC assumes no responsibility for the timeliness, miss-delivery, deletion, or failure to store these messages.  If a Broadband Service account is terminated for any reason, all instant, video, and audio messages associated with that account (and any secondary accounts) will be permanently deleted as well.

III. Network Management and Limitations on Data Consumption

GVTC manages its network with the goal of delivering a fast, safe and uncompromised Internet experience to all of its customers. However, high-speed bandwidth and network resources are not unlimited.  Managing the network is essential for an equitable Internet experience by all of GVTC’s customers.  The company uses network management practices that are consistent with applicable law and industry standards as set-forth in the GVTC Network Management and Open Internet Policy on our website.  

A. Network Usage and Data Consumption 

The excessive use or abuse of GVTC’s network resources by one Customer may have a negative impact on all other Customers.  Excessive use of network resources is that which in GVTC’s sole reasonable opinion, places an unusually large burden on the network or exceeds normal usage. 

Accordingly, you may not use GVTC’s Internet Service or take any action, directly or indirectly, that will result in excessive consumption or utilization of network resources, or which may degrade network performance, as determined by GVTC’s sole reasonable discretion.  Such prohibited actions include but are not limited to:  using GVTC’s Internet Services to host a web server site which attracts excessive traffic at your location, or acting in a manner that negatively effects other users’ ability to engage in real time exchanges and use of GVTC’s Internet Services. 

The Residential Internet Service is for personal and non-commercial Residential use only. Therefore, GVTC reserves the right to suspend or terminate Residential Internet Services accounts where data consumption is not characteristic of a typical Residential user of the Internet Services as determined by GVTC in its sole reasonable discretion.

If you use the Internet Services in violation of the restrictions referenced above, a violation of this AUP has occurred.  In these cases, GVTC may, in its reasonable discretion, suspend or terminate your Internet Services account or request that you subscribe to a version of the Internet Services (such as a commercial grade Internet service, if appropriate) if you wish to continue to use the Internet Service at higher data consumption levels.  GVTC may also provide versions of the Internet Service with different speed and data consumption limitations, among other characteristics, subject to applicable Internet Service plans.

IV. Violation of this Acceptable Use AUP

GVTC reserves the right to immediately suspend or terminate your Broadband Service account if the service is being used, either knowing or unknowing, in violation of this AUP or your service agreement in a malicious way that poses a security threat and/or materially degrades service to other users. 

GVTC does not routinely monitor the activity of individual Internet Service accounts for violations of this AUP, except for determining aggregate data consumption in connection with the data consumption provisions of this AUP.  However, in the company's efforts to promote good citizenship within the Internet community, it will respond appropriately if it becomes aware of inappropriate use of the Internet Service.  GVTC has no obligation to monitor the Internet Service and/or the network.  However, GVTC and its suppliers reserve the right at any time to monitor bandwidth, usage, transmissions, and content to, among other things, operate the Internet Service; identify violations of this AUP; and/or protect the network, the Internet Service and GVTC users.

GVTC prefers to inform customers of inappropriate activities and give them a reasonable period in which to take corrective action.  GVTC prefers to have customers directly resolve any disputes or disagreements they may have with others, whether customers or not, without GVTC's intervention.  However, if the Internet Service is used in a manner that GVTC or its suppliers, in their reasonable discretion, believe violates this AUP, GVTC or its suppliers may take any responsive actions they deem appropriate under the circumstances with or without notice.  

GVTC reserves the right to investigate suspected violations of this AUP, including the gathering of information from the user or users involved and the complaining party, if any, and examination of material on GVTC's servers and network.  During an investigation, GVTC may suspend the account or accounts involved and/or remove or block material that potentially violates this AUP.  You expressly authorize and consent to GVTC and its suppliers cooperating with (i) law enforcement authorities in the investigation of suspected legal violations, and (ii) system administrators at other Internet service providers or other network or computing facilities to enforce this AUP. Upon termination of your Internet Service account, GVTC is authorized to delete any files, programs, data, e-mail and other messages associated with your account (and any secondary accounts).

The failure of GVTC or its suppliers to enforce this AUP, for whatever reason, shall not be construed as a waiver of any right to do so at any time.  You agree that if any portion of this AUP is held invalid or unenforceable, that portion will be construed consistent with applicable law as nearly as possible, and the remaining portions will remain in full force and effect.  You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless GVTC and its affiliates, suppliers, and agents against all claims and expenses (including reasonable attorney fees) resulting from any violation of this AUP.  Your indemnification will survive any termination of the Subscriber Agreement.

V. Copyright and Digital Millennium Copyright Act Requirements (DMCA)

GVTC is committed to complying with U.S. copyright and related laws, and requires all customers and users of the Internet Service to comply with these laws.  Accordingly, you may not store any material or content on, or disseminate or download any material or content over, the Internet Service (or any part thereof) in any manner that constitutes an infringement of third party intellectual property rights, including rights granted by U.S. copyright law.  GVTC will take actions to comply with the DMCA, including suspending or terminating accounts of repeat offenders consistent with the DMCA and GVTC’s policies.