Open Internet Disclosure

What are Shentel’s Open Internet Policies and how does it manage its Internet service network?

Shentel provides Internet services to customers in a number of communities in the southeastern United States. We provide broadband services using three different technologies –Digital Subscriber Line (“DSL”), cable broadband and mobile broadband. Our DSL services are provided only within the Company’s regulated telephone service area located in Shenandoah County, Virginia and parts of Augusta County.  Cable broadband is provided over the Company’s cable television networks which deliver video, voice and broadband Internet services to customers located in Southern Virginia, West Virginia, and parts of Maryland. We provide mobile broadband service as an affiliate of Sprint Nextel.  Sprint Nextel’s mobile broadband service is available in these areas. We are committed to providing our Internet services as an open platform for innovation, investment, job creation, economic growth, competition, and free expression. 

The purpose of this disclosure is to make available information regarding our network management practices and the performance and commercial terms of our wired broadband Internet access and DSL services to enable you to make informed choices regarding the purchase and use of our services, in accordance with Part 8 of the Rules of the Federal Communications Commission. For our mobile broadband services, which are provided by the Sprint Nextel Network, this information is available here. With regard to our wired broadband Internet service, Shentel does not block any lawful content, applications, services, or your use of non-harmful devices, or discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic except as reasonably necessary to manage our network effectively for the benefit of our customers as described below. This document is intended to be informational and does not replace or alter the legal terms and conditions of service, which are posted at https://www.shentel.com/Legal.

Your Internet Service Speeds

Shentel’s broadband Internet services are available at different upload and download speeds and price points depending on the uses that the customer wants to make of the broadband connection (e.g. email, web browsing, video and audio streaming, gaming, or downloading large files). The specific levels of Internet service that are available are identified here, where customers can also obtain information about the typical applications that are suitable for each service tier.

While Shentel engineers its network to achieve the “up to”speeds for each of the service levels offered, we cannot guarantee that individual customers will always experience those speeds.  The following variables (which are often out of Shentel’s control) can affect the actual speeds experienced by a customer:

  • 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. Shentel does not recommend wireless modem connections for use with its 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 cross 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. 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.  Performance can also be affected due to heavy use of our Internet service by our customers which sometimes results in periods of congestion within our network.
  • Gating of speeds or access by the website or destination. In order to control traffic or performance, many websites limit the speeds at which visitors can download material from their sites. Those limitations will carry through to a customer's connection.
  • The performance of the cable modem you have installed. Modem performance may degrade over time, and certain modems are not capable of handling higher speeds. Please visit our modem list.

In addition to the variables described above, your Internet speed will depend on the service level to which you subscribe. Shentel performed internal speed tests from a number of points within our cable networks.  Performance data was collected during the “busy hour” (7 p.m. to 11 p.m Monday through Friday) for each of the Internet service levels offered by Shentel. Our tests measured broadband performance on a sample of our systems and the results below do not reflect the performance levels to be expected by any individual customer served by any particular Shentel system.

Internal Test Results1
Service Level 101M 50M 25M 15M 10M 5M 3M 1.5M 768K 384K
Mean Download Speed (Mbps) 98.81 47.81 24.33 14.43 9.84 4.96 2.93 1.41 0.75 0.32
Mean Upload Speed (Mbps) 9.81 9.52 4.82 2.78 1.89 0.95 0.92 0.51 0.27 0.13
Mean Latency
(in milliseconds)2
25 24 22 25 23 26 28 29 28 30
Packet Loss 3 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%


1Table reports performance data averages collected durring "busy hour" as measured by www.speedtest.net for all Shentel internet speeds. The FCC has reported on the average mean upload, download and latency speeds as measured during the "busy hour" based on tests performed by a number of Internet service providers which is accessible at http://www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america/methodology#methodology.
2Latency is the time delay in transmitting or receiving packets on a network and is mainly affected by distance between transmission points, although other variables may be relevant.
3Packet loss is also referred to as frame loss and is the difference between the number of packets transmitted and received at the customer's interface.

Customers are able to test the speeds that they are receiving on Shentel’s network at http://www.speedtest.net.

Your use of our Digital Phone service has no discernible impact on your Internet service performance.

Commercial Terms of Internet Service

Shentel has multiple levels of Internet service available and the price of each service level is set forth at https://www.shentel.com/shop/internet. To ensure Shentel is able to provide quality Internet services to all of its customers, data allowances will be enforced beginning May 1, 2015. For more information about the data allowances that apply to your level of Shentel Internet service, please refer to your monthly Shentel bill or our Acceptable Use Policy. Customers using bandwidth amounts exceeding their allowance will receive notifications as they reach the end of their data allowance each month, including information about the fees for exceeding the monthly allowance. Customers who consistently meet or exceed their monthly data allowance are strongly urged to consider upgrading to a higher speed of internet service. On occasion, Shentel offers promotions and discounts to its Internet service customers which are often conditioned on the retention of service for specified minimum time periods. Customers in Shenandoah County and northern Augusta County, Virginia service areas who select the 1 year contract option for internet service will be subject to an early termination fee of $150 or remainder of the contract, whichever is the lesser of the two.

Internet Privacy Policies

Shentel values the privacy of our Internet service customers and follows procedures to ensure that information we collect is reasonably protected.  Additional details concerning the types of information the Company collects, how the information is used and your privacy rights can be found in our Privacy Policy

Network Management

In order to ensure that our customers receive high quality Internet service, Shentel uses various practices to manage our network.  These practices help to ensure that our customers have access to sufficient broadband capacity at all times, including during periods of high demand, and that our network and customers are protected against malware, spam, viruses and other threats originating over the Internet.

Congestion Management Practices

Except as specifically described below, we do not target specific types of traffic based on the nature of the technology or the identity of the provider, modify protocol fields in ways not prescribed by the protocol standard, or otherwise inhibit or favor certain applications or classes of applications.  We operate a session border controller to correct SIP source IP addresses (private to public) for our customers.  We do not block or manage any specific protocols or protocol ports, except that in rare cases we may block ports or take other corrective action after providing written notice to a customer who has violated the terms of service.
Residential customers are prohibited from using or running dedicated stand-alone equipment or servers or programs from the customer’s premises that provide network content or any other services to others, including, but not limited to, email, web hosting, file sharing and proxy services and servers (e.g. FTP, file or game).  For further information regarding prohibited uses see our Acceptable Use Policy.

During periods of congestion, Shentel does not limit speeds of heavy users or restrict traffic in any way.

Network Security

Shentel uses a number of tools and techniques to protect its network and customers from malicious and unwanted Internet traffic such as preventing the distribution of viruses or other harmful code and preventing the delivery of spam to customer e-mail accounts.  Because the nature of external threats to the network are constantly evolving, Shentel’s network security practices necessarily are dynamic and regularly changing.  In general, these security practices should not have any effect on our customers’ use of their network connections.

Equipment

Shentel supports the use of DOCSIS 2.0 and 3.0 modems and ADSL and ADSL+ modems in Shenandoah County and northern Augusta County, Virginia service areas. Non-complying standards will not operate with our network’s performance specifications. Please visit our modem list. This list is subject to change. Requests for the most current list may be placed through the contact form on our website. You may purchase or rent these devices from us; modems obtained from a third party will need to checked by Shentel for compatibility before it can be used on the network.

Questions/Complaint Process

Existing Shentel Wired Internet Service Customers

If you are an existing Shentel customer and have any questions or wish to lodge a complaint concerning Shentel’s wired Internet services or policies, please contact our Technical Support Department via the placed through the contact form on our website or by calling 1-800-SHENTEL (1-800-743-6835).

If your question or complaint involves the performance of your Internet service, please first run a speed test and provide us with the result when you contact us. If you have home network or wireless devices, try plugging your Ethernet cable directly into your cable modem from your PC to determine whether your devices are the source of the problem.

Existing Mobile Internet Customers

If you are an existing mobile Internet service customer with services provided as part of the Sprint Nextel network, and have questions or wish to lodge a complaint, please visit Sprint's Legal/Regulatory & Consumer Resources page for more information and methods to contact them.

Other Questions/Complaints

If you are not an existing Shentel customer, but have a question or complaint regarding our Internet service, please see our Contact Information page for ways to contact us.