Acceptable Use Policy:

Vernon Communications Cooperative strives to provide all its members and customers with the highest quality Internet service available, while adhering to Internet use policies established by the Internet Community and State and Federal Laws.

The Provider’s Acceptable Use Policy (“AUP”) covers all of its Internet Products and Services (“Services”) and is designed to help improve the use of the Internet by preventing unacceptable use. All users of the Services must comply with this AUP.

Use of the Services constitutes acceptance of the AUP. Users are solely responsible for any and all acts and omissions that occur while accepting the Services and users agree not violate the AUP or engage in any unacceptable or illegal activities while utilizing any of the Services. The Provider reserves the right to terminate service to any user without notice upon violation of any part of the AUP.

The Provider reserves the right to revise, modify and amend this AUP at any time and in any manner. Notice of any revision, modification or amendment of the AUP will be posted on the Provider’s website at www.vernoncom.coop

The Provider may take action against users for violating these policies; including removing any content that violates the AUP and/or terminating use of the Services. The Provider reserves the right to investigate any violations of this AUP. The Provider may cooperate with legal authorities and/or third parties in the investigation of suspected or alleged criminal or civil violations. The Provider may also cooperate with the System Administrators of the Internet Community to enforce this AUP.

Non-Discrimination Statement:

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident.
Person with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202)720‐2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800)877‐8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD‐3027, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office
or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632‐9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250‐9410;

(2) fax: (202) 690‐7442; or

(3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

FCC Open Internet Disclosure

Open Internet Disclosure for Wireline and Fixed Wireless Network Services

 

The following policies apply to mass market broadband Internet services offered by Vernon Communications Cooperative (“VC Co-op” or “Company”). VC Co-op may also offer enterprise level services that can be individually tailored to specific customer needs.

 

It is VC Co-op’s policy to provide robust and reliable access to the Internet for all of its mass market end user customers. Because network resources are shared by all users, VC Co-op discloses and identifies the following policies govern its Internet services. These policies are designed to:

    • ensure that shared network resources are allocated fairly among all users;
    • allow users and prospective users to understand service policies and any significant limitations on the service; and
    • provide a foundation that assures customers that they can rely on consistently receiving the level and quality of service to which they subscribe.

 

VC Co-op does not block access to, nor discriminate against, any lawful website or Internet application.

 

Customers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the following policies which are deemed part of their Service Agreement. By using VC Co-op’s Internet service, the customer accepts, agrees to be bound by and to strictly adhere to, these policies. The customer also agrees to be responsible for compliance with these policies by third parties, such as friends, family members or guests that make use of the customer’s service accounts or equipment to access the network for any purpose, with or without the permission of the customer.

 

A full list of VC Co-op Terms of Service is available in the Company’s Acceptable Use Policy https://vernoncom.coop/legal/.

 

I. INTERNET ACCEPTABLE USE POLICIES (“AUP”) for Internet services are available at: https://vernoncom.coop/legal/

 

II. NETWORK MANAGEMENT; RELATED DEVICE AND PRIVACY POLICIES

 

Device Attachment Rules. With respect to VC Co-op’s fixed location broadband services, users may generally attach the devices of their choice and run the applications of their choice, subject to the limitations of the terms of their service agreement and AUP. VC Co-op is not responsible for the compatibility, suitability or functionality of any equipment that is provided by the customer or any third party, and the customer remains fully responsible for ensuring that any such equipment does not cause any harm to the network or degrade the service of other users. All users are fully responsible for securing their equipment, including wireless routers, to prevent unauthorized access to the network by third parties and will be held fully responsible for the Actions of such third parties that gain unauthorized access to the network through unsecured end user equipment

 

Privacy Policy. VC Co-op collects personally identifiable information in order to proactively monitor network health, to troubleshoot fixed broadband service issues, and to bill for these services.  VC Co-op does not collect any information concerning the customer’s visited websites, application usage or other Internet activity, for any other purpose than to monitoring network health.

 

VC Co-op’s network management practices does not generally entail inspection of network traffic, except for purposes mentioned above.  The Company retains and stores certain traffic information (such as the identity of the customer using a particular IP address during a specific period) for time periods required by federal or state law.  The Company retains, stores and provides to law enforcement any traffic information requested pursuant to the procedures of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (“CALEA”), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (“FISA”) or other applicable national security or criminal statutes.

 

The Company does not collect, store or use traffic information to profile its customers with the intent of selling or monetizing such information.

 

III. COMMERCIAL TERMS

 

Pricing. Please see https://www.vernoncom.coop/ for detailed information on the range of broadband product offered by the company. These plans and pricing are subject to change without notice, and do not include special assemblies that may be necessary to meet unique customer situations.

 

Redress Options. All end users and edge providers that have questions or complaints regarding broadband service should contact the VC Co-op business office at 608-634-3136, or by email at service@vernoncom.coop (“Edge Provider” refers to any content, application, service, and device provider, which generally operates at the edge rather than the core of the network.)

 

If a customer believes that these open Internet rules are not being met, the customer may file an informal complaint at the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC urges customers to submit any complaints via its website at the following address: http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm. Customers may also file a formal complaint at the FCC using Part 76 of the Commission’s rules.

 

IV. ISP Disclosure

 

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued rules requiring ISPs to disclose network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of their broadband Internet access services.  VC Co-op’s disclosure includes information required by paragraphs 218-223 of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order.

 

No blocking. VC Co-op does not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.

 

Throttling. VC Co-op does not degrade or impair access to lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, application, service, user, or use of a non-harmful device.

 

Affiliated Prioritization.  VC Co-op does not directly or indirectly favor some traffic over other traffic, including through use of techniques such as traffic shaping, prioritization, or resource reservation, to benefit an affiliate.

 

Paid Prioritization.  VC Co-op does not directly or indirectly favor some traffic over other traffic, including through use of techniques such as traffic shaping, prioritization, or resource reservation, in exchange for consideration, monetary or otherwise.

 

Congestion Management. VC Co-op utilizes a redundant network architecture that is designed to provide users with true broadband speeds and reliability even during times of VC Co-op demand. The network has been constructed to meet projected traffic demands and is fully scalable to allow for capacity to be added to meet customer needs and to support newly developing and increasingly sophisticated applications well into the future. However, congestion can occur on any IP network, and, when it does, packets can be delayed or dropped, leading to service degradation and delays. Because core network resources are shared by all end users, VC Co-op has implemented a traffic management policy that is designed to ensure that all users are able to utilize their fair share of network resources during periods of high demand.

 

VC Co-op has not currently implemented any network congestion management practices related to its customers’ bandwidth use. However, VC Co-op reserves the right to implement such practices in order to deliver the best possible Internet service to its customers and to be able to otherwise reasonably manage its network. In the event such network management practices are implemented, VC Co-op will update this Disclosure Statement.

 

Application-Specific Behavior. Prioritization of packets can be used for other purposes as well, such as to ensure the reliability of applications that demand real time or near real time communications such as public safety communications and, in the context of mobile data services, E-911 communications. Generally, provisioned data speeds for VC Co-op’s mass market services are sufficient to support such applications as Voice over IP (VoIP), gaming, web surfing, or most streaming video. However, because VC Co-op’s residential, mass market broadband service generally does not prioritize such traffic; it is possible that certain applications requiring real time communications may perform at less than optimal levels, especially during periods of VC Co-op network demand.

 

VC Co-op operates secure data networks protected by industry standard firewall and password protection systems, for its own internal use. Our security and privacy policies are periodically reviewed and enhanced as necessary and only authorized individuals have access to the information provided by our customers. In addition, VC Co-op may identify spam and prevent its delivery to customer email accounts, detect malicious Internet traffic and prevent the distribution of viruses or other harmful code or content and use other tools and techniques that may be required to implement in order to meet its goal of delivering the best possible broadband Internet experience to all of its customers.

 

Specialized Services.  VC Co-op currently does not provide any services that impact its Internet access service in terms of bandwidth or service quality. If, at some point in the future VC Co-op begins providing such services, an update to this Disclosure Statement will be posted.

 

Security. We employ remote administration address filtering & Network address translation on most VC Co-op-owned Customer premise equipment to offer a minimal layer of security from hacking. No other end-user security measures are taken, and all security related measures are the responsibility of the end-user. Public IP addresses may be requested and users of such are responsible for all anti-hacking security.

 

The company’s privacy policy statements are included within its AUP, shown above.

 

Performance Characteristics. VC Co-op provides residential and commercial mass market customers with a choice of data plans to meet their needs.  VC Co-op also provides enterprise level Internet services that are custom tailored to a specific project and individually priced based on the needs and criteria established by the Enterprise customer.   VC Co-op’s Internet speeds were calculated based upon speed tests conducted within the VC Co-op network and cannot take into account latencies to reach any specific site beyond network it owns and controls.

 

Broadband Service is provided using multiple access mediums.

  • On copper broadband connections, speeds are dependent on packages taken by customer. Latencies within our own network of 50ms or less can be expected and achieved speeds at more than 80% of advertised speed.
  • On Fiber Optic broadband connections, observed speeds are dependent on packages taken by customer. Latencies within our own network of 50ms or less can be expected and achieved speeds at more than 90% of advertised speed.

 

Internet speeds within the VC Co-op network may be measured by performing speed tests at any of the following URL: http://www.VC Co-op.speedtest.net .

 

While VC Co-op provisions its network and equipment to ensure that its customers can enjoy the speeds to which they subscribe, Internet speeds generally result from a “best effort” service and are dependent on a number of variables, many of which are outside the control of an Internet Service Provider.  Due to these variables, VC Co-op is not responsible for Internet speeds beyond its own network.  Such variables include: the age and processing capability of the user’s terminal device or computer;  the number of applications running simultaneously;  the presence of viruses or malware; whether the terminal equipment is connected to the network by wire or by wireless; the distance the data packets must travel between  the user and the website; the presence of congestion on and technical configuration of any intervening networks; any gating or congestion management schemes employed by websites to limit download or upload speeds in cases where multiple users are served simultaneously.  VC Co-op does not guarantee that a customer will always achieve the speeds set forth above. Rather, the foregoing data speeds represent the best information available to VC Co-op of the typical speeds a customer can expect to experience under normal operating conditions.

 

Speed tests that allow customers to test the upload, download and latency performance of their broadband data services are available free of charge from a number of sources. Generally, these tests are influenced by the same variables that affect Internet speed set forth above.  Accordingly, the speed results would not be expected to match a test of VC Co-op’s network conducted under laboratory conditions.  Please note, however, that all speed tests use different methodologies to calculate Internet connection speed so each of the tests would be expected to yield different results.  Accordingly, each of these tests should be viewed as a helpful guide rather than as a definitive measurement of performance.

 

Impact of Non-broadband Internet Access Specialized Services. VC Co-op may offer an Internet Protocol-voice-based service (VoIP) to customers with VC Co-op broadband service which, due to the product’s sensitivity to latency, may offer a quality of service treatment on the network where it is available. This treatment of VoIP traffic should have no material impact on capacity or bandwidth availability for Broadband Internet Access, because the customer has been sold an appropriate speed of service.

 

Updated October 2018

DISCLAIMERS


Applications For Service

To obtain information for any service, changes in location and discontinuance of service, call our office at (608) 634-3136 or 1-800-543-2029.  Applications for telephone service must be made by the applicant, or his/her duly authorized agent, to whom service is to be billed.  Vernon Communications Cooperative reserves the right to refuse service to any applicant that is found to be indebted to Vernon Communications Cooperative for service previously rendered.


Responsibility For Messages

Subscribers are responsible for all charges for messages originating from or reserved to their telephones.


Telephone Numbers

Your telephone number, preceded by your Area Code, is the only one like it in the United States and Canada.  Vernon Communications Co-op may change the number of the customer’s telephone it the requirements of the service demand it.


Directory Listings

For each residence customer with a listing is included in the Alphabetical Directory without consent.  Each business customer is entitled to a listing in the Alphabetical Directory and also one listing in the Classified Section.  Customers may arrange for additional listings, under regulations applying to such listings, as desired.  Between directory issues, a great many telephones are installed and changed.  Customers may obtain telephone number not shown in this directory by calling information.


Directory Errors

The vast majority of all directory listings are correct.  But, as with any job of this size, some errors are bound to occur.  If your listing in the directory is incorrect, it cannot be changed until the next edition of the directory is issued.  In the meantime, we can make sure the listing is correct in Directory Assistance records.

 

Service Difficulties

Report service troubles promptly to the office.  Vernon Communications Cooperative appreciates such calls and will act immediately to correct the difficulty.  Broken poles, wires, etc., which might endanger life or property should be brought to the attention of Vernon Communications Cooperative.


Maintenance

All ordinary expenses of maintenance and repair, unless otherwise specified in Vernon Communications Cooperative’s schedule will be borne by Vernon Communications.  If any leased equipment or piece of apparatus is destroyed or injured otherwise than by unavoidable accident, the subscriber is to pay the actual cost of replacing or restoring the same to its original condition.


Communications Cooperative Property

All equipment, wiring or other material furnished to provide telephone service is and shall remain the property of Vernon Telephone Cooperative.  Patrons must not attach, or permit to be attached, any mechanical, electrical, advertising, or other device to any equipment provided by Vernon Telephone.

The agents of Vernon Communications Cooperative shall have the right to enter a subscriber’s premises at any reasonable hour to install, rearrange, inspect or repair telephone equipment and facilities, or following termination of service, to remove same.


Objectionable Language

The subscribers shall not use or permit to be used profane, obscene or abusive language, or impersonate any other individual with the fraudulent intent over the wires connected with his/her, or use the same for any unlawful purpose.

Notice of Intent to Disconnect

Upon non-payment of any sum whenever the same is past due a written notice of our intent to disconnect telephone service is mailed to a customer at least (5) days before the scheduled disconnect date.  If a written request from a resident subscriber is on file in the local business office at the time of the disconnection notice is mailed, five day notification will also be sent to the County Department of Human Services


Use of Residence Telephone for Business Purpose

Residence Telephones are installed with the understanding that they will be used for normal social or domestic purposes.

A residence rate will be changed to a business service if used primarily or substantially for business purposes, or if the residence phone number is advertised in connection with the sale of products or services, and the subscriber has no business service elsewhere within our system.


FCC Regulations

All telephone customers, residential as well as business, are charged a federal end user fee.  This nationwide fee gives all customers access to the long distance network, whether or not they choose to place long distance calls.  The end user fees supplement the reduction in toll revenues by local telephone companies resulting from the deregulation of the telephone industry. The end user fees are set by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and may change from time to time as the FCC deems necessary.  For more information visit the FCC’s website at www.fcc.gov


Consumer Telephone Numbers

Wisconsin Public Service Commission 1-800-225-7729

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 1-888-225-5322

Yellow Page Advertising (The Berry Company) 1-800-877-0475

Consumer Protection Agency 1-800-422-7128

Important Customer Notice:

Your placement of and interstate or international toll call over Vernon Communications Network constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.


I. The Service That We Provide To Our Customers

a.  Vernon Communications Cooperative is a common carrier and provides access to facilities, services and equipment over which our customers may transmit voice, data and other communications of their own choosing to interstate and international destinations.

b.  Vernon Communications Cooperative provides service on a 7 days per week, 24 hours per day basis to all destinations in the United States (Including Alaska and Hawaii), and to those international destinations listed in the international rate sheets, maintained at the Vernon Communications office and on its web site.  (See International Rates)

c.  Vernon Communications Cooperative primarily resells to its customers the interstate and international tolls of larger, facilities-based carriers.  Vernon Communications Cooperative endeavors to purchase these services at volume discounts, and to resell them to our customers at lower prices than they would pay if they had purchased service directly from other carriers.  However, resale also means that Vernon Communications Cooperative has no control over outages and other service disruptions (See limitations of liability below)

d.  Vernon Communications Cooperative has customer service representatives available Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m.  to 5:30 p.m., to assist our customers with any questions or problems regarding its interstate or international toll services.  A Vernon Communications Cooperative representative can be reached during these business hours by dialing (608) 634-3136 or 1 800-543-2029.


II. Charges, Bills and Payment for Service

1. Service is provided and billed on a monthly basis, and will continue to be provided and billed until canceled by the customer or terminated by Vernon Communications Cooperative.

2. The rates and charges for Vernon Communications Cooperative’s interstate and international toll services can be inspected during regular business hours at Vernon Communications Cooperative office at 103 North Main Street, Westby, Wisconsin 54667.

c. The rates and charges for Vernon Communication Cooperative’s interstate and international toll service can also be inspected on it’s website at www.vernoncommunications.com

d. Vernon Communications Cooperative bills for its interstate toll services on usage basis in 1-minute periods. Vernon Communications Cooperative bills for its international toll services on a usage basis in 1-minute periods.

e. Vernon Communications Cooperative will pass through to its customers all applicable federal, state and local taxes or surcharges (including sales, use excise, gross earnings, and gross income taxes), as well as surcharges to recover Vernon Communications Cooperative contributions to applicable federal or state funds (including funds for universal service, telecommunications relay service, local number portability, and telephone number administration).

f. Payment for bills rendered by Vernon Communications Cooperative for its interstate and international toll services is due within 10 days after the bill is mailed by Vernon Communications Cooperative to the customer.

g. No late charges will be assessed upon properly disputed charges (See disputed procedures below).

 

III.  Obligations of Customer

a. The customer is responsible for the timely payment of all billed charges for services or facilities provided by Vernon Communications Cooperative to the customer, and for the payment of Vernon Communications Cooperative reasonable attorney’s fee and court costs if Vernon Communications Cooperative is forced to retain an attorney to collect any of its billed charges from the customer.

3. The customer will not use Vernon Communications Cooperative services in a manner that interferes unreasonably with the use of the services by one or more other customers.

c. The customer will not uses Vernon Communications Cooperative services in an abusive, illegal, or fraudulent manner, nor alter or tamper with Vernon Communications Cooperative connections or facilities.

d. The customer will indemnify Vernon Communications Cooperative against any and all liability, including reasonable counsel fees, arising from any claims against the customer for libel, slander, or infringement of copyright or trademark in connection with any material transmitted by the customer over Vernon Communications Cooperative facilities, services, or equipment.


IV.  Resolution of Billing Disputes

a. If the procedures of this section are followed, the customer may withhold from payment the disputed portion of any bill pending resolution of the dispute.

b. Within 20 days of the bill date of a disputed bill, Vernon Communications Cooperative must receive from the customer an itemized statement, in writing, which identifies the disputed charges and reasonably explains the basis of the dispute. Failure to comply with this requirement shall mean the bill is deemed to be correct and all amounts are due and owing Vernon Communications Cooperative.

c. Vernon Communications Cooperative shall review the customer’s statement, and shall issue a written initial determination within 5 days after its receipt of the customer’s statement to set forth Vernon Communications Cooperative proposed resolution of the dispute.

d. If the customer is not satisfied with Vernon Communications Cooperative proposed resolution, the customer must advise Vernon Communications Cooperative in writing within 5 days after the customer’s receipt of Vernon Communications Cooperative initial determination of the specific reasons for the dissatisfaction, and provide any additional information, which the customer deems pertinent or relevant to the dispute.

e. Within 5 days after Vernon Communications Cooperative receipt of additional information, Vernon Communications Cooperative shall make its final determination and resolution based upon all documentation or information.

f. If the customer continues to withhold any disputed amount determined to be owed to Vernon Communications Cooperative, the customers account shall be deemed to be past due, and subject to termination.

 

V.  Limitation of Vernon Communications Cooperative Liability

a. The liability of Vernon Communications Cooperative for damages resulting in whole or in part from mistake, omissions, interruptions, delays, errors or other defects in the interstate or international toll service provided shall not exceed its billed charges for the defective call or calls.

b. Neither Vernon Communications Cooperative nor its officers, agents or employees will be liable for indirect incidental, special or consequential damages.

c. Vernon Communications Cooperative shall not be liable for any interruption, failure or degradation of service due in whole or part to causes beyond its control, including, but not limited to:

  • acts of God, fires, flood or other catastrophes;
  • any law, order, regulation, directive, action or request of any instrumentality of the United States Government, or of any foreign, state or local government;
  • any national emergency, insurrection, riot, war, strike or labor difficulty;
  • any act or omission by an unrelated carrier or other entity affecting the facilities or equipment over which Vernon Communications Cooperativeservices are provided.
  • any negligence by the customer or defects or failures of the customer’s equipment; and
  • any negligent acts or omissions of third parties


VI.  Refusal, Termination or Suspension of Service

a. Vernon Communications Cooperative may terminate service 5 days after a written notice of termination is mailed to a customer that has failed to pay a bill for more than 25 days after it was rendered, or that has failed to pay disputed charges determined to be owed to Vernon Communications Cooperative via Vernon Communications Cooperative billing dispute resolution procedures (see above) for more than 5 days after the end of the dispute resolution proceeding

b. Vernon Communications Cooperative reserves the right to establish a credit limit for customers or classes of customers, and to suspend service to a customer when the customer reaches the applicable limit.

c. Vernon Communications Cooperative may suspend or terminate service to a customer immediately if Vernon Communications Cooperative reasonably believes that the customer or entities using the customer’s accounts or facilities are using Vernon Communications Cooperative services in a manner that:

  • interferes with the use of the services by one or more other customers;
  • is abusive, illegal or fraudulent;
  • damages Vernon Communications Cooperative facilities or equipment;
  • places excessive capacity demands upon Vernon Communications Cooperative facilities or services

VC Co-op Tariff