Acceptable Use Policy

Southwest MN Broadband Services and its affiliates (“SMBS”) provide Internet Services
(“collectively, the “Services”) to its customers. To protect the interests of all its customers and to
ensure optimal service levels at all times, SMBS has developed the following Acceptable Use
Policy (“AUP”). It is designed to help protect the Services, users of the Services and the Internet
community from irresponsible and/or illegal activities. PLEASE READ THIS POLICY CAREFULLY
USE THE SERVICES. This AUP may be revised in part or in full at the sole discretion of SMBS.
Continued use of Services after such changes or enhancements to the AUP have been made will
constitute acceptance of any revisions made to the AUP.

General Policy

SMBS reserves the right in its sole discretion to deny or restrict your use of the Services, or to
immediately suspend or terminate your Services, if the use of the Services by you or others, in
SMBS’ sole discretion violates this AUP. All Services provided by SMBS may be used strictly for
lawful purposes only. SMBS does not actively monitor, censor, edit or take any responsibility
whatsoever for customer content or communications from within the network controlled by
SMBS, except in as much to determine if violations of the AUP have occurred once suspected
violation has been brought to the attention of the abuse team at SMBS. Customers are fully and
solely responsible for the content and use of their Services as provided by SMBS and each
customer should ensure that their use falls within the guidelines of this AUP. SMBS cannot and
will not censure, edit, or otherwise interfere with information or content customers retrieve from
sources outside the SMBS network, even when such information is made available to customers
through material deliverable to any site or Services maintained by SMBS. Because of this, SMBS
will not be held responsible for injury or liability to any customer resulting from communications
that may be offensive, misleading, illegal, or otherwise unsuitable in the view of the customer.
Customers further agree to indemnify and hold harmless SMBS or any of its subsidiaries from
claims resulting from the use of any provided Services, which damages the customer of any other

Illegal & Prohibited Use

This section is used to address actions, content or activities that are prohibited by law and by
rules established by SMBS. These prohibitions and restrictions on use are not negotiable. Users
found to engage in activities that SMBS determines, in its sole discretion, violate this AUP may
have their accounts terminated. Violators may also be subject to appropriate legal action and/or
consequences. SMBS reserves the right to cooperate with legal authorities and/or injured third
parties in the investigation of any suspected illegal activity or civil wrong. Activities or misuse of Services, including the misuse of email, considered by SMBS to be a violation of this AUP are as
follows, but are not limited to:
• the posting, distribution, storage or transmission of material, information or communications that, whether explicitly stated, implied, or suggested through use of symbols, are obscene, indecent, pornographic, sadistic, cruel, or racist in content, or of a sexually explicit
or graphic nature; or which espouses, promotes or incites bigotry, hatred, harassment,
terrorism or racism; or which might be legally actionable for any reason;
• the posting, transmission, downloading or viewing of any material pornographic in nature
involving actual images of children or minors or digitally or otherwise artificially created
or manipulated images of children or minors, or any material whatsoever that may be
deemed obscene under applicable law;
• accessing or attempting to access the accounts or computers of others, spoofing or attempting to spoof the URL or DNS or IP addresses of SMBS or any other entity, or any attempt to penetrate or penetrate security measures of SMBS or other entities’ systems
(“hacking”), whether or not the intrusion results in corruption or loss of data;
• introducing viruses, worms, harmful code and/or Trojan horses on the Internet;
• violating any third party’s copyright, trademark, proprietary or other intellectual property
• using any name or mark of SMBS, its parent, affiliates or subsidiaries, as a hypertext link
to any web site or in any advertising publicity or other commercial manner;
• using the Services in a manner intended to threaten, harass, intimidate or terrorize;
• any indirect or attempted violations of this AUP;
• the unauthorized reselling of the Services;
• using the Services to transmit, retransmit, distribute, post, or store any material that in the
judgment of SMBS is threatening, fraudulent, libelous, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable or unlawful;
• using the Services to participate in activities and/or Services prohibited by federal, state
or local law;
• distributing, posting, copying or disseminating copyrighted material including, but not
limited to, movies, television programs and/or music; or
• inhibiting any other person’s use of the Services.

User Responsibilities

Safe practices need to be taken to protect users and others including, without limitation, the following:
• Users are responsible for account passwords and should keep them safe.
• Do NOT share account information, usernames or passwords.
• Do NOT leave username and passwords in the open.
• If a user feels that their account has been compromised, the username and or password
should be changed immediately.
• Users are responsible for obtaining, maintaining, updating and protecting their own
equipment and software necessary to use the Services. Anti-virus software and personal
firewalls are strongly encouraged.
• Users are responsible for any misuse of Services that occurs through user’s account, even
if that misuse was not authorized by the user.
• Users are responsible for protecting their accounts and must take steps to ensure that others do not gain unauthorized access to user’s account or misuse the Services.
• Wi-Fi and access to the Services using a Wi-Fi radio, wireless modem or router or Wi-Fi
hotspots is provided over wireless radio waves, which means that your transmissions
could be intercepted by unauthorized persons. Users are responsible for securing wireless
equipment and wireless data networks to avoid misuse of the Services, infringement of
third-party intellectual property rights, the introduction of viruses, and the unauthorized viewing of content or other breaches, including any breaches related to home security services that utilize wireless networks.
• Users are responsible for the back-up and restoration of their data.


SMBS does not actively monitor the content of web sites, e-mail, news groups, or material created
or accessible over its Services. However, SMBS reserves the right to monitor such Services or any
services on or within our network at any time.
Violations, attempted violations, and/or concerns should be sent via email to When reporting anything to SMBS please include:
• The Internet protocol address used to commit the alleged violation.
• The date and time (including time zone) of such violation.
• Evidence of the violation, including, if applicable, full headers from emails, firewall logs,
traffic dumps or information pertaining to the events in question.
• Do not send excerpted parts of a message; sending the entire message with full headers
helps prevent misunderstandings based on incomplete information or information taken
out of context.
• Context of the violation as it pertains to the supporting logs and/or documentation.


The sending of unsolicited email (Spamming) utilizing the Services is forbidden. SMBS has a “zero
tolerance” policy for SPAM or unsolicited email or unsolicited bulk email. Any user of Services
found or believed to be actively distributing or engaged in the mass distribution of unsolicited
emails without consent of the intended receiver may have their Services terminated.
You may not use the Services, or any equipment or software provided by SMBS:
• to send e-mail or other messages to someone who has indicated that he or she does not
want to receive messages from you;
• to collect or receive responses from unsolicited e-mail messages (even if such e-mail was
sent from accounts with other Internet service providers or e-mail services) that violate
this AUP or the AUP of other Internet service providers or e-mail services; to conduct “mail bombings” (e.g., to send more than ten copies of the same or substantially
similar message, or to send very large messages or files, with the intent of disrupting a
server or account); or
• to harvest e-mail addresses or personal information of other customers of SMBS or the
subscribers of any other network.

Sharing Services

You may permit other members of your household to access the Services within your household.
Sharing of Services with members outside your household is prohibited. You as the account
holder shall ensure that any users of the Services are aware of and comply with this AUP, and you
agree to be held responsible for any activity or use of the Services on that account, whether or not
authorized by you

Reselling of Services

Reselling Services or offering the use of Services for added value to an entity without SMBS’
authorization is prohibited. Services are designated for the account holder’s use only and may not
be used for resale purposes without SMBS’ explicit consent. You also agree not to use the Services
for operation as an Internet Service Provider (ISP), or for any other business enterprise including,
without limitation, IP address translation or similar facilities intended to provide access,
operating, or allowing others to operate servers of any type, or any other device, equipment
and/or software providing server-like functionality in connection with SMBS’ Services, unless
expressly authorized.

Upstream Providers

An “upstream provider” is any company that provides SMBS bandwidth, network access and/or
other services. It shall be a violation of this AUP to use the Services in any way that is unlawful,
harmful to or interferes with the network of any upstream provider or that violates the policies of
any other provider that is accessed through the Services.

Malicious Activity

Violations of system or network security are prohibited and may result in criminal and civil liability. SMBS will investigate incidents involving such violations and may involve and will cooperate with law enforcement if a criminal violation is suspected. Examples of malicious activity violations include, without limitation, the following:
• port scanning, probes, data capture, denial of service, and access of restricted systems;
• attempted access of systems not previously given access to;
• anything deemed “hacking” or “cracking” to the systems, network or users;
• unauthorized access to or use of data, including any attempt to circumvent user authentication or security of any host, network, or account (hacking, cracking, port scans, or flood
• unauthorized monitoring of data or traffic;
• interfering with Services to any user, host, system or network;
• conducting denial of service attacks;
• any attempt to disrupt Services including, but not limited to, monopolizing resources, distributing or introducing viruses, worms, or other harmful software;
• access by using artificial means, involving software, programming, or any other method.

Copyright Infringement

SMBS respects the intellectual property rights of third parties, including those granted under the
US copyright laws, and the interests of its subscribers and content providers on the Internet. You
may not download or store material of any type or in any format on, or disseminate such material
over, SMBS’ network or servers in any manner that constitutes an infringement of third-party
intellectual property rights. In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998
(DMCA) and other applicable law, it is the policy of SMBS, in appropriate circumstances and in
SMBS’ sole judgment, to suspend or terminate Services provided to any subscriber who infringes
third party intellectual property rights, including repeat infringers. Copyright owners routinely
participate in or monitor online peer-to-peer file sharing programs to see if their content is being
improperly used or shared. If a copyright owner believes its content was uploaded or
downloaded improperly, it can record the Internet Protocol address (“IP address”) that was used
to access the content over these services. The IP address identifies the Internet service provider
who uses the address for its customers; it does not identify an individual person. The copyright
owner will then send a notice to the Internet service provider that contains the IP address along
with other information such as the date and time of the event, the name of the file sharing
program, and an identification of the content. The Internet service provider will then identify the
account holder using that IP address in conjunction with the other information. If your service
account is identified by a copyright owner as having been used in connection with acts of alleged
copyright infringement, you will receive notification either by U.S. mail to the billing address of
the account in question or by email to the email address we have on file informing you of the
violation and the steps SMBS has taken to address the violation. In addition, SMBS expressly
reserves the right to suspend or terminate the Services of any subscriber if SMBS, in its sole
judgment, believes that circumstances relating to the infringement of third-party intellectual
property rights warrant such action.

Administrative Discretion

SMBS has sole and final discretion over all aspects of the Services, SMBS’ network and this AUP.
SMBS reserves the right to terminate any account or Services without cause or prior notice.