ABOUT   |   POLICIES   |  

Acceptable Use Policy
Customer Access Terms and Conditions
for Network Services


Last Updated: August 12, 2009

This document represents the complete agreement between First Step Internet (FSI) and the account holder. This document supersedes any other written or oral agreement. Changes may be made to this document at the discretion of FSI, and the Last Update date shall be modified at this time. All clauses apply to all users, including but not limited to dial-up, frame, cable, and wireless service users unless otherwise noted. Use of service after this date constitutes acceptance.

If you do not agree to these terms and conditions, please notify our billing department so we may initiate a closure of your account.

1 Provision of services

1.1 FSI will provide to the account holder network services in exchange for payment of fees and acceptance of this document. These network services are inclusive of access to a shared modem pool, a wireless distribution point, the FSI mail server, and a gateway to the Internet. The specific network services from the previous list that the account holder is allowed access to is determined based on account type. FSI can not be held liable for losses incurred due to planned or unplanned outages in service.

1.2 The account holder shall provide the necessary computer and, where applicable, the modem, router, and phone line or other access medium necessary to access our service.

1.3 FSI makes no guarantees concerning the functionality and interoperability of network connection equipment provided by the account holder with FSI services. Particular modem and wireless chipsets and products may function but are not guaranteed to work with FSI.

1.4 Except when service provided to an account holder is accompanied by a service-level agreement stating otherwise, all connection and throughput rates specified for any services sold are provided on a best-effort-delivery basis; sustained throughput for a given service level is not guaranteed and can be affected by a number of different factors, although FSI will make a reasonable effort to deliver services at those rates based on typical usage models.

1.5 For dial-up account holders, V.92 is provided by FSI for the benefit of account holders who have V.92 modems. Not every account holder will be able to achieve the maximum theoretical speed of their modem due to limitations in the public phone systems. Please check your modem vendor's home page for more information on limitations.

1.6 FSI provides local dial-up numbers in many communities throughout northern Idaho and eastern Washington, and surrounding areas. A complete list of our local dial-up numbers is available on our web site. FSI is not responsible for line charges incurred when dialing long distance in order to access the FSI modem pools.

1.7 FSI services include access to all publicly available resources on the internet. Some of the information available may contain language or pictures about subjects intended for adult audiences. Some information available over the internet may even be illegal to transmit or possess. Guardians of minors possessing, or with access to, FSI accounts are responsible for restricting access to objectionable material. Many third party software packages are available for concerned guardians, and responsibility lies with the account holder to make sure that such software is configured and working in line with their own expectations.

1.8 FSI does not prioritize or artificially constrain or block access to specific network resources or services either within the FSI network or through our gateways to the Internet. Because of the nature of how the Internet works and is architected, the account holder may at times find that specific services accessed through our Internet gateways are either impaired or inaccessible for reasons outside of our control. If the nature of the impairment is determined to be located within FSI’s network, FSI will make a reasonable attempt to fix the issue; if the nature of the impairment is determined to be outside of our control, responsibility sits with the account holder to contact the maintainer(s) of the service in question. In either case, FSI can not be held liable for losses related to the impairment.

1.9 FSI does not censor information transmitted over our service with the exception of that information deemed illegal. Such activities may include fraud, child pornography, infringement of intellectual or property rights, hacking or otherwise seeking unauthorized electronic access, illegal export of software, spamming, distribution of virii, mail bombing, forging of electronic headers, and distribution of chain or pyramid schemes. This list is representative and is not inclusive. FSI will cooperate with legal authorities in the investigation of criminal or civil infringements.

1.10 FSI respects the privacy of our account holders. While we retain the right to access personal email accounts, utilize account holder passwords and monitor system traffic, FSI will not do so except in the course of troubleshooting individual or server problems, or when required of us by law. FSI will make a good faith attempt to verify the identity of customers requesting passwords, password changes, mail forwarding, account closures, or other changes in service.

1.11 FSI provides disk space for our internet connectivity customers to place a publicly viewable web page. This disk space is not included in our normal system backups. Backing up web page information is left to the individual account holder. FSI is not responsible for periods in which this web page is not accessible. FSI does retain the right to review the content of a customer's web space and to remove material objectionable to community standards.

2 Use of Services

2.1 The account holder acknowledges that FSI may terminate the account without notice if the account holder does not comply with the terms of this document. The account holder will be held responsible for use of the account by a third party.

2.2 FSI does not actively prioritize or constrain certain types of network traffic, as stated in section 1.8, and enforces usage restrictions in a universal and consistent manner for all account holders in accordance with the policies outlined in this document. The policies stated below are set forth for the benefit of all FSI account holders, in order to ensure fair and equitable distribution of network resources and quality of service.

2.3 FSI accounts are for account holder, and the account holder agrees to not share the account. The account holder may allow other users to utilize additional email addresses associated with the primary account, but at no time may more than one network access connection be made with the primary account. A connection profile used to access the FSI network may be defined on multiple computers or routers so long as the limit of one network access connection per primary account is respected.

2.4 For dial-up account holders, modem connections will be terminated after fifteen minutes of noninteractive activity. Noninteractive activity is the lack of modem activity caused by direct human input. This includes ping programs, automatic mail checking, automatic redialing or other computer generated activity. FSI modem pools are for the use of computers being actively used by humans.

2.5 FSI dial-up service, while having no monthly or daily limits, is not intended to provide full-time “always-on” connections, and modem connections can be terminated after sessions of excessive length, currently set at eight hours. If the modem connection was actively being used, the customer may connect again for another eight hour session. FSI provides access to a shared modem pool; please allow other account holders opportunity to access this pool. Account holders should keep the connection open only when actively using it, and may not use any automatic method to avoid inactivity disconnects. Intentional use of automated methods to avoid idle timeouts of modem connections is prohibited. This includes the use of automatic redialers to reinstate an idle connection.

2.6 FSI accounts should not be used to provide access to dedicated servers such as HTTP, FTP, IRC or GAME servers. The running of such servers over an FSI connection is an unacceptable use of system resources which would negatively affect other account holders. Permission may be granted in certain cases for specific types of servers to be run. Please contact FSI if you have need to run a server.

2.7 FSI accounts should not be used in any attempt to gain unauthorized access to other computer systems. Port scanning or sniffing, exploitation of known security holes, execution of compiled hacking tools or use of someone else’s password are all grounds for termination of account.

2.8 FSI accounts should not be used to send unsolicited advertising or promotional materials to other Internet users. Electronic mail and appropriate newsgroups may be used in the conduct of legitimate business.

2.9 The account holder agrees to not, under any circumstances, post messages to newsgroups, mailing lists, or similar public forums if any of these forums pertain to subjects not directly related to the main topic of the posting or if the posting would be considered inappropriate for any other reason. This applies to both business and non-business oriented postings.

2.10 Unsolicited email, sometimes referred to as “spam,” is email which is unsolicited and sent for the purpose of selling the recipient goods or services. Common forms of spam include make money fast schemes, pyramid marketing schemes, work at home schemes and questionable products or pornography. Crossposting is the simultaneous posting of identical messages, usually similar in content to spam, to multiple newsgroups. Neither spam nor crossposting are legitimate uses of FSI resources.

2.11 Any attempt by the account holder to circumvent any restrictions that are in place to enforce the level of service the account holder is designated to receive (such as maximum throughput) is considered both to be an abuse of the system and theft of service, and is grounds for termination of account.

2.12 Any use of FSI system resources that disrupts the normal use of the system for other FSI customers is considered to be abuse of system resources and is grounds for termination of account.

2.13 Depending on the nature and the severity of the abuse, the user may receive an email warning or have their account suspended by FSI staff. If the misuse is unintentional, the suspension may be rescinded following discussion with FSI staff. If the misuse is intentional, the suspension may be rescinded at the discretion of the Operations Manager. Occasionally, unintentional misuse is misclassified as intentional misuse. Customers who believe their activity has been misclassified may appeal to the Operations Manager.

3 Billing

3.1 Account holders will be electronically invoiced on a monthly or yearly basis depending on the payment plan selected. First Step Internet does not bill based on usage, but on your request to make our service available to you and us in turn making it available. Your account will continue to accrue charges until such time we are notified to cancel your account. Past due accounts exceeding our grace period will be placed on hold until payment is received in full. If at anytime your account is placed on hold for non-payment, your account will be subject to a $10 reactivation fee. Refunds for the unused portion of an annual subscription will be made based upon the monthly fee. Refunds will not be issued for amounts under five dollars.