Silo is dedicated to delivering consistent and reliable connectivity to all subscribers. To achieve this goal, Silo applies a multi-tiered approach consisting of installation best-practices, network utilization monitoring and, when required, carefully implemented congestion management strategies. Being open and transparent about our network management practices is as important to us as delivering high quality services.
2. Network Performance
Silo strives to deliver advertised package speeds in a consistent and dependable manner. We are also advocates of open Internet access and net neutrality and, as such, we do not actively block traffic based on port or application unless required to do so by legal authority. We do however employ the industry-standard strategy of blocking the use of external outbound email servers from within our network by blocking port 25. This port is commonly associated with distributed denial of service (“DDoS”) attacks and spam abuse. Upon request we are happy to provide an SMTP account for outbound mail use.
We provide each of our residential customers with a private IP address. In turn, each private IP address is mapped to a public IP address, which is used to communicate with the Internet beyond the Silo network. This networking approach is governed by Silo’s underlying technology platforms. Customers on a private IP address will not be able to directly access home network devices from the Internet, or map ports to the outside. However, mapping IP addresses in this way has added benefits including greater security for our customers by providing protection against IP-targeted attacks.
All monthly package speeds are advertised as “up to” a specified speed. This is necessary because Silo cannot guarantee service performance levels or availability due to a wide variety of factors that are beyond our control. Customers should also be aware that web-based “speed test” clients can be influenced by many confounding variables, including outside network infrastructure beyond Silo’s control. For this reason, web-based “speed tests” can often yield an inaccurate result. When a customer informs our Technical Support department that speeds are not meeting subscribed package levels, we will attempt to promptly and thoroughly investigate the issue and, wherever necessary, we will dispatch a field technician to the service address.
3. Managing Network Congestion
Fixed wireless networks present many challenges compared to traditional terrestrial wireline-based networks. Most notably, fixed wireless networks are subject to strict capacity limits. Despite our best efforts and planning, sometimes a portion of our network may approach or reach its capacity limit. In response, we may deploy one of two network management practices that are designed to ensure that we can maintain the highest levels of service for as many of our subscribers as possible.
First, during peak network hours (4:00PM to 11:00PM daily), we may assign priority to certain data packets and network traffic. This practice ensures that the most critical Internet applications (for example, email and Voice over Internet Protocol or “VoIP”) are the less likely to be affected by network congestion. The main advantage of this network management practice is that it affects the Internet experience of our subscribers in a very minimal way, while greatly improving our ability to manage network congestion. In most cases, our subscribers will not notice a difference in service quality for any type of traffic.
Second, in rare situations, Silo may be required to limit individual bandwidth streams in order to manage cases of extreme network congestion. These exceptional circumstances may involve network failures or certain special events where abnormally high amounts of traffic occur (for example, during a major broadcasted sporting event or a large-scale software update release). In such circumstances, we reserve the right to limit bandwidth to as low as 50% of advertised speeds so that all users have adequate bandwidth to access critical network services and Internet applications.
Both of the above strategies are only deployed under unforecastable circumstances and limited in duration to what is strictly necessary to address such circumstances.
Finally, when Silo observes that a particular network path is consistently approaching or reaching its known capacity, we will plan to make additional infrastructure investments in order to better accommodate the current and future bandwidth demands of our customers.