Adopted October 19, 2005 | Updated July 2023
BTES has designed this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) in order to encourage the responsible use of BTES’ networks, systems, services, web sites and products (collectively, “the service”) by our customers and other users of BTES’ Internet and Telephone Services (collectively, "Users"), and to enable us to provide Users with secure, reliable, and productive services. By using BTES’ services, Users consent to be bound by the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy & Terms of Service.
This is considered non-exclusive. BTES reserves the right to modify this AUP in its discretion at any time. Such modifications will be effective when posted on BTES’ website. Any use of the service after such modification shall constitute acceptance of such modification.
BTES’ Internet service must be used in a manner that is consistent with the intended purpose of the Service and may be used only for lawful purposes. Users shall not use the service in order to transmit, distribute, or store material: (a) in violation of any applicable law or regulation, including export or encryption laws or regulations; or (b) that may expose BTES to criminal or civil liability. Users are further prohibited from assisting any other person in violating any part of this Acceptable Use Policy & Terms of Service.
BTES’ telephone service must be used in a manner that is consistent with the intended purpose of the Service and may only be used for lawful purposes. Users shall not use the service for illegal and/or fraudulent activity. Such activity will be subject to immediate termination of service. Illegal and fraudulent activity includes but is not limited to the utilization of the voice line for the purpose of originating spam and/or illegal robo-dialing and Caller ID spoofing. All usage of the service is under the discretion of BTES. BTES management will review all alleged violations on a case-by-case basis. Clear violations may result in voice calls being blocked or immediate termination of service.
BTES reserves the right to disconnect service for failure to comply with any portion of this policy. Any violation of this policy may result in prosecution under state and/or federal law and/or termination of service.
Resale of Services
The resale of BTES’ products and services is not permitted unless specifically permitted and documented in a written agreement. Customers are not permitted to distribute BTES’ services outside of their service location (individual household, business, etc.).
BTES provides residential service (including email addresses) for non-commercial use only. Users with residential accounts who wish to run mail or web servers may be required to upgrade to a commercial account.
Responsibility for Content
BTES takes no responsibility for any material created or accessible on or through the service. BTES is not obligated to monitor or exercise any editorial control over such material but reserves the right to do so. In the event that BTES becomes aware that any such material may violate this Acceptable Use Policy & Terms of Service and/or expose BTES to civil or criminal liability, BTES reserves the right to block access to such material and suspend or terminate the service for any User creating, storing, or disseminating such material. BTES further reserves the right to cooperate with legal authorities and third parties in the investigation of alleged wrongdoing, including disclosing the identity of the User that BTES deems responsible for the wrongdoing.
Users shall not use the service to transmit, distribute, or store material that is inappropriate, as reasonably determined by BTES, or material that is indecent, obscene, pornographic (including child pornography), defamatory, libelous, threatening, abusive, hateful, or excessively violent.
Users shall not use the service to harm or attempt to harm minors in any way.
Material accessible through the service may be subject to protection under privacy, publicity, or other personal rights and Intellectual Property rights, including but not limited to, copyrights and laws protecting patents, trademarks, trade secrets, or other proprietary information. Users shall not use the service in any manner that would infringe, dilute, misappropriate, or otherwise violate any such rights. If a domain name is used in connection with any of the services offered by BTES, that domain name must not be used in violation of the trademark, service mark, or other rights of any third party.
Users shall not use the service to transmit, distribute, or store material that contains a virus, worm, Trojan horse, or other component harmful to BTES’ services, any other network or equipment, or other Users.
Users shall not use the BTES service to transmit or distribute material containing fraudulent offers for goods or services, or any advertising or promotional materials that contain false, deceptive, or misleading statements, claims, or representations. In addition, Users are prohibited from submitting any false or inaccurate data on any order form, contract, or online application, including the fraudulent use of credit cards.
Email and Unsolicited Messages
Users shall not use the service to send unsolicited e-mail messages, including, without limitation, bulk commercial advertising, or informational announcements (spam). Furthermore, Users are prohibited from using the service of another provider to send spam or to promote a site hosted on or connected to BTES’ service. In addition, Users shall not use the service in order to (a) send e-mail messages which are excessive and/or intended to harass or annoy others; (b) continue to send e-mail messages to a recipient that has indicated that he/she does not wish to receive them; (c) send e-mail with forged TCP/IP packet header information; (d) send malicious e-mail including, without limitation, "mailbombing"; (e) send or receive e-mail messages in a manner that violates the use policies of any other Internet service provider; or (f) use an e-mail box exclusively as a storage space for data.
Third Party Rules
Users may have access through the service to search engines, subscription Web services, chat areas, bulletin boards, Web pages, or other services that promulgate rules, guidelines, or agreements to govern their use. Users must adhere to any such rules, guidelines, or agreements.
System and Network Security.
Users are prohibited from violating or attempting to violate the security of the service network, including, without limitation, (a) accessing data not intended for such User or logging into a server or account which such User is not authorized to access; (b) impersonating BTES personnel; (c) attempting to probe, scan, or test the vulnerability of a system or network or to breach security or authentication measures without proper authorization; (d) attempting to interfere with, disrupt, or disable service to any user, host, or network including, without limitation, via means of overloading, flooding, mailbombing, denial of service attacks, or crashing; (e) forging any TCP/IP packet header or any part of the header information in any e-mail or newsgroup posting; (f) taking any action in order to obtain services to which such User is not entitled; (g) attempting to utilize another User's account name or persona without authorization from that User; or (h) using packet sniffers, network probing tools, or any type of program/script/command designed to interfere with or capture data.
Users are also prohibited from attempting any action designed to circumvent or alter any method of measuring or billing for BTES’ services. Violations of system or network security may result in civil or criminal liability. BTES will investigate occurrences which may involve such violations and may involve, and cooperate with, law enforcement authorities in prosecuting Users who are involved in such violations.
Although not required, it is the responsibility of the User to provide antivirus and firewall protection for their end system. BTES may provide limited antivirus scanning of email through its email servers but does not guarantee virus-free email and will not be held liable for viruses, trojan horse programs, or any other malicious programs or scripts received by Users.
Monitoring the Services
BTES has no obligation to monitor the services but may do so and disclose information regarding use of the services for any reason if BTES, in its sole discretion, determines that it is reasonable to do so, including but not limited to: satisfy laws, regulations, or governmental or legal requests; operate the services properly; or protect itself and its customers.
BTES reserves the right to monitor the network and services by means including but not limited to: (a) port scans, (b) server transaction logs, (c) bandwidth utilization, (d) server resource utilization, (e) access and firewall violations, and/or (f) notifications from any applicable regulatory or policing authority indicating inappropriate use of telephone calls or other services.
BTES reserves the right to block ports, addresses, subnets, or networks of any offending services or entities in the interest of maintaining network stability. Such blocks will be on an as needed basis and will be removed when appropriate action has been taken by those controlling the offending network(s).
BTES reserves the right to terminate service if illegal or fraudulent activity is reasonably believed to have occurred.
Users have the responsibility to monitor their accounts for access to websites, networks, or other content that may contain improper material.
Users may notify BTES of the continual receipt of e-mail that users view as illegal or that is unsolicited.
Users must not design or provide systems used for the collection of information about others without their explicit knowledge and consent.
Any User which BTES determines to have violated any element of this AUP may be subject to a suspension or termination of service, and if BTES deems it necessary, immediate suspension or termination of such User's service without notice. BTES may take such further action as BTES determines to be appropriate under the circumstances to eliminate or preclude repeat violations, and BTES shall not be liable for any damages of any nature suffered by any Customer, User, or any third party resulting in whole or in part from BTES' exercise of its rights. Violations may be reported to email@example.com. Among other things, this Acceptable Use Policy & Terms of Service prohibits sending unsolicited e-mail messages including bulk commercial advertising or informational announcements (Spam) and BTES may immediately terminate any account which it believes, in its sole discretion, is transmitting or is otherwise connected with any Spam. In addition, because damages are often difficult to quantify, if actual damages cannot be reasonably calculated then the User agrees to pay BTES liquidated damages of five dollars ($5.00) for each piece of spam or unsolicited bulk e-mail transmitted from or otherwise connected with your account. Otherwise, the User agrees to pay BTES' actual damages, to the extent such actual damages can be reasonably calculated. BTES may elect to send notice of any violations to the User before termination but is not required to do so. When an account has been terminated or suspended, the reactivation of the old account or the acquiring of a new account will only be allowed by express approval of BTES. The account may be held responsible for any charges associated with installation or activation, whether it is for a new account or an existing suspended or terminated account.
Account Usage and Password
The User agrees that he/she will be the only email address and password user and that the email address and/or password will not be transferred or disclosed to any other person, except at the User’s own risk and responsibility to permit other family members or business associates to access BTES’ service. The User shall ensure that any other such users complying with this agreement be responsible for all usage of the services and any other services accessed through the User’s account whether or not authorized. The User acknowledges that he/she is aware that certain content that may be accessible through the services may contain material that is unsuitable for minors. The User agrees to supervise usage of the services by any minors.
Password security is the responsibility of the individual user.
Using a personal account for commercial, high volume, or any excessive use is prohibited. If use impacts BTES' ability to provide services or network resources, the use of services may be terminated immediately. Users consistently using excessive bandwidth may be required to upgrade to a higher service level and pay additional fees in accordance with BTES’ current applicable published rates for such service level.
The amount of mailbox storage space per User is limited to 200 megabytes. When a mailbox reaches the limit, the User will not be able to receive e-mail. E-mail that exceeds the limits will not be delivered.
Disclaimer of Warranties and Limitation of Liability
THE USER ASSUMES TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR USE OF THE SERVICES AND THE INTERNET AND ACCESS THE SAME AT YOUR OWN RISK. BTES EXERCISES NO CONTROL OVER AND HAS NO RESPONSIBILITY WHATSOEVER FOR THE CONTENT ACCESSIBLE OR ACTIONS TAKEN ON THE INTERNET AND BTES EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR SUCH CONTENT OR ACTIONS. BTES SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INCIDENTAL, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY KIND INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF BUSINESS, LOSS OF PROFIT, LOSS OF INFORMATION OR DATA, OR INTERRUPTED COMMUNICATIONS, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THIS ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY & TERMS OF SERVICE. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL BTES BE LIABLE TO THE USER OR ANY THIRD PARTY FOR AN AMOUNT GREATER THAT THAN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF SERVICE FEES PAID DURING A SIX-MONTH PERIOD.
THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED ON AN "AS IS" AND "AS AVAILABLE" BASIS. BTES MAKES NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, WRITTEN OR ORAL, STATUTORY, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, INFRINGEMENT, OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. BTES DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE SERVICES WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, ERROR-FREE, OR FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.
The User agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless BTES and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, employees, agents, suppliers, or other partners from any and all third-party claims, liabilities, costs, and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, arising from the use of services, violation of this Acceptable Use Policy & Terms of Service Agreement, or violation of any rights of another.
This Acceptable Use Policy & Terms of Service Agreement constitute the entire agreement between the User and BTES with respect to the use of the services. BTES may assign this Agreement and the User’s rights and obligations under this Agreement, in whole or in part, at any time without notice. The User may not assign this Agreement without BTES' prior written consent. BTES' failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or rights. If any provision of this Agreement is held to be unenforceable, the unenforceable provision shall be construed as nearly as possible to reflect the original intent of the parties and the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect.
BTES COMPLAINT RESPONSE PROCEDURES
BTES’ dedication to its customers means that BTES takes seriously and responds to all complaints about its subscribers' use of the Internet. This means complaints by both BTES service subscribers and complaints by other Internet users. BTES believes that its customers should be able to enjoy full use of the Internet without interference by persons who use the Internet in an improper or unlawful manner. BTES will respond to any complaint that involves online activities that are Prohibited Activities under BTES’ policies. BTES will follow the Complaint Response Procedures described below to respond to complaints from Users and others about BTES service Users. Under these procedures, Internet users -- including BTES service Users -- are responsible for monitoring use of the Internet service they subscribe to from BTES by others. BTES may issue warnings to its Users, suspend subscribers' accounts, and even cancel accounts when it learns of continuing improper activities.
Complaints may be submitted in any of the following forms:
- by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org,
- by fax to 423-793-5546; or
- by mail to:
- Bristol Tennessee Essential Services
- PO Box 549
- Bristol, TN 37621
To register a complaint with the BTES Customer Experience Department, the User should submit the following information:
- The email address or IP address of the BTES service User involved, and if possible, any other information about the User, such as his or her name and address.
- A detailed description of the activities involved.
- If possible, the specific category or categories of Prohibited Activity you believe is involved in the activities.
- The dates the activities took place, e.g., the date information was posted.