Description of Services

Independents Fiber Network’s (Independents) Ethernet Transport Service (ETS) is a switched Ethernet service that enables you to use Ethernet Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) technology to transport traffic among two or more disparate metro or rural locations as if they were part of the same LAN. Independents uses industry standard native interfaces for Ethernet and IP-based networks, so you can transport data without protocol conversion or special equipment. Independents’ ETS offering provides scalable bandwidth, which means that you can select from numerous increments to match your bandwidth requirements.

Service is available in Layer 1 Line Rate speeds from 5 Mbps to 10 Gbps, with options for redundancy, as well as real-time service and other network performance choices. In addition, the service includes flexible configuration options to meet various network needs.

Independents provides ETS via fiber or copper customer facing physical interfaces, over a switched Ethernet-over-Fiber core network. You choose from three configurations: point-to-point (between two Ports); point-to-multipoint (hub-and-spoke design with virtual connections to remote sites); or multipoint-to-multipoint (three or more ports in any-to-any connectivity).

Port connections are available at 100 Mbps, 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps), 10,000 Mbps (10 Gbps), 100 Gbps and 200 Gbps. For these speeds, we offer various Committed Information Rates (CIRs) to meet your bandwidth needs. After we connect your ports to our switched Ethernet network, we can link them via point-to-point arrangement or, for three or more ports, use a multipoint arrangement.

Service Ports can be ordered in an Untagged UNI-based configuration or Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) Tagged NNI/Hub-based configuration. Port-based service sends data to EVC ports regardless of VLAN tags, while VLAN-based service routes Ethernet frames according to VLAN instructions. Service Capacity is only provided in a synchronous, Service Capacity x Service Capacity (10 Mbps x 10Mbps) configuration.

Independents’ ETS consists of the following major components:

  • Customer Port Connection provides your physical access to Independents' ETS Service. Customer orders the port according to the physical connection needed to align with its equipment and/or the maximum speed that you need. Options include a 100 Mbps port (with a 100 BaseT interface), a 1,000 Mbps port (1,000 BaseT, 1 Gbps LX/LH and SX), and a 10,000 Mbps port (10 Gbps Base-SR/SW and 10 Gbps BASE-LR/LW).

  • Committed Information Rate (CIR) specifies the bandwidth available on your port connection and serves as the port's logical channel. CIRs, which cannot exceed port (untagged) or VLAN (tagged) service capacity, are available per customer port connection in increments from 5 Mbps to 200 Gbps.

  • Ethernet Virtual Circuit (EVC) establishes a logical path that enables Ethernet traffic to flow between ports that you designate in point-to-point and multipoint configurations. Path is provisioned at the sole discretion of Independents unless Customer requests a specific path or furnishes details and desires path diversity from service received from another provider. Logical Redundancy and/or physical diversity upgrade options are available on request.

Independents’ ETS will be offered with throughput thresholds based on the service configuration provided to the customer. Service availability and performance is subject to technical limitations and available facilities. All service designs will be verified prior to order to help ensure correct provisioning and maintenance.

Customer Responsibility

In order to deploy ETS at a customer location and to successfully transport customer data across the Independents’ ETS Service Network, the customer will need to adhere to specific guidelines as to the space, power, conduit and/or other physical aspects of providing the service, as well as the data formatting and configuration recommendations to ensure maximum Ethernet compatibility with the ETS service. These responsibilities may be described in detail in a Customer Site Preparation Guide and/or an Independents Customer Data Format Guide, which Independents may elect to publish from time-to-time.

These guides, if published, while not specifically part of Terms of Service, describe factors that impact Independents’ ability to meet these service level objectives. These factors include:

  • Traffic Shaping: To ensure maximum throughput efficiency, traffic shaping should be enabled on the customer’s network equipment.

  • When traffic policing is applied on the Independents’ Switched Ethernet network, traffic shaping is required in order to ensure that packets are not dropped when entering the network

  • If shaping is not turned on, Independents’ ETS Service may randomly drop traffic if the customer exceeds the subscribed amount of CIR for that connection. Most routers on the market should support traffic shaping, which makes it easy to implement in its simplest form.
  • Independents’ ETS offers scalable service connection rates (CIR) from 5 Mbps to 200 Gbps, providing great flexibility, as long as the customer can shape their traffic. If customers are not able to shape their traffic, they should subscribe to service that aligns with their physical port (i.e. 10/100/1000 Mbps) to ensure maximum throughput. Failure to comply with this recommendation could result in reduced throughput and performance.
  • MAC Address limitations: For Ethernet Virtual Connections (EVCs) that are configured as point-to-point, there are no limits to the number of MAC addresses associated with that connection. For EVCs that are multipoint, there is a maximum of 50 MAC addresses associated with the EVC. Customers may subscribe to an optional feature increasing the limit to 100 MAC addresses per multipoint EVC. Customers may use routers to limit the number of MAC addresses presented to the Independents Service Network.

  • Multicast / Broadcast protocols: For Ethernet Virtual Connections (EVCs) that are configured as point-to-point, there are no limits to the volume of broadcast or multicast packets up to the subscribed CIR. For EVCs that are multipoint, there is a maximum of 5 Mbps of aggregate broadcast or multicast traffic. Packets dropped by traffic controls will be excluded from SLA calculations. Independents recommends that customers enable controls for multicast broadcast and unknown unicast traffic within the customer network(s).

Committed Information Rate (CIR) shall be as defined in MEF 10.13 as the rate in bits per second of all the bytes designated as Ethernet Frame in Figure 4 and Figure 5 as shown below. The Inter-Frame Gap, Preamble & SFD are not counted toward the Committed Information Rate on the EVC component of Independents’ ETS Service. Customer subscribed Service Capacity includes all bits, inbound or outbound, delivered by Customer to the physical port interface in an untagged or tagged configuration.

IFN Network

Loop

Any loop services that may be required in order to provide ETS shall be contracted from the Customer’s end-user premise to the Customer’s interconnection to Independents. Any demarcation extensions required to complete the services are the responsibility of the Customer.

Handoff

All off-net items are dependent upon Independents’ installation or Independents causing its off-net provider partner to install a Minimum Point of Entry (MPOE) demarcation point at the Customer’s End User’s Premises. Customer is responsible for delivering to Independents Fiber Network a Right-of-Entry to the MPOE at the A-Location that allows assignment by Independents to its off-net provider partner. In the event an extended demarcation point is required or right of entry through a path other than the Independents-identified MPOE is required at the End User Premises, additional one-time charges will apply, which shall be quoted at the time of request. Construction cannot commence, and therefore lead time shall not begin, until Customer delivers an executed service order that is accepted by Independents along with a Right-of-Entry.

Network to Network Interface (NNI)

Customer and Independents shall establish an NNI to connect Customer’s Ethernet network to Independents for the aggregation of ETS delivered services.  NNI connections are available at limited Independents network locations or by an individual case-basis-arrangement.  Any individual NNI port’s bandwidth must exceed the bandwidth sum of all aggregated end user Access UNI sites to qualify for SLA performance remedies.  NNI connections are offered over an optical Gigabit Ethernet connection through a mid-span meet-point (MSMP) to a mid-fiber meet-point in a field enclosure or in the form of a common intra datacenter cross-connect. The number of Ethernet Virtual Circuits (EVCs) per NNI is limited to 64 for Gigabit Ethernet NNIs.  Multiple NNIs may be connected with the purchase of Transport CIR.  Transport CIR bandwidth will not be calculated against the available bandwidth of any individual NNI.

Term

The Initial Term begins on the First Date of Availability.   

Rates

All rates are considered on-net Metro pricing, defined as 15 airline miles or less from Customer’s End-User premise to the Customer’s interconnection to Independents’ Network.  Any request for service that is greater than 15 airline miles and/or is not on-net with Independents will be considered an ICB.  On-net recurring rates will remain the same for the duration of the Initial Term.  Changes or cancellation to ordered NLAN circuits after FOC communication to the Customer by Independents will result in additional non-recurring charges. 

 

NRC:

$500 NRC for all circuits under 10Mbps, waived on 5-year terms for on-net service.

$1125 NRC for all 10Mbps circuits, waived on 5-year terms for on-net service.

Construction Aid:

Construction aid charges, if any, will be invoiced upon acceptance of the customer executed service order and are due within 30-days of invoicing unless stated otherwise.

Customer may increase its bandwidth: (i) by signing a new ASR/ORDER FORM authorizing Independents to increase the bandwidth and monthly recurring charge (“MRC”) for the duration of the Order Term; or (ii) if the requested increase exceeds the allowable bandwidth of its then current access method, then Customer must sign a new ASR/ORDER FORM, upgrade its access method, and renew the Order Term for a term equal to or longer than the current Term.  Customer may be invoiced a non-recurring increase charge plus any new charges associated with a different access method, if any, including any new installations.

Customer may request Independents to supply a dedicated facility assignment for the delivery of services associated with a specific end user (EU) (Hub Port or Hub Assignment).

 

Enhanced Port

Enhanced Port provides  all  of  the  functionality  of  both  an  NNI  and  a  Dedicated Internet Access (DIA)  Port  in  a consolidated communications’ solution.  Customer DIA Port type shall be as specified in the applicable Provider Accepted Service Order.

 

Provisioning Interval

Installation intervals for provisioning ETS Point-to-Point shall be 30 calendar days for on-net and ICB for Off-Net Services.

Delay in Start Date

A requested delay in the service start date may be subject to a non-recurring charge, which will be quoted at the time of request.

Installation of Independents’ Equipment 

Independents is responsible for the installation of the Service Provider Equipment in order to provide the service to Customer.  Customer shall provide adequate space and AC power within twenty (20) feet and within the same room of the requested CPE location. 

Additional Charges 

Consulting hours may be invoiced at Independents’ then current hourly rate for those Customers requesting Independents’ assistance. A dispatch charge shall be invoiced when an Independents representative is dispatched to a Customer's premise as a result of: (a) an outage not caused by the Independents network; (b) an outage not caused by the failure of Independents Provided Equipment; or (c) Customer's disallowance to access any Independents provided equipment.

Performance Credits 

Performance credits for On-Net portions shall be provided as follows:

 

The length of the interruption shall be measured in hours and fractional portions thereof.  Each interruption shall be deemed to terminate upon restoration of the affected Services as evidenced by appropriate network test by Independents, and Independents’ notification to Customer. 

To receive credit, Customer must make a written request within forty-five (45) days of the end of the month in which the interruption occurred.

Independents guarantees a minimum of 25ms or less round trip for the Ethernet Native LAN Service for travel within their core network.

MTTR Objective

The Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) Objective, when due to a fiber cut, shall be the average time required to restore service and resume availability in a one-month (720 hour) period.  The time is measured from the moment the outage is reported until the service is available.  Although a fiber-cut by a third-party is a force majeure event, the MTTR objective will be to repair the cut within 4-hours from either the moment the outage is reported by the Customer or the moment the outage is determined to be due to a fiber cut.

MAC Addresses

Customer shall be assigned up to fifty (50) MAC (Media Access Control) addresses per Access circuit.  MAC addresses will be limited to one hundred (100) per NNI.  Customer may purchase one (1) additional block of fifty (50) MAC addresses. An MRC and an NRC, which will be quoted at the time of request, may apply. 

Amendment to Charges

Independents may amend any of the charges set forth for this service with at least thirty (30) days' prior written notice to Customer.  The new charges shall not apply to any ASR/ORDER FORM submitted before the effective date of any such amendment.