When one moves on into the comments behind that article, there are words like "rights being infringed on by ISPs" and the "right to use their connection as they wish" and others like that.
We run a business. We provide products and services. We, as a business, have a responsibility, within our rights as business owners, to set limits on the how and when for those products and services so our clients receive the best value they can from us.
Our clients understand that they are receiving good value with us. If they do not agree with the way we do business, then they would (as would we in a similar situation) move on to another company that would provide similar products and services.
When we setup a new SBS network, one of the first steps we go through with our client is to talk about and develop an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP). It is standard practice to have an AUP in place for any company to protect the livelihood of both the company and their employees.
When we signed up with our ISPs, we signed an AUP with them.
As a company providing a service, the ISP has the right to tell us what we can and cannot do while we are connected to their network. They even have the right to "Throttle" any data packets travelling between us and the Internet.
It is the ISP's right to do so as it is their assets we are using. Our paid contract with the ISP grants us the privilege to use their assets for our Internet access. A paid contract does not give us rights over the ISP and the use of their equipment.
If we want full rights over what we can and cannot do with an Internet connection, then we need to find ourselves a connection to the Internet backbone and install all of the necessary equipment to give us our Ethernet. We would then be eligible to be an ISP.
Once we have done that, when we have signed up 100 users and we find out that there are 3 or 4 of them who are using 75% of our bandwidth, what would the proper course of action be for us as a business?
Keep in mind the following:
- The 3-4 customer's bandwidth use directly impacts the other 96-7.
- The high bandwidth usage limits our ability to sign up new users without further infrastructure.
- The higher bandwidth usage means higher infrastructure costs for us to provide a "reasonable" amount of service to our customers.
With that realization, it is not too difficult to see where the situation will lead.
In some cases, ISPs have already began to restructure their service fees to be bandwidth volume based.
To us, this makes sense. If 95% of our customers use relatively small amounts of data volume for the Internet browsing, E-mailing, and the like why should they be penalized with higher service fees for the other 5% of customers who persistently use huge data volumes?
Setting up the above mentioned ISP business is not cheap.
We here in Alberta are fortunate to have had a government that funded a huge infrastructure investment in the form of fibre cabling throughout the Province. The Alberta Supernet was a Three Billion Dollar endeavour.
One of the assumptions was that existing ISP companies or new ISPs would jump onto the Supernet bandwagon and begin providing high speed Internet access to hamlets, small towns and rural areas.
This has not happened. Why? Because of the huge initial investment required to hookup to the fibre backbone and then provide those services to customers in the area.
Given the huge expense of implementing, managing, and maintaining an ISP business, we should not demand the larger ISPs forgo protecting their business and the level of service their customers have come to expect.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
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