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Technology Training

Tech Talk | Net Neutrality and the Future of the Internet

The Federal Communication Commission or FCC is looking to repeal Net Neutrality on December 14th, 2017. The implications of removing this legislation are vast and complex. The outcome of removing Net Neutrality could result in an internet experience that resembles cable television where you are nickel and dimed for every additional content provider you want access to. As it stands, the democratic way of internet life where you are free to go where you want, when you want using any internet provider you want is at serious risk of changing.

What makes the internet significant is that in one way or another, every person, not to mention every business, uses the internet to communicate. Allowing the internet service providers or ISP’s to moderate who has access to websites on their infrastructure and who does not, in addition to charging content creators based on consumed bandwidth, would change the internet that we all know and love in ways that we cannot foresee.

In this episode of Tech Talk, we discuss Net Neutrality and how we see the future of the internet in light of repealing the current legislation. We cover what Net Neutrality is, how limited access to a variety of internet providers is troubling and lastly, what, if any, legislation we feel would be appropriate and why.

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Technology

The Growing Importance of Business Internet

Sooner rather then later, business IT networks will consist of an internet connection and a light weight computer that acts as a terminal to the internet. There will be no more investing in servers, switches, battery backups, NAS devices etc. in the same way that has been done for the last 15 years. Companies will trade the responsibility of purchasing and maintaining a network for a “network as a service” in a hosted data center. Ultimately, this move will come with many benefits such as increased security, increased up-time, greater redundancy and decreased costs to your company.

landscape view of very large data centre data storage array ** Note: Slight graininess, best at smaller sizes

The catch to all of this wonderful techy business is your connection to the internet. Right now, if your internet connection goes down, it can hurt your company a lot. You will most likely lose access to email, payment processing, search, phones and any other hosted application that you rely on. The up side is that you can still work internally until your connection comes online. By hosting your entire network in a data center you would lose all functionality if your internet connection goes down. Despite all the benefits that hosted networks will bring, it will make your internet connection that much more important.

This will likely effect businesses in a few ways. Primarily businesses will want to invest in redundant internet connections that run on separate networks. A good way to look at this would be having a main fiber connection and a backup point to point wireless connection as a fail over. This will also effect they way businesses look at acquiring new locations. One of the most important questions you will ask when looking at a new building is “what internet options are available?” If fiber internet isn’t already connected to the building, this should be a serious problem to take into consideration.

Finally, with all of this in mind, you will want to watch out for the dirty tricks that the telecom industry likes to play. Namely their auto renew clause that is built into most contracts. A lot of businesses are in the process of making a change from copper internet to fiber internet. If you are at all interested in moving toward hosted options for your company network, you will want a solid fiber internet connection. It is important to know when your internet contract is coming to a close and make sure that you move to a month to month option or make sure that you are ready to cancel that contract and replace it with a fiber connection.

Business IT network options are in a constant state of change and now like never before, it is important to make sure that you have an IT partner that can help you navigate the options of the hosted world. If you are considering hosted solutions for your company, give eTop a call for a free consultation.