Who remembers the early years of the Internet back in 1994 when we all paid $25 to America Online for just five total hours of surfing each month? Or how about in 1997 when AOL changed to unlimited pricing for just $10 a month but all their dial-up lines were suddenly busy 24/7?
Believe it or not, Internet access started out as a usage-based or metered service. And even though the Internet's been "all-you-can-eat" usage-wise for the better part of 15-years, it looks like a return to some sort of usage-based Internet pricing for both consumers and businesses alike is not too far off.
Both Verizon and AT&T are moving their smart phone customers to metered data models and residential cable companies are following suit according to this article.
What's a small business owner to do?
Create a network bandwidth management checklist for your business so you can learn what sort of data transmissions you're paying for, measure how much you're paying for and monitor the traffic to confirm that you're only paying for what you want to pay for.
How to Create a Network Bandwidth Management Checklist for Your Business
Do all the ways your employees use your businesses Internet connection suddenly make you feel like you're running a coffee shop with a free Internet "Hot Spot"? Well if you feel that way you've got the right model in mind.
Effective "Network Bandwidth Management" for any business owner really requires no more expertise than what a coffee shop owner employs for a public Hot Spot when they exercise control over just three things:
1. Who's accessing the network,
2. What type of data are they uploading and downloading, and
3. How much are they uploading and downloading
So step one for creating a "network bandwidth management checklist" for your business can be as easy as treating your business like a coffee shop and instituting the same Internet access controls as a coffee shop. If you're not sure where to start, click here for a simple, 3-step guide to protecting your business Internet as least as much as a coffee shop owner protects his or her public Hot Spot.
This simple, painless and practically free exercise will educate you about what you need to be looking at to protect your own business wide area network which is no doubt much more complex than a single-site coffee shop.
Many business owners rightfully think, "I don't need to worry about that as my IT director, IT department or IT contractor has got that 'covered'". Maybe yes -- maybe no! To double-check just how well your business bandwidth is being managed, download and take the "Business Bandwidth Management Self-Analysis Survey" in our Bandwidth Management Buyers Guide.
Business owners should know the answers to these important bandwidth management issues. If you don't, let the survey be an opportunity to discuss with your IT resources where your current business bandwidth management policies are today -- and where they may need to be tomorrow.
If your IT consultant isn't managing your bandwidth then feel free to contact a local bandwidth management partner listed at www.BusinessPhoneNews.com.
Download our Free 2013 Bandwidth Management Buyers Guide
Click here to download our free Bandwidth Management Buyer's Guide. Our guide is designed help you understand what questions to ask bandwidth management sales partners and vendors to ensure you're getting quoted the right design at the right price.
If you need a referral to a TA partner or vendor that has been recently recommended by their customers for bandwidth management expertise, the buyers guide lists specific partners and vendors that you may wish to call on for consulting, solution design or a competitive quote.