Discover the major causes of slow connectivity and policies to combat the issues.
The bulk of businesses do not have fast Internet. As a matter of fact, the Internet in your office may be slower than what you have at home. If your office is paying for multiple Internet lines, cable, or even a T1 and everyone is still complaining about the speed — take a look at these major causes of slow connections.
First, evaluate what you have. The Internet speed coming into your office
is a reflection of the maximum capability of the connection. For example, let’s
say you have a T1 line coming into your office and you have 10 computers using
the Internet at the same time throughout the day. Your Internet connection
speed for the office as a whole may be 1500 Kilobits Per Second (KbPS), but for
each user this means only about 150 KbPS per person.
What does this mean, in plain English? Basically, if you have two users who are playing games online, listening to Internet radio, and surfing their favorite social networking sites while working, they are literally gobbling up your Internet connection. These two users, with multiple resource hogging programs open, could be sucking up enough bandwidth for four or more workers in your office. This type of activity may slow your Internet speed to a crawl.
How often does this really happen? Too often! In fact, the American
Management Associate (AMA) published findings from the 2009 Electronic Business Communication Policies & Procedures Survey this year that revealed 26% of bosses have fired workers for violating Internet policy.
Take a look at these shocking statistics from ConnectWorld.net:
- 80% of companies report that employees have abused Internet privileges.
- 77% of weekly online listening to Internet radio takes place between 5am and 5pm.
- 70% of explicit content is downloaded between 9am and 5pm.
- 33% or more of time spent online at work is non-work-related.
With numbers like these, you can’t ignore the need for an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) that explains the expected procedures for your company.
The true focus on an AUP shouldn’t be banning employees from specific things, but on clearly defining their responsibilities when using work resources. An AUP will serve as a legal document between employer and employee. Remember to include a clause that leaves room for modifications, because obviously every circumstance cannot be included and the document may need to be updated over time. In addition, it is always helpful to include a description of the philosophies, strategies, and goals of your company to ensure your purpose is clear.
Things to include. While many of the things included in an AUP are self-explanatory, let’s review to be sure you cover all the bases. An AUP should cover the following primary topics: equipment, intranet, and Internet usage as well as communication and software procedures. Not only are these areas the most abused, but they are generally the source of infections and attacks that could damage your company.
Be sure to outline a clear code of conduct to govern behavior and the consequences for violating the AUP. Don’t be afraid to go into detail with statements like, “E-mail is intended to be used for company business only. Confidential company documents must not be shared with outside sources including family and friends.”
Explain your expectations and monitoring strategy. Let your employees know exactly what is expected of them. Spell out procedures completely and give scenarios that employees can relate to in real life. Keep in mind that your company owns every file, program, and communication that cycles through the company equipment. Feel free to monitor everything! As a matter of fact, an increasing number of businesses today do monitor their computer networks for unacceptable use with the assistance of filtering software that blocks specific websites on the Internet, e-mail scanning that tracks incoming and outgoing messages, or even disk space quotas so each user is allotted the same amount on the server.