Are Taxes Coming to Your Internet Bill?

Net neutrality has been a topic discussion for the last decade.  On February 26, 2015 the FCC will vote on reclassifying the Internet from an information system to a telecommunication service. FCC commission chair, Tom Wheeler, stated his plan would declare broadband a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act, giving the FCC broad new powers.  Wheeler also claims the FCC won’t impose new fees or regulate prices.

It is impossible to know what exactly is in the commission report, as the 332- page plan is only available to FCC commissioners and will not be released until after the FCC votes February 26th.

According to the 2005 definition of net neutrality is “the concept that broadband Internet service providers should provide nondiscriminatory access to Internet content, platforms, etc., and should not manipulate the transfer of data regardless of its source or destination.”

Ajit Pai, a commissioner to the FCC, views the government’s version of net neutrality differently. He stated that the net neutrality plan could open the door to new fees, taxes, and government control over the prices that Internet providers charge their customers.  Pai also stated that he is concerned the plan would hinder broadband investment, slow network speed and expansion, limit outgrowth to rural areas of the country, and reduce Internet service provider (ISP) competition.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act keeps numerous taxes and fees off our bills.  Below is a link to an article I wrote that shows all the current taxes and fees on our monthly phone bills.  Once the Internet is reclassified as a utility these taxes and fees could be showing up on our Internet bill.

Telephone Taxes

The Democrats are in favor of the FCC plan.  Republicans propose to prohibit blocking, throttling, paid prioritization and redirecting without becoming a utility.  Whatever side of the issue you are on, you have less than 2 weeks to express your opinion to the FCC.  The link to the FCC comment page is below:

FCC Comment Page

Craig B. Hodges



Why You Should be Using a Data Center

A data center is considered the brain of an organization, centralizing IT operations and equipment.  The data center stores, manages and disseminates information. It is critical to the daily operation of a company.

There are numerous reasons to use a data center or colocation instead storing equipment and information onsite.  The first is infrastructure.  Data centers are equipped with proper ventilation, cooling, security, power, redundancy, and maintenance.  Your office is not the ideal place for such equipment and making it so would be very costly.  Disaster recovery is another reason to consider using a data center. In the event of a catastrophic event your data is secure and can easily be retrieved.  Access to proper bandwidth also makes using a data center beneficial.  A data center has tremendous capacity, receiving Internet connections from several providers. Certifications are yet another reason to switch to a colocation. Your customers might require HIPAA, SSAE 16, or Type II.  Let the data center obtain and maintain these certifications.  A data center also provides proper IT support, which means your IT staff doesn’t have to expand when you do. Scalability is another factor that makes hosting off site beneficial.  Whether your needs expand or contract, this can be done quickly and cost effectively.

Once the decision is made to a data center there are 5 factors to consider.  Below is a tedious breakdown of these factors and how BSB meets and exceeds these standards.

1.    Facility: a sturdy building that protects from external forces such as tornadoes

  • 10 inch concrete walls, 6.5 inch concrete roofs that can withstand 120 MPH wind
  • Raised floor with point load of 5000 pounds or more

2.    Operations: proper and redundant heating, cooling, and electricity

  • 250 Watts/Sq Ft. minimum
  • Built on same power grid as hospitals, government buildings, etc.
  • 2 independent substations: 400MW feeds that are dedicated, independent, and underground
  • Redundant UPS (uninterruptible power supply) in secure, isolate rooms, separated by fire walls with an A and B utility feed and a maintenance bypass for live replacement (bypass is UPS protected on-site)
  • Seamless Power Continuity: redundant generators and underground fuel tanks
  • HVAC (heating ventilation air conditioning) N+1 redundant with complete circulation and filtration every 90 seconds
  • Early warning smoke detection
  • Fire suppression: dry pipe, dual-action

3.    Security: multi-layered security at all points

  • Perimeter fencing, biometric access controls, centralized security at all entry points
  • External and internal surveillance with archiving
  • Access granted only to documented persons with annotated credentials escorted by employee who has undergone multiple and thorough background checks
  • 24x7x365 on-site monitoring, secure access, and support staff adjacent to raised floor for any and all remote hands work

4.    Network: Carrier-neutral

  • Internal meet-me-room or telecom exchange point
  • Core network equipment protected from customer access
  • Telecom conduit enters facility through underground and concrete encased dual, diverse paths
  • Diverse entry points with over 300 feet between entries
  • Redundant data transport between facilities available
  • At least 6 fiber carriers enter the data centers at disparate points to prevent service failure

5.    Certifications: Tier 4 highest certification

  • SAS 70 Type II/SSAE 16 Type II audit certified
  • TIA 942 Tier 4 Certified
  • HIPAA, SOX, and PCI Compliant