It’s said that a non-trivial portion of the Internet bandwidth consumed by businesses is taken up by illegal employee downloading of music and video files. This ComputerWorld column suggests that businesses can reduce their risks of being targeted by the record industry, video industry, etc. — and reduce costs too — by deploying bandwidth-management software:
“We started by doing bandwidth prioritization between the dorms and the main campus,” Dodds says.
During business hours, campus connections have priority over dorm use, and Dodds can filter out certain IP addresses, block some peer-to-peer traffic and even segregate dorms by subnet. Using the graphic capabilities of the package, Dodds is able to see which protocols are using the most bandwidth and then allocate bandwidth as needed.
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Prior to implementing the bandwidth management setup, Fairmont was considering purchasing additional bandwidth. That’s now been shelved.
And as for pulling the plug on illegal music and video downloads, well, let’s just say Britney can shop to her heart’s content.
It’s an interesting idea, but bandwidth-management software strikes me as a short-lived phenomenon. Bandwidth will get cheaper; music and videos will become available on-line at reasonable prices (it’s already happening with music); and employees will gradually get the message that they can be fired for doing illegal downloading.