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What Is An Internet SLA?
An internet SLA, also known as an internet service level agreement, is a contract between an internet or tech company and a customer that establishes the terms and conditions of internet or application services provided. The agreement is legally binding, which means that entering into them carries specific guidelines and limitations imposed on the contract parties.
Working with a service level agreement has several essential benefits. It serves as expectations for your customers regarding the services you provide at a certain price with any limitations. If you are not already using an SLA, consider how they will help and protect you.
Below are three advantages and why SLAs are important:
- Establishes measurable, straightforward, and easy-to-understand expectations and terms for your customers
- Offers peace-of-mind for all parties involved in the transaction for services and typically makes it easier to close deals
- Provides legal documentation of the original agreement in case a dispute happens in the future
SLAs protect the organization as well as the customers’ rights. A mutual understanding of the terms and conditions set forth may foster a positive relationship. As your business grows or changes, ensure that you review your company’s SLAs over time to address any changes in your service capability.
Key Terms In An Internet SLA
There are several critical terms in an internet SLA that you should understand. These terms are guarantees to your customers and contractors regarding the service level that they can expect from you throughout your contract with them. Consider the following definitions to familiarize yourself beforehand.
Uptime is the period that a customer’s services are available online. Most internet SLAs guarantee a certain amount of uptime for a customer. For example, you can guarantee a 99 percent uptime of the service every year.
Packet delivery is a ratio or percentage of data packets sent and received. It can also be expressed in terms of packet loss. The standard rate of packet delivery is 99.5 percent for most business services.
Latency is the time required for data packets to travel. It is generally expressed in milliseconds. In an internet SLA, there is also a certain level of latency thresholds that customers should receive. It can also be given for the company network or the company and customer network combined.
MTTR is an acronym for “mean time to repair.” It is a term that describes the average amount of time it takes for your company to respond to customer outages or severe network issues. For example, you can include that your MTTR in your internet SLA is three hours, or however long the metric is for you.
For companies that do not meet the contractual promises they made in their SLAs, service credits can be provided as a remedy. If you are experiencing severe deviations in service expectations, then you can offer to terminate contracts at no penalty to your customers in your internet service-level agreement.
Other Key Terms in an Internet SLA
Depending upon the type of service you provide and how you provide it, there could be dozens of legal terms and definitions that should be used in your agreement. Failing to define key terms can result in disagreements or misunderstandings in the future.
They can also open your contract up to legal interpretation if you do not define specific keywords. Instead of leaving the language included in your internet SLA open to interpretation, review a few samples of agreements that major companies use to secure the conditions and relationship between them and their clients.
Always speak with service level agreement lawyers to provide legal advice if you have questions relevant to your specific situation.
Examples of Internet SLAs
In today’s continually shifting business world, your internet SLA is a document that will change with it. However, the essential elements of a contract that remain the same. When implementing an internet SLA for all business and customer levels, consider reviewing a few examples to help you see what should be included.
Here are three examples of internet SLAs:
As you can see, internet SLAs can be as short or as long as necessary. Whatever length of contract you need, these agreements’ most vital aspects lie within their readability and legal compliance. Internet SLAs that are easier to understand can result in fewer misunderstandings and disputes. Legal compliance is vital since a potential disagreement may need to be resolved in court or with an arbiter or mediator.
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Other Types Of Service Level Agreements
Internet companies and ISPs should have other types of service level agreements between them and their clients, partners, and contractors. SLAs will protect your rights as well as other third-parties involved. It can also limit copyright infringement and other forms of misuse related to intellectual property (IP).
These contracts may stand-alone or in conjunction with other types of service level agreements, including:
- Software agreement : A software agreement defines how customers can use applications, programs, and other forms of software. They can also address how it can be installed, redistributed, priced, and licensed.
- Acceptable use policy : An acceptable use policy (AUP) establishes the rules that customers or employees must follow when using certain resources, like intranets, networks, websites, and more. It tells users what they can and cannot do with them much like a software agreement.
- End-user license agreement : An end-user license agreement (EULA) determines how an individual can use an application created by a publisher or author. Also known as a software license, a EULA limits how end-users can use software features.
- SaaS agreement : Software-as-a-service (SaaS) agreements are used when customers are using software that they cannot download. They also limit the transferability of ownership, which means that customers must continue to pay for use.
The types of service level agreements that companies use depend upon several factors, especially the consumer they serve. Since contractors’ needs are different from those of customers, there may be SLAs that are specific to customers, services, and other levels of the organization.
Who Needs An Internet SLA?
Any company offering internet related services, including software, bandwidth, cloud applications, and more, should have an internet SLA. These documents have several applications that can help your employees, salespeople, and managers conduct business more formally while potentially retaining clients longer.
Ultimately, it would be best if you protect your company’s future and intellectual property. Internet SLAs can help you accomplish this objective. Get legal help when drafting your agreement to account for everyone who will use it.
Creating An Internet SLA
Internet law is a vast and ever-growing body of practice. The role of an internet SLAs is no exception. When creating an initial iteration of your company’s SLA, work with a service level agreement lawyer to help you draft it.
Not only will an attorney consider your needs when writing the document, but he or she will also ensure that it is compliant with the relevant jurisdiction at the local, state, and federal levels. When your SLA meets all applicable laws, it is enforceable should a civil dispute arise, which will protect your businesses’ rights.
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Meet some of our Internet SLA Lawyers
Legal services cost too much, and are often of low quality. I have devoted my law practice to providing the best work at the most affordable price—in everything from defending small businesses against patent trolls to advising multinational corporations on regulatory compliance to steering couples through a divorce.
I am a licensed attorney and a member of the California Bar. I graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law's Program in Law and Technology. I love IP, tech transfers, licensing, and how the internet and developing technology is changing the legal landscape. I've interned at both corporations and boutique firms, and I've taken extensive specialized classes in intellectual property and technology law.
Jo Ann J.
Jo Ann has been practicing for over 20 years, working primarily with high growth companies from inception through exit and all points in between. She is skilled in Mergers & Acquisitions, Contractual Agreements (including founders agreements, voting agreements, licensing agreements, terms of service, privacy policies, stockholder agreements, operating agreements, equity incentive plans, employment agreements, vendor agreements and other commercial agreements), Corporate Governance and Due Diligence.
I am an unabashed contract law geek with a passion for delivering contracts that protect your business within your risk tolerance. Contracts should be clear, concise, and able to be understood by the end user. I promote Plain English contract drafting. I also pay close attention to the boilerplate traps that trip up many agreements. Some of my most frequent drafting projects are entity operating and shareholder agreements, bylaws, asset purchase agreements, commercial leases, EULA, Terms of Service, Privacy Policies, Confidentiality agreements, employment agreements, and more.
I hold a B.S. in Accounting and a B.A. in Philosophy from Virginia Tech (2009). I received my J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2012. I am an associate member of the Virginia Bar and an active member of the DC bar. Currently, I am working as a self-employed legal consultant and attorney. Primarily my clients are start-up companies for which I perform various types of legal work, including negotiating and drafting settlement, preparing operating agreements and partnership agreements, assisting in moving companies to incorporate in new states and setting up companies to become registered in a state, assisting with employment matters, drafting non-disclosure agreements, assisting with private placement offerings, and researching issues on intellectual property, local regulations, privacy laws, corporate governance, and many other facets of the law, as the need arises. I have previously practiced as an attorney at a small DC securities law firm and worked at Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLC. My work experience is dynamic and includes many short-term and long term experience that span across areas such as maintaining my own blog, freelance writing, and dog walking. My diverse background has provided me with a stong skill set that can be easily adapted for new areas of work and indicates my ability to quickly learn for a wide array of clients.
Texas licensed attorney specializing for 20 years in Business Law, Contract Drafting, and Risk Analysis. My services include: Corporate Risk Consulting; Contract Review and Drafting; Legal Research and Writing; Business Formation; Article or Instructive Writing; and more. For more insight into my skills and experience, please feel free to visit my LinkedIn profile or contact me with any questions.
Creative, results driven business & technology executive with 24 years of experience (13+ as a business/corporate lawyer). A problem solver with a passion for business, technology, and law. I bring a thorough understanding of the intersection of the law and business needs to any endeavor, having founded multiple startups myself with successful exits. I provide professional business and legal consulting. Throughout my career I've represented a number large corporations (including some of the top Fortune 500 companies) but the vast majority of my clients these days are startups and small businesses. Having represented hundreds of successful crowdfunded startups, I'm one of the most well known attorneys for startups seeking CF funds. My engagements often include legal consultation & advisory roles, drafting of NDAs, TOS & Privacy Policies, contracts and corporate law, business strategy advice & consulting, in-house counsel, Founder & entrepreneur guidance and other roles as needed by my clients. I hold a Juris Doctor degree with a focus on Business/Corporate Law, a Master of Business Administration degree in Entrepreneurship, A Master of Education degree and dual Bachelor of Science degrees. I look forward to working with any parties that have a need for my skill sets.