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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 a well-written SLA is important:

  1. Establishes measurable, straightforward, and easy-to-understand expectations and terms for your customers
  2. Offers peace-of-mind for all parties involved in the transaction for services and typically makes it easier to close deals
  3. 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.

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Key Terms In An Internet SLA

There are several critical terms in an internet SLA that you should understand. The specific terms and definitions used in an SLA will vary, but there are certain things that are important to understand for any SLA. 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

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

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

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.


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MTTR

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.

Remedies

For companies that do not meet the contractual promises they made in their SLAs, service credits can be provided as a common 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 possible remedies include refunds or other forms of compensation.

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. Because there is variation between internet SLAs, it’s important to consult a lawyer to ensure that your SLA meets the needs for your business and complies with applicable laws and regulations.

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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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