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I telecommute from my home to my employer in California.

Internet outages are rare, but 2-3 times a year I need to eat vacation time because of an outage. I don't terribly mind missing work here and there, but I like my time off to be planned so I can maximize my goofing off.

I think what I want is an SLA. I do NOT need five-nines or anything. I just need to be connected from 8-6 Monday through Friday. Is an SLA the right thing to ask for?

Business class services in my area don't offer an SLA, just some perks like a static IP and no usage caps. Residential services really only vary on maximum speed. Services that do offer an SLA are aimed at more hardcore operations, like fiber into a datacenter.

If an SLA is the right solution, where can I view a sample SLA for such a service?

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closed as off topic by slhck, DragonLord, Dennis, Daniel Beck, ChrisF Feb 1 '12 at 21:27

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If i was in a situation such as yours I think if my internet went down I would take a laptop to a location that has internet, like a cafe or something so I could still work rather than burning vacation time. As far as getting an SLA from an ISP, I do not know of any that would do that offhand, it's not really POSSIBLE for them to promise uptimes. outages aren't planned occurances USUALLY, the only thing they would be able to do is promise not to do any maintenance in your area during your times the SLA covers. There would still be something in there that says if someone hits a pole youre SOL. –  Paperlantern Feb 1 '12 at 20:28
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Questions asking for product (or in this case, service provider) recommendations are off topic on this site. –  Daniel Beck Feb 1 '12 at 20:43
    
@DanielBeck - Thanks for the reminder. I have edited my post. –  Freiheit Feb 1 '12 at 21:23
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I still don't see how this relates to actual computer software or hardware. This is – when it comes down to the facts – pure business stuff. I don't think the question's on topic here. If you want you can post a reopen request on Meta Super User though. –  slhck Feb 1 '12 at 21:55
    

2 Answers 2

An SLA isn't really a guarantee of uptime. Such a thing would not be possible. It's a promise of an attempt at uptime, coupled with proscribed consequences for when (not if) the attempt fails.

I doubt your ISP really plans on those 2-3 outages per year during the working hours, and doubtless in every case businesses that have SLA's with the ISP and use the same upstream connection were impacted as well. The difference is that those businesses were the first to hear from the ISP about what happened, and may have also received compensation (even if in the form of credit towards their bill) as a result. The businesses pay extra for that consideration... usually much more than anything they receive in compensation for outages.

The point, then, of an SLA is not that the service is never down, but that as a subscriber you can be sure that your provider has the right incentives to keep it up.

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Most ISP's do not offer services, at least to that level, to work-at-home customers. I as well, work from home, as a Tech Support Engineer and Software Designer. When we have outages in our area, on the residential plan, it can take days for them to respond; but on the Business plan, I am guaranteed a response within 24 hours. That is about as much SLA as I can expect as a person who works from home.

As you said, unless you pay for the high end, dedicated lines, it is HIGHLY unlikely that Time Warner, Comcast, Quest, AT&T, SBC Global, anyone really, would offer an SLA in that manner.

The best bet is just to go with the business class; while the two nodes are not separate, meaning if the residential nodes go down, chances are, you'll be without service; but if that happens, because you are business class, you are guaranteed a response/result within 24 hours of the outage. That's how both Comcast & Time Warner do it (have had same agreement with both for years).

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