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Talking Weather: the NWS wants to throttle bandwidth

Want to talk about the weather? 

The National Weather service has been plagued by failures in distributing their information, with some instances of its websites going down during severe weather events.  Other systems, including the ones that deliver weather modeling data to broadcast meteorologists and commercial users, have also suffered outages.  

The agency says that it has an Internet bandwidth problem and is looking to throttle back the amount of data its most demanding users can access.     This was outlined in memo dated November 18.

Critics say they NWS has not invested in their infrastructure correctly, particularly with content delivery networks and cloud infrastructure options.  

A detailed examination is in the Washington Post, with link in the show notes.

Why do we care?

This is not a government bashing session – I’m sure I could find a private company that made a lot of the same mistakes, so don’t dwell there on that red herring.      Quoting the ranking Democrat on the Senate Commerce Committee “A request to upgrade servers at the National Weather Service would find support on both sides of the aisle in Congress.“

The takeaway here is the value of forward planning and investment.   If you don’t ask for the capacity, you won’t get it.     Particularly in the SMB, there is a reluctance to ask for what is needed, exacerbated in a security problem.  

My advice – dive into this article not with an eye to cricitize, but a way to use this as a series of lessons about forward planning and delivering to customers.  The Weather Service DOES compete in its space against competitors in Europe and elsewhere.. and this exposes how they might fall behind.

Learn from them.

Source: The Washington Post