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Big 4 Firms Making Necessary March Madness Preparations as Usual

It's that time of year again! No, not busy season, but time for the pre-March Madness reminder from TPTB that company bandwidth should be saved for client service and only client service.

EY appears to be first out of the gate with this email that allegedly got sent around this week:

As a follow up to the Network and internet access update message sent last week, we are making progress on a number of actions to improve the performance of key applications critical to serving our clients. We are in the midst of our busiest time of year, with several peak audit filing and tax processing periods ahead. During these peak periods, our business tools (including GAMx) require a significant amount of network bandwidth. Uninterrupted performance of our business tools is essential for all of our teams to deliver exceptional client service – this is our top priority.

To be certain we have the best network performance possible to conduct firm business, we have decided to take some additional steps. To avoid the risk of overloading our network, we will disable those video and audio streaming sites that, on average, consume the largest amounts of bandwidth.

Additionally, we need to extend the block on sports sites because many of these sites allow individuals to stream audio and video content. Bandwidth consumption is particularly high during popular sporting events, such as the upcoming US college basketball divisional and NCAA championships. Extending the block will allow us to avoid any potential issues that may be caused by shutting down and reinstating these websites multiple times. If you require access to these sites while in an EY office, you will need to use your cell phone or other mobile device not connected to the EY corporate network or EY wifi.

We will continue to monitor network performance throughout these peak periods, and will revisit the effect personal video and audio streaming has on our network capacity during working hours in the future.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work together to provide all of you seamless access to the tools you need to serve our clients and conduct firm business.

No mention of sucking up the client's bandwidth so have at it, kids.

Let's hope Going Concern doesn't "accidentally" get caught up in any aggressive IT action this time.

Now, we would never recommend breaking the rules but if we did, we would suggest you figure out a way around things should you absolutely need your hoops fix during peak client service hours. Gee, how would one go about getting around the block?

Oh, and while you're figuring out how you're going to get your fix despite your firm's total lack of trust in your ability to multitask, check out this article on the March Madness fallacy and why blocking access isn't the solution to the non-problem of employees watching games at work.