What happens when your Internet connection fails?

In recent years, and especially in highly connected countries like the UK, you’d be forgiven for becoming complacent about your Internet connection. We’ve become so used to high speed, always-on, connections that even a temporary disconnection or drop in speed can cause serious disruption. With 4G on your smartphone and fibre optic connections in the office, dependable Internet feels like the norm.

This, coupled with a boom in affordable Cloud services (like Office 365), has meant that many businesses now rely on solid data connections for the smooth operation of their business. Lose a connection for whatever reason and suddenly you have lost email, your collaboration tools, VOIP lines and much more.

A connected world

The world is connected by a series of around 200 undersea cables which have on numerous occasions been damaged by earthquakes, cyclones, fishing trawlers and abandoned anchors. These ‘submarine’ cables are often surprisingly vulnerable to damage and when cut can cause outages to whole regions.

And it’s not just the web of intercontinental cables that can be damaged. Back in 2011, a 75-year-old Georgian woman who was scavenging for copper accidentally cut off web access to the whole of neighbouring Armenia for five hours. An entire working day without Internet connectivity would certainly have had an enormous short term impact on the country’s economy.

If you think that kind of thing wouldn’t happen in Britain you’d be mistaken. The city of Portsmouth was thrown back to the 1980s for two days in June 2013 after roadworks severed Internet cables, while much of Chelmsford was without connection as recently as December 2015 after roadworks damaged broadband supply there.

Internet connections can be damaged for a whole range of reasons from the accidental to the malicious to the downright bizarre:

  • Roadworks, vehicle collisions with over ground pylons, tractors cutting through cables and other industrial mistakes
  • Vandalism – either by mischief makers intent on causing damage or people who mistakenly believe they can sell the components of stolen cables
  • Natural disasters such as floods can cause erosion and landslides, exposing hidden cables to damage
  • Squirrels and other animals have been known to chew through cables, especially in places where cables are carried over ground

What protections do you have in place?

Given the range of potential causes of an Internet outage, having a backup plan in place is vital. Most companies we speak to have some sort of backup in place, sometimes facilitated by their provider, other times a separate second connection that sits idle until it is needed. However, what they usually don’t realise is that this failover will not give them immediate access to the Internet if something goes wrong, and entirely separate connections will need to be configured and connected – not the easiest of tasks when the boss is asking when exactly he can get on with his very important transatlantic VOIP call.

The net result of no Internet connection is: a loss of productivity and serious downtime.

What would a day without Internet mean for your business?

Without a contingency plan in place, you take on a significant risk of downtime disruption. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture just how bad this would be for your business:

  • The bottom line

Simply, every hour your colleagues are twiddling their thumbs, not calling customers, not sending emails, not sourcing information from the Internet, not able to connect to your cloud storage environment, represents potentially thousands of pounds of lost income.

  • Missed productivity

Projects, day to day tasks, processes and one-off activities so often depend on an Internet connection these days. Without one, your productivity will almost certainly collapse.

  • Disappointed customers

Depending on the severity of the downtime, you may be unable to provide for your customers when they need it most. At best this will lead to frustration and disappointment, at worst customers might turn to your competitors if they can’t afford to wait.

Maybe it might happen to me…

So, what can you do to protect your connection?  You could get the IT team to pull out the spare connection, roll it out across the office, configure the various bits of kit that need to be configured. But this takes time, and if your network is locked to certain IP addresses might not even solve the problem.

At Gradwell, we recognise that a more dependable, resilient and modern solution is essential. When you opt for one of our Fibreline with failover connectivity packages, you get instant failover guaranteed.

How does this work?

Fibreline with failover offers such powerful resilience to disruption because it automatically switches you over to an alternative connection if your primary fibre line is ever damaged. If, for instance, roadworks on your street sever the principle connection serving your building, our service is able to almost instantaneously recognise this and reroute your connection automatically. No need for you or your IT team to do anything. The best bit? You’ll never actually notice the switchover. Indeed, you can be on a VOIP call, or sharing your screen with a colleague online, and your connection will persist. The first you’ll know of any issues is when one of our award-winning support team calls to let you know we’ve spotted a fault on your circuit and that we’ll call you back as soon as the issues have been fixed.

Likely your company depends on the Internet for many of its most important tools, so it’s worth considering just how much of an impact downtime might have on your productivity, bottom line and customer satisfaction. Consider Fibreline with failover the fool-proof option.

Contact us today and find out how you can guarantee secure, resilient and dependable Internet connection with Fibreline. 


About the Author:

Olivia Lindsey, Marketing & Event Executive

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