What’s the business impact of an internet connectivity outage?

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Internet downtime cripples business, but what can you do to safeguard your precious connection? Nick Dutfield of Fusion explains an alternative which will save you from sending the workforce home.

Last month, Fusion suffered an outage on one of the major London carrier’s network which affected a number of our customers.  The internet outage occurred at lunchtime and while some customers were able to use mobile connections or move to a different location, others didn’t have these options. In the most severe case, one customer had to send its employees home for the afternoon, at great cost. In other words, no internet equals no business.

Research from OnePoll says that internet downtime costs UK businesses £11 billion every year. This number will increase every day as our reliance on business internet grows. Unfortunately, the compensation for internet downtime is woefully inadequate. At best, the providers will credit for time the service wasn’t available. For most businesses paying at most a few hundred pounds each month for connectivity, this doesn’t make any dent in the lost productivity or trading time.

Research from OnePoll says that internet downtime costs UK businesses £11 billion every year.

There is also no foolproof way to guarantee fibre availability. The problem is that businesses rely on one connection from one provider. This means that if the provider has a network-wide problem, your internet goes down. If there’s a problem with the fibre, inside or outside the building, your internet goes down. 

The alternative is therefore simple: you need a second connection.

The traditional way to create backup internet connectivity is to get a second fibre line installed. This sounds simple but isn’t. Installing a new fibre is a time-consuming process which involves  wayleave agreements and physically installing a new line. Even in simple cases, the process takes a minimum of two months. In extreme cases, it can take up to a year.  Then you have to budget for the cost of two fibre lines, one of which will be predominately for backup.

If you want two fibre connections in the building, we can absolutely do it and we will always offer cost-effective ways of doing so. However there is an alternative which is far more attractive and arguably more resilient.

Our network in the sky
Internet connectivity delivered wirelessly using microwave technology is great alternative. Using dishes installed on roof tops, wireless internet uses line-of-site to one of our base stations. Our “network in the sky” has several advantages. Firstly, you only need landlord permission to install the dish on the roof, rather than gain a wayleave legal agreement. This means installation is much quicker than fibre lines.  Secondly, it doesn’t rely on the physical fibre running into the building which is vulnerable to street works.

The positives don’t stop there. Wireless internet is less expensive than fibre - you can get a 50mg connection for around £150 which would be more than sufficient for most businesses as a backup line  And finally, the service is reliable. In fact, in our experience, wireless internet is often more reliable than fibre.

We’ve added hundreds of customers in central London over the past few years, some of whom are using wireless internet as their primary connection, while others are using it as a backup providing a 100% SLA. With the extra capacity, it’s possible to split the bandwidth, perhaps using the wireless as a guest or staff network, or to run certain applications, which means there’s less strain on the core network. And if the fibre network fails, you immediately switch to a reliable, fast wireless network allowing you to continue working.

As a backup internet option, wireless is perfect. Not only does it solve the problem of internet downtime, it offers more flexibility and bandwidth. Connectivity is a mission-critical service for most businesses, wireless is the ideal solution. 

Interested in wireless internet for your business? We’ve installed hundreds of sites in central London so speak to us to get the right advice.