How to Minimize the Risk of Internet Outage


1 / 24 / 2020


We’ve all been there, unfortunately.

Like a ripple effect, there are groans.

Ughhh, really?

Then there are chairs being pushed away from desks and an inevitable loss of focus mixed with frustration. Let’s be honest, time on Instagram likely skyrockets.

We all know what a loss of internet connectivity looks like, sounds like and feels like. But how much does it cost monetarily? With every second of downtime, how much money does your company actually stand to lose? It’s not something any business owner wants to think about, but the reality cannot be avoided. Like any risk, internet downtime cannot be deterred by ignoring it.

In this article, we will look at how much companies stand to lose when their internet goes out and how you can minimize the risk of it happening.

How much does an Internet Outage Cost a Company?

Think of a day in the life of your business. How much of that day’s productivity hinges on being connected to the internet?

Even the least tech-reliant companies will use email as a means of communication internally and to other businesses. If that line of communication is cut off, what will be during an outage? If it’s only a minute, probably not much. But if internet downtime persists for an hour, half the day, etc. risk significantly increases. There may be a client that needs urgent attention or a mandatory presentation edit that is sadly delayed and the excuse of “our internet was down” will get about as much sympathy as “the dog ate my homework.”

But chances are your business relies on internet connectivity for much more than just email. Perhaps your business is an interconnected document- and file-sharing network like Google Docs or Google Drive that needs the internet to function. The company may use an internal messaging platform like Slack that would grind to a halt during an outage. And finally, WiFi calling/video chat systems like Skype and Zoom are becoming more and more prevalent, adding to the need for resilient internet connection.

Office computers are increasingly reliant on resilient connectivity

With all these interconnected systems working together to optimize efficiency of the modern workplace, it’s easy to see why a loss of internet would result in the entire operation collapsing.

But can we put an actual amount to the cost of this happening? According to a report from Information Technology Information Consulting Corporation, hourly downtime costs are on the rise. Think of one hour of downtime. Of 1,000 worldwide businesses surveyed by ITIC, 98% of respondents said that hour of downtime would cost their company at least $100,000. Furthermore, 86% said that amount increases to $300,000 per hour of outage (this percentage is up. And worst yet, about one-in-three companies, 34%, said a single hour of downtime can cost $1-5 million.

While it’s understandable that larger firms may bear the bigger brunt of a connectivity loss, the best practices to ensure reliability are scalable no matter business size.

How To Minimize Risk of Internet Outage

The path to reliable internet should start before a lease even begins. The onus is on both tenants and landlords to ensure the proper systems are in place to prepare for an internet outage.

While the word redundant may evoke negative connotations in everyday life, it is actually a positive in the telecommunications world. Redundancy is created by taking additional measures to decrease the risk of internet outages. True redundancy requires both diverse points of entry (POEs) and diverse risers.

A POE is where internet service providers’ cabling comes into the building from the street. Having at least two POEs, ideally on separate sides of the building, helps ensure that if one POE encounters a problem the other will be unaffected.

The only way redundancy can be achieved without diverse POEs and risers is when a fixed wireless provider, that can provide a high-speed internet connection that is not dependant on wireline infrastructure entering the building from the street, is added alongside a tenant’s existing fiber optic internet connection.

Similarly, having two or more riser locations in separate rooms improves building redundancy. A riser generally describes any cabling pathway that runs vertically from the bottom of a building to the top. Buildings with at least two risers enable tenants to set up redundant connections over physically diverse pathways, mitigating the likelihood of an outage in the event that cabling is damaged along a single pathway.

It’s a tenant or their broker’s duty to ask how my POEs and risers are in a building, and a landlord’s responsibility to have multiple of each.

In conclusion, like so many of life’s pitfalls both in and out of the office, we can never completely prevent internet downtime. However, with the right preparation and collaboration between tenants, property owners and a trusted guide like WiredScore, the cost of downtime can be greatly minimized.

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