Business Leader Magazine recently interviewed Nolan Braterman of communications provider, Frontier Voice and Data about why every business should have two internet connections – or risk losing money.
Overview of Frontier Voice and Data and your role?
People buy from people. You want people to communicate with you and you want to communicate with others.
At Frontier Voice and Data, our full range of communication solutions enables that person-to-person communication in whatever form you want it to happen.
Frontier Voice and Data has been supporting businesses across the country for over 30 years and we continue to grow our customer base by providing the right solutions, the right support and great value.
We work in partnership with world-leading suppliers to deliver and support cost-effective solutions that fit in with our customers business needs.
As Business Development Director I am responsible for the growth of the business. Leading the Sales and Marketing teams, I develop and implement the Company marketing strategy and train and guide the Sales team to attract new customers and then retain our current ones.
I work closely with all our suppliers to ensure we have the best products on offer at highly competitive prices.
Why does every business need two internet connections?
To put things into perspective, in 2016 the cost of an outage to a business was on average around £1,300. The general starting price for a second broadband connection is £12.95 per month.
Weighing up the odds of an outage occurring (an average of four outages per organisation per year) and the amount you’d lose each time, it’s evident how invaluable a secondary internet connection is, and very easy to justify the small cost involved.
Of course, there are various ways to get by when the internet fails. There’s the Starbucks down the road (other coffee shops are available) or tethering off your mobile data should you have unlimited 4G, but these are short-term solutions that just won’t cut the mustard during major outages, and certainly would not be suitable for busy organisations.
This is where a second internet connection comes in, with the security that if your main broadband circuit suddenly ceases to work for whatever reason, your secondary connection is ready and waiting to take over immediately and seamlessly.
Internet access was branded a basic human right last year, although with the UK’s broadband speeds and infrastructure coming in very low on the global scale of things, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
What are the risks in not doing this?
Should your primary broadband service become disrupted, the cost to your business can be considerable. Experience shows that everyday operations will come to a halt at 38% of businesses, 13% immediately start losing money following an outage and 46% will suffer a financial hit after four hours.
Considering that the average waiting time for service to resume is six hours, it’s surprising and worrying that only 13% of businesses switch to a backup solution.
Whilst larger companies statistically lose the most money and productive hours, the effects of connectivity failure apply to all businesses, regardless of size.
As a general rule of thumb, the average downtime hours per business multiplied by the cost per productive hour lost will give you the estimated loss to your business.
What options are there in regard to a second internet connection?
Depending on the size of your business, there are a handful of solutions available to help your business battle a broken broadband connection.
A step up from using your mobile phone data is a 4G router or MiFi device; these will connect to the 4G network in the event of an internet outage, meaning you can continue carrying out small tasks that require internet connection such as taking card payments.
For most businesses, where a large chunk of the workload is carried out using internet connection, a second ADSL line would be a more reliable, suitable and recommended option.
The dos and don’ts of second connection?
Before installing an ADSL line it’s important to choose a different supplier to the one you currently receive your main broadband connection from. A second line should bring in the broadband connection from a different source, therefore if your main service provider encounters a major issue, your secondary connection will kick in.
It is very rare that two different suppliers would suffer an outage at the same time. It is also worth installing the broadband on a new, ‘clean’ analogue line.
As for don’ts it’s simple: don’t leave it to chance. The benefits of a small annual premium far outweigh the loss of revenue and business reputation that an outage or outages could bring. Unfortunately, despite your (and your provider’s) best efforts, sometimes a connectivity issue will arise.
This is where the backup connection comes into its own. Rather than wasting time moving to a temporary office space or rinsing your mobile data dry, a better option would be to implement a backup internet connection. What may seem like another unnecessary, although small expense can save you a lot of unnecessary stress and money in the long run.
How do you see the future of the internet connection market for business evolving over the next few years?
Internet connectivity will continue to become faster, more reliable and ultimately deliverable direct to your office or home.
Businesses and employees are already becoming more mobile, with this trend forecast to accelerate quickly in the next few years. The need and demand for faster and more reliable connectivity will increase as a consequence of this trend.
There is one indisputable fact, we cannot function without the internet so the more reliable and faster it becomes, the better for us all. We already know that for any sized business, having no internet is like having your right arm cut off!