Fiber Cut Tests the Disaster Preparedness of Local Businesses
How many times have we seen or heard the plights of disaster victims in the national media? Why doesn’t this give us pause to plot our disaster recovery plan rather than convincing ourselves it couldn’t happen to us? Well, this week the residents of Northeast Ohio had to look no further than our own backyard to see the effects of a telecommunications disaster (see the map of affected areas highlighted in yellow).
On Monday afternoon, business and residential customers of Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable began reporting outages as a result of a fiber cut by “third party construction”. Although neither Cox nor Time Warner were willing or able to say how many of their customers lost service, a tweet from Cox Communications stated it was a “widespread outage”. On Monday night Fox news described the effect by saying, “Businesses that rely on internet and phone service to operate struggled to cope with the outages.” What’s more troubling is the public safety concern as this outage left many users without the ability to reach emergency services by dialing 9-1-1. However, the true scope will be measured when businesses begin assessing their disaster recovery efforts along with lost data & revenue.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor 40% of small businesses never reopen following a disaster and an additional 25% close within the next two years.
How much longer can we persuade ourselves that our businesses are less susceptible to disaster when our neighbors are being affected? Sure, we might have dodged the proverbial bullet this time around but shouldn’t we start our disaster recovery plan before a disaster is knocking on our door? The truth is, no one expects disaster to strike until it does. Additionally, when people think of disasters they generally think of massive natural disasters instead of considering other external risks (e.g. a computer virus attack, a water spill in the server room, or network outages). We believe every business should have multiple disaster recovery plans for differing levels of severity.
The computer-telecommunications division of a company is traditionally the hardest hit in the event of a disaster.
At N2Net, we’ll take the time to listen to the disaster recovery needs of your business. As an internet service provider, we can provide you with remote access to your internal network so you can work from home until the recovery efforts are complete at the office. As your phone service provider, we can reroute your incoming calls to a voicemail that takes a message and forwards you the call information. We can also forward your calls to a cell phone number so you’ll never miss a call, even when operations aren’t up and running.