Internet outages: the ultimate guide for protecting your business

Internet outages can occur for a number of reasons. And more often than not, your telecommunications service provider has nothing to do with it! Several factors beyond their control can lead to your network going down, such as a power outage. An optical fibre breakage as a result of an accident, vandalism, extreme weather conditions, or forest fire, for example, can also have serious repercussions on individuals’ and business customers’ ability to access different networks.

On the flip side, sometimes it’s a business’s local network that’s the issue, and not that of the telecommunications provider. Employees can be dealing with a defective or overheated modem. Even the additional network access points can sometimes get finicky and have interference issues. One thing is certain, it’s often during an outage that we realize the importance of a service that is taken for granted!

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Internet outages: 3 consequences for SMEs

Businesses of all sizes can suffer the consequences of an Internet outage. With more limited resources, SMEs are sometimes more vulnerable to these. An Internet outage can have an exorbitant cost. According to Forbes, businesses would lose an average of $100,000 for every hour of outage in 2017. Here are some of the consequences an Internet outage can have on organizations.

1) Temporary drop in profitability

Transactions by credit or debit card may be interrupted by a network outage. After all, payment terminals are connected devices that read bank cards and smart phones. A customer who cannot use their card to pay in-store when they are there is not likely to wait around until the issue is resolved. They will look for a plan B.

The store ends up with a shortfall, making them fall behind their sales objectives for that period. When a store’s connection is lost, there’s a risk of losing customers and there may be lower profitability for the period in question.

2) Significant drop in productivity

When an employee is unable to access the different systems needed to perform their duties, their productivity is inevitably affected. If an entire team is paralyzed as a result of an Internet outage, the business ends up with a significant drop in productivity. And as long as the problem remains unresolved, the teams are left at a standstill.

3) Limited ability to deliver the promised experience

Hotels and restaurants are deploying more and more technologies in their establishments. For instance, they use advancements in dynamic advertising to improve the customer experience, transform the menu, and optimize their sale initiatives.

A network outage can unfortunately temporarily diminish the benefits of this digital transformation. Unless they have a backup technology on hand, the restaurant’s staff will have to trade their iPads for a pen and notepad to take orders. And customers will have to settle their bill with cash… or by washing the dishes!

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Diagnostic: 7 steps for remedying an Internet outage

In the event of an Internet outage, your trusted telecommunications service provider will be happy to help you resolve the issue. In fact, according to a study by Leger Marketing conducted in 2023, Videotron is the no. 1 telecommunications service provider for businesses, with a 96% satisfaction rate.

There’s an outage? The first thing to do is check your Internet provider’s website. Start by checking the service status. A detailed FAQ will help you start the process off right. Usually, there’s also a procedure to help with the first steps of the diagnostic.

  1. Check that the cables connected to the modem and router are properly plugged in.
  2. Consult the different websites from more than one browser or different applications to make sure the issue is not connected to a single service in particular.
  3. Likewise, check all the connected devices to determine whether they are affected by the issue, or maybe to discover that only one device is affected.
  4. If just one device is concerned, make sure the Wi-Fi is activated and that the device stays connected to your Wi-Fi network.
  5. The next step is to restart each device. Ask all users to restart their computers, touch tablets, and smart phones.
  6. Restart the modem and router.
  7. If the problem remains, you will have eliminated the most likely causes. Contact the Business Technical Support and follow the steps provided by the Technical Customer Service advisor.
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Preventing Internet outages: 3 solutions at your fingertips

The aftermath of Internet outages are multiple and far more expensive than anticipating the issues beforehand would be. What would be the real consequences of an extended outage for your organization? Our first tip: create a list of potential financial and operational impacts an outage would have on your activities right away.

It’s a lot, right? You will soon realize that prevention is the best strategy for countering the potential negative impacts of an Internet outage. Several solutions can be implemented to help see beyond a network disruption and focus on the essential: reaching your business objectives.

1) Develop or revise your business continuity plan

Big or small, all businesses need to have an action plan in place to continue their activities when the inevitable happens. Follow these four steps to devise your business continuity plan. The goal remains to identify preventive measures to take to improve your response to adversity.

This type of action plan should clearly be disseminated beforehand. Employees should be made aware of the steps to take in the event of a network outage. What tasks can they still carry out without a connection? Can they work from home until further notice? To facilitate coordination of your work teams, designating a leader is key. This person should have the wherewithal to communicate with transparency and support management during the crisis.

2) Choose an Internet solution that includes a backup

Imagine your programmer’s face if the Internet connection dropped every five minutes when trying to do an urgent update of your e-shop. Or the disappointment of the dozen customers patiently waiting to pay by credit card at your new store-front shop when the network suddenly starts acting up…

And yet, when a wired Internet connection goes down, the mobile network can take over to ensure service continuity. Thanks to the Guaranteed Internet access offered by Videotron Business, your Internet connection is constantly monitored to ensure incidents are detected as they occur. Your Hybrid Fibre Internet access automatically switches to the wireless LTE network as needed.

Do not underestimate the importance of a backup when choosing your plan: It’s a simple solution to always ensure connectivity and limit the negative impacts of an Internet outage on your operations.

3) Opt for a more robust Wi-Fi solution

Certain business tools can also make your life easier. For example, Videotron Business customers with Wi-Fi Pro (in french) can monitor their Internet connection status and local network condition in real time. With access to a powerful dashboard, they also get information on traffic, number of visitors, and average visit duration and frequency of visitors to their establishment in real time. A robust Wi-Fi solution to help you make better business decisions? Yes, please!

Telecommunications: spring cleaning

So, what measures does your current telecommunications provider propose to limit the dramatic impacts of an Internet outage on your organization? As you now know, telecommunications companies no longer sell just cable!

Do your needs need to be assessed again? Whether you want to simplify the management of your different technological projects or prevent and resolve more effectively the problems that sometimes arise, there are several reasons to group your business telecommunication services under one roof. Yes, it is possible to have a connection that always works: one call and it’s done!

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