An associate of mine called last week and told me his Internet had gone down. He went through the usual steps of rebooting his modem and router, restarting the computer, and checking on his phone and tablet, all to no avail. He turned off the Wi-Fi on his phone and tried to load a website using his phone's 4G Internet; that worked, so sure enough, his ISP was down. The same thing happened again today.
A temporary loss of Internet service at home is a nuisance for most people. You can't check Facebook or send a tweet. You can't find that Pinterest recipe you wanted to try for dinner. You can't get to IMDB to figure out what else that familiar-looking actor was in. It's annoying, but it's usually not really a big deal.
It can be much more than a nuisance when a business loses Internet; in fact, it can be a killer. Internet downtime can damage your business's reputation, cause you to lose customers, cost you sales and kill productivity. One estimate shows that, across multiple industries, IT downtime can cost businesses an average of more than $5,000 per minute.
The majority of people, but also some businesses (especially those based in home offices), have “best effort” Internet provided by companies such as AT&T, Charter and Time Warner Cable. If you read the fine print in the service agreements you'll find that this kind of service generally doesn't include uptime guarantees and often goes so far as to warn their customers not to rely on the service for anything “mission critical.”
Best-effort Internet services, because they are used for mass personal consumption, also share bandwidth. This means that if your neighbor is downloading a PC game while streaming Netflix and playing Call of Duty online while Facetiming a buddy and listening to Spotify, you're probably not going to get the advertised Internet speed you're paying for.
The alternative to best-effort Internet service is dedicated Internet access, or DIA. DIA is Internet specifically for you. The most well-known type of DIA connection is probably a T1 line (slow but stable). DIA services are usually not advertised to be as fast as best-effort Internet, but the strength lies in the D: It's dedicated. This means that you and only you have access to this Internet connection, so all the bandwidth goes to your enterprise.
What does this have to do with making sure your Internet services doesn't go down? DIAs come with service-level agreements. To wit, if a DIA Internet service goes down, the ISP is losing money and they are typically not in the business of sending checks. Downtime on a DIA network can get very expensive, very quickly for service providers, so they are extremely motivated to make sure there is no downtime for these customers. If there is, they'll be on top of fixing it quicker than you can say “NOW.”
Most of the major ISPs offer DIA, but our focus at CloudWyze is on providing better access at a better cost. We offer the same speeds as the big dogs, usually for half the price or less. If that's not enough, we also offer something other providers don't: redundancy. We use multiple providers, so if one goes down we can immediately switch to another to make sure you don't experience any downtime. When that downtime can cost more than $5,000 a minute, every second counts.
We also provide better access, as we employ fiber and fixed wireless for businesses to make sure all of our customers enjoy the same level of service whether they're in town or just outside of it. That's something the other ISPs can't boast.
If your company is at all dependent on Internet access, and that includes just about every business nowadays, it only makes sense to have DIA Internet service. If you're doing that, you might as well get it from a provider that is local, costs less and ensures the best access.
Shaun Olsen is the CEO and president of CloudWyze. CloudWyze was created to help businesses focus and perform at their optimal level by crafting and executing custom technology plans for businesses of every type and size. To learn more about CloudWyze, visit www.CloudWyze.com. Shaun can be reached at [email protected] or (910) 795-1000.
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