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Network outages can be avoided!

Network connection failure business concept as a burning air balloon burning up in a group of connected air balloons breaking the link in a communication structure as a 3D illustration.

 

Why do the larger telcos often seem to cut corners?  There have been, over the last six months, a spate of major outages from what would be deemed ‘big’ telcos.  When you read the reasons for outages, it’s often a single piece of hardware that causes multiple issues.  How does that happen?  Why do they not have full resilience?

Ensuring sufficient redundancy is not hard, unless corners are being cut to maximise investor return or to pay large sales man commissions. They don’t seem to care that the customer is being let down. Customers will rarely go elsewhere – it’s often too hard to move.

I suspect that the savvy tech directors of the modern corporate world would think differently. With apps in the cloud making communications more easily accessible, this lackadaisical attitude will ultimately mean less business for the large telcos in years to come.  Smaller network operators are beginning to find a niche for high-speed broadband services in the UK, despite big companies like BT and Virgin Media gaining large scale adoption with their market-dominating services. However, there is still plenty of opportunity for the smaller network providers to pick up the pieces.

In February this year, BT customers were hit by one of the country’s worst ever broadband collapses. A detector website that monitors service failures reported more than 18,000 outages in just 24 hours. Despite this failure, BT reported its best revenue growth for more than seven years: up 3% to £4.5 billion (year end 2015).

Telstra also apologised to customers affected by an internet outage last month, the fourth service failure from the telco in recent months. Irate customers voiced their frustrations on social media. “Another outage. Telstra, you are an absolute joke. I don’t want free data, I want my money back,” said one on Facebook user. *

It is the responsibility of telco providers to own responsibility for ensuring network integrity – that is, reliability, survivability and security – in an environment that presents significant system complexity.  The negative impact of the loss of critical telecommunications services on an organisation is potentially damaging, regardless of the cause of the disruption. It is therefore critical for businesses to take appropriate measures to make sure that their telecommunications systems are robust enough to continue to provide seamless services in the face of any disruption.

With internet connectivity down, many industries including banking and financial services, payment systems, public transport and health services, can be crippled. According to a recent report by Veeam, organisations encounter unplanned downtime, on average, 13 times per year, with the average cost of one hour of downtime for a mission-critical applications equal to $82,864.

Some simple risk analysis to think about when examining your business’ telecoms needs and resiliency include:

  • Telco / service provider redundancy does not always include a guaranteed delivery of services. Businesses who buy services from multiple telcos / service providers often do so without knowing they are ultimately securing services resold from the same provider. As a result, many back-up systems are provided over the same networks.
  • You need to invest in your network infrastructure to lower the probability of a network outage and reduce the damage caused by a potential outage. The underlying issue is that, left to their own devices, network operators often do not invest enough in sufficient resilience.  The failure of one operator’s network affects not just its own customers, but also those of other networks, and overall resilience depends on the efforts of all network operators.
  • Even large ISPs haven’t necessarily taken the time to build redundancy into every aspect of their system.  An unexpected fibre cut in the wrong spot can affect even the biggest network providers.

Today’s customers expect visibility, control and exceptional service from their Managed Service Provider. Securus has five core data centres in the United Kingdom, with a presence in London, the West Midlands and Northamptonshire. They represent the heart of the network which also aggregates the majority of the UK’s top Tier One ISPs, as well as most countries worldwide. This gives Securus the enviable position of producing solutions tailored to your specific requirements and not to a generic footprint, as well as being able to offer all the latest technologies such as EFM, FTTC and FTTP.

For most organisations, the right MSP maintains its own network and offers an extensive array of managed services. You can choose if you want fully managed network access, voice or security services, or a combination of individual services that match your business needs and internal network management resources.

Securus’ managed network services reduce the cost and complexity of securely connecting remote sites and users to your network, while providing highly resilient network access and a single point of contact for network operations and management.

If you have become disillusioned with the ‘big wig’ telcos, and are looking for reliability, resilience and a truly customised service, call Securus for more information and guaranteed peace of mind.

* May 20th 2016 (The Guardian)