Recent Verizon Data Outage Shows Importance of Reliable Internet Connectivity for Business Users

Business users who make use of PC remote access and remote administration tools often rely on wireless data services to access remote systems. However, according to a recent report published by ZDNet, the Verizon LTE data network has suffered a nationwide failure of its services on December 21st 2011. Even though Verizon has built a reputation as being the provider with the biggest LTE coverage in the United States and the most reliable wireless service, this is the second time the company has seen such a failure in the past couple of weeks.

Now many business users are asking themselves the question: what should they do to ensure better reliability of their operations? Tools such as Remote Control Software require a reliable data connection to work properly. One thing that won’t solve the problem would be looking at other service providers. Every company that provides wireless service has suffered this kind of problem at some time in their history. In general, wireless data is very reliable, assuming you’re not on the fringe of the coverage area.

Having a good backup communications strategy would be far better. The good news is that in major cities, finding a Wi-Fi hotspot, either free or paid, is not difficult. Coffee shops, hotels, business centers, shopping centers, etc. all provide Wi-Fi coverage which isn’t dependent on the cellular data network.

While using remote access software is good, it is not a replacement for good human to human communications in a business environment. A company should have a procedure in place when some part of the communications services they are using become temporarily unavailable. Instead of sending some data through the internet, users could, for example, call someone in the office and give them the details. Though this may not be too convenient, it is still a good thing to do if you are unable to send a status report or other simple document.

There are some options if having data on the road is critical to your company’s mission and you couldn’t tolerate more than a few hours of down time, such as having a portable satellite modem that uses satellite internet rather than the terrestrial wireless network. Be aware, however, that mobile satellite internet, although quite reliable, is very expensive (both in terms of equipment and subscription costs), is relatively slow when compared to 3G or LTE and has bandwidth limitations. This explains why it is used as an option only in places where continued communications are essential for security and business continuity, like news companies, diplomatic missions and mining companies.