Not being able to connect to a Wi-Fi network or going into a café or checking into a hotel which doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi will bring most people out in a cold sweat. For personal use, no internet can be annoying but for business use it is critical and can cost you money.
No IT Manager wants to have a situation where a user is not connected but it does happen. With the growth in popularity of cloud hosted desktops this has increased users expectations of being able to be connected all the time. On average last year business in the UK suffered two major internet outages which totaled 82 million hours of unproductive time (source: ispreview.co.uk).
They also reported that smaller companies had longer recovery times than medium or large businesses, usually due to relying on broadband that is more suited to home use. Outages lasted on average for 10.4 hours for businesses with less than 10 employees and 11.8 hours for 10 to 50 employees. Going for so long with no connection can be catastrophic for companies of this size.
Internet outages like taxes and Monday mornings are inevitable, but needing to be connected to the internet doesn’t have to be a compromise in today’s world. The trick is having a robust plan B.
Plan B when your internet is out should be to utilise 3G or 4G connections. The coverage of these connections has dramatically improved over the past few years, with 84.2% of the United Kingdom now offering 3G or better (source: opensignal.com).
And it’s only going to get better and faster. This week EE announced that 5G will be rolled out in the following six cities by the middle of 2019: London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast. They also plan to add a further 10 cities by the end of 2019. These cities will be: Newcastle, Bristol, Nottingham, Coventry, Leicester, Sheffield, Leeds, Hull, Liverpool and Glasgow.
The availability of 3G, 4G and soon 5G means that you should be using this option as your go-to connections when your internet goes down. We would advise you implement this for your users so you’ll no longer have any lost and unproductive hours.
In some cases, the speed offered by 3G, 4G and 5G can be a lot faster than that on offer by some broadband providers. So if you always have staff in your ear about how slow the internet is, switching to a mobile based internet could be improve performance.
Whilst this may seem obvious so some, the reality is quite alarming. Last year only 22% switched to 3G or 4G when the internet connection failed (source: ispreview.co.uk). This shows a massive underutilisation of a fantastic alternate connection method.
It may cause your accounts department to have sleepless nights worrying about how much mobile data is being used and the cost that comes with it by having staff tether their laptops or tablets to their phones. However, when you weigh up the costs that come from having staff unable to connect at all and what this represents in terms of productivity and potential lost sales it makes sense to have this as your plan B.
If you would like to discuss this and other ways we can help optimise you IT performance our team are always available to provide consultancy. Contact us today on 0191 283 0191.