Over the last week, we’ve fought an unexpected battle. We lost a primary Internet fiber due to a circuit cut by a truck. This impacted both our team and our clients, causing quite the headache.

Around 9am August 4th, we noticed Internet connectivity issues. Upon further investigation, we found a fiber cable lying on the ground. We called Verizon about the cut circuit and a hazard ticket was put in their system, which made it a high priority issue. They realized early on that a safety crew would be necessary, which had to be scheduled for the next morning. They arrived mid-morning Thursday with four Verizon trucks and two safety crew trucks. Quite the show!

Unfortunately, with 10 minutes of work left to do, Delaware Department of Transportation arrived and ceased Verizon’s work. They lacked a special permit allowing the necessary road closure to fix the line. This put back repairs more than any of us anticipated! To temporarily solve the problem, we got a Verizon MiFi unit to keep us up and running. We stripped down our Internet-reliant tasks to the bare minimum, getting us through the next couple days. This meant that we lacked inhouse Wi-Fi, Internet-based phone systems, streaming devices, ease of email accessibility, VPN access for remote users, Cloud backups and restores, the ability to work remotely, and reliable Internet connectivity.

On Friday the 6th, we had not received an update from Verizon. We were fast approaching the limit of our MiFi unit, requiring us to act fast in order to buy more storage and ensure operations kept running. By the end of the day, we found out DelDOT wouldn’t be allowing Verizon to proceed their work until the next weekday night—Monday at 8pm.

Verizon thankfully arrived on the dot that night. The street was closed down and finally our FiOS circuit was restored. We then worked a couple hours into the night to clean everything up and restore our operations to full capacity. Finally, we were back to normal operations Tuesday morning. Because of the cut circuit, we were disabled for four business days, plus the weekend. Are you prepared? Are you ready to be down for days at a time?

Here are some of the lessons we learned:

  • You need to plan for outages of even the most reliable services, like Verizon FiOS.
    • Part of your plan must be a secondary Internet connectivity option.
    • Another part of this plan needs to be a list of mandatory operations. What is completely necessary for your business to run internally and externally? When the Internet goes down, you’ll need to strip down to this list.
      • Identify the critical Internet services and workstations.
    • Identify staff that can be remote IF 100% Internet-based.
  • Working remotely was impossible.
    • You won’t have remote phone access.
  • Verizon MiFi units are not truly unlimited. They have four plans, ranging from 15GB-150GB of premium mobile hotspot data that shut down when capped out.

In order to be more prepared in the future, we are going to take advantage of Verizon Business 5G service as soon as it’s available in the Philadelphia region. Additionally, we’ll be highly suggesting it to our clients across the board. The antenna on your office’s roof ensures that so long as you have power, you have Internet. Additionally, with our MiFi unit, we are now able to offer this secondary Internet option to our Gold and Silver members, on a first-come, first-serve basis. For a daily charge, we’ll set the device up at your business to get you through an outage.

Take a moment to realize how much of your company’s operations are reliant on Internet connectivity. Once that has settled in, get in touch, and we’ll discuss your outage plan. We certainly do not want this happening to anyone else! Let’s apply the lessons we have learned to minimize issues like this for your business.

Contact us here!

headshot, owner, president, author, partners plus, IT company, IT services, SSD, recommendationBill Hogan is the Owner and President of Partners Plus. He has 40 years of experience in the technology services industry, specifically small business IT support. Bill has spoken at seminars all over the country about network management and published his latest book in 2018. Partners Plus was selected by PHL17 as the best Computer and Information Technology Support Company in the greater Philadelphia area in 2018.