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In 1995, less than 1% of world’s population was online. That’s less than 16 million users. Today, nearly 4 billion people use the Internet, and it has become a critical resource in business. Network outages are almost intolerable, as the Internet has become such an integral part of every company’s day-to-day operations. Despite this fact, things happen and we lose our connectivity. Read on for some basic tips on preventing, preparing for, and resolving network outages.

Plan for Network Outages

Even the most reputable Internet Service Providers (ISP) will experience a connectivity loss, or your company may experience an internal network connectivity loss. Sometimes, this is brought on by equipment failures, software issues, network configurations, or malicious intent.

Monitor Your Network

Some network failures are not caused by an outage from the ISP, but are the result of network equipment failures or network configuration changes. As part of your company’s business continuity planning, you can monitor network usage and measure the effects on network equipment to catch failing hardware or software before it is too late.

Minimize Downtime 

Setting up a temporary redundant network connection can help minimize downtime from primary connectivity loss when your ISP goes down. When considering a second connection, think about the physical path of the cable and request that your backup connection physically routes through a different Central Office (exchange location). Routing through a different exchange location means a loss of infrastructure at one site, but may not necessarily affect the secondary site and you will keep your Internet up in the meantime. If this is not possible, consider a different ISP for your secondary connection, such as DSL or cellular/wireless broadband connections. 

Designate a Team or Individual

Although organizations make great efforts to prevent outages, network connectivity can still fail. Your business needs a dedicated team or network manager who can quickly identify and accurately diagnose the problem and set plans in motion to restore this critical resource.