Blog
22nd March 2022

How do I continue running my business if my internet connection stops working?

Your business choice of internet or more often it’s availability can affect the choice of location for your business and your ongoing costs or risk of downtime.  There are several choices available but the business owner must consider having a fail-over option should their service fail and expose their business to loss.

Internet connections in rural areas can be both poor and slow due to cable distances.  In built up area’s internet connections can be slow due to the number of households connecting over the same cables at the exchange.

The following internet connections are available to business users in order of increasing cost and de-creasing availability.

ADSL – Basic cheap broadband internet usually up to 40MB down and around 10MB Upload

FTTC – Internet over fibre optic to the cabinet then copper to the premise (mainstream UK) up to 80mb down & 20mb up

SOGEA – The PSTN/ISDN switch off will be taking place in 2025 and as BT have had to launch a broadband product that will cope with that.  This is available at 40/10 or 80/20

SOGFAST – The full speed fibre to the premise version of the BT replacement with speeds from 160/30 to 330/50mb

FTTP – Full fibre to the premise 1000/220 speeds can be achieved but there are installation costs involved in this service.

Leased Line – 30/100 right up to 1000/1000 dedicated service from the premise back to the internet. 99.95% uptime and 2hr Service Level Agreements.  This is the fasted and most robust service but comes with a premium price tag.

All of the above options are reliant on the underground and overground cables provided mostly by Openreach in the UK.

The latest research published by OFCOM indicates that 47% of micro, small, and medium-sized organisations (SMEs) have experienced a complete or intermittent broadband outage, or an unacceptable degradation in performance, resulting in the loss of up to 82 million productive hours per year.

Additional research from OFCOM also shows that the current approach to business continuity adopted by SMEs, a second fixed connection, is fundamentally flawed. The second connection is typically provided using the same Openreach infrastructure and subject to the same issues, at the same time.

In the likely event of an outage or an unacceptable deterioration in the performance of a broadband connection, First Base Solutions Ltd can provide a completely independent uptime protection and business continuity solution, by automatically routing data over 4G networks until the primary connection recovers, maintaining general employee productivity, and preserving business critical operations, such as sales order management and payment processing.

How do I provide a robust backup internet service for my business if I cannot get reliable cable internet?

Other non-cable solutions are available which can be used as backups or alternative connections if cabled internet is not available to your business.

4G/5G LTE Connections over the Mobile Phone Network

Using sophisticated 4G/5G high powered antennas combined with multiple unlimited data sims we can provide similar speeds to cabled installations where cabled internet is not available.  These connections can be put in place as an alternative or backup internet connection should your internet fail.  With the correct routers this internet can provide auto-failover bringing continuity to your business.

What if I can’t get a mobile phone signal where my office is located?

There is another workable alternative which requires fairly flat landscapes to the nearest substantial town or internet point of presence.

Microwave Internet is an internet connection delivered over the ‘last mile’ by a high capacity microwave radio link (internet via microwave). It has the advantage of not requiring any infrastructure (other than power) at the client end, no cables, ducts or phone lines.

How does Microwave Internet work?

Microwave Internet always starts with a fibre connection at a point of presence (PoP) which is connected to the national fibre network. This is connected into the interface of the radio which transmits the internet access over the air and is converted back into a cable at the customer end by way of a router. It uses high frequency radio waves to transmit an encrypted signal which is decrypted and converted back to a copper or fibre connection at either end of the radio link.

How fast is Microwave Internet?

Microwave Internet provides the exact same upload & download speeds you get from a traditional fibre leased line – 10Mbps to 10Gbps, depending on your business’s requirements.

Is Microwave Internet safe?

Yes, all Microwave internet links are configured to conform to EU and UK standards and all hardware used will be CE marked. As long as you don’t put yourself directly in the path of the radio (so the direction its facing) then you are safe to be within a meter or so of the radio. Being on the other side of a brick or clad wall to the radio is perfectly safe because the wall acts as an attenuator.

Is Microwave Internet affected by weather?

Some radio signals are impacted by adverse weather such as high winds. The speed of a microwave radio link will automatically reduce to ensure reliability and then increase again once the bad weather has passed. In practice this means you may need a link with a capacity of 300Mbps to achieve a service speed of 100Mbps 99.99% of the time regardless of weather conditions, in fair weather the spare capacity is unused but when bad weather occurs the link would not drop below the service the client is paying for – 100Mbps.

What is latency like on Microwave Internet services?

Exceptionally low, usually within a few milliseconds, VoIP, video conferencing, web browsing, office 365 and any other specialist software will work absolutely fine, in fact this solution is often lower latency than a fibre cable owing to the fact it doesn’t have to pass through an exchange, its directly into the national fibre network. Don’t confuse this solution with a satellite broadband connection which can be very high latency and adversely impacted by bad weather.

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