If, like thousands of businesses nationwide, you've been hit by BT's broadband outage yesterday and lost thousands of pounds worth of revenue, then it might just be time to think about a broadband contingency plan.
In a nutshell, you will need to have a backup plan that relies on an alternative broadband provider. Because BT is also a wholesaler, just switching from one ISP that uses ADSL to another won't do the job, as any issue at the BT Exchange or with the copper lines will have the same consequences, with or without BT.
There are three possible solutions, which will depend on the company size, how agile it is and a number of other variables as well.
Firstly, theres' the Virgin Media Business cable (opens in new tab) option which offers an attractive alternative to an all ADSL solution. It does require a long contract though and is a recurrent cost that some businesses might be reluctant to adopt.
Then there's the wireless WiMax broadband service option (e.g. Urban WiMax (opens in new tab)). It is easier to install but you still need an engineer to configure it and there's a contract period associated with it.
Lastly, for small businesses that rely on laptops, they could either opt for wireless broadband dongles, or even better, Mi-Fi or wireless hotspots that provide an elegant temporary solution.
Ultimately, any of these three solutions is likely to be less costly than the opportunity cost associated with a few hours of downtime.