The big problem with BT
Mid July 2016 BT users across the country, including businesses and banks, were left without access to the internet on two consecutive days – and all because of a single power failure!
While you might expect BT – the biggest telecoms operator in the UK – to provide the most reliable internet service, it is not always the case. This was evident during the Cumbria floods, which served as a huge reminder that BT’s copper/fibre hybrid network is not waterproof.
As a result of that oversight, the internet was down for far longer than it needed to be, costing Carlisle’s precious economy heavily. (By the way, this is not moan about BT, in many ways a fine company which gets enough stick without our help!)
The problem with Legacy
Once upon a time, BT, then the GPO, was a magnificent British pioneer as a national telephone network. But that network was built for then – a very different age. A closely meshed “spaghetti bowl” of cabling, with a myriad of joints and connections and a multiplicity of materials, giving great flexibility. It was well suited to the old world of black bakelite phones which transmitted tiny amounts of data.
How Resilient is our critical infrastructure?
What we need now however is telecoms suitable for the modern, unpredictable world we live in. “Security doesn’t just mean protecting against attackers, it means reliability too.” . During the most recent BT outages, security expert Alan Woodward at the University of Surrey expressed his concerns about unreliable internet to the BBC, saying: “If this level of disruption can be caused by a power problem on one floor of one building housing part of the infrastructure in the UK, you really have to ask how resilient is this piece of critical national infrastructure,”
Innovation – key to the future
A great business model the big telecom companies could learn from to ensure this reliability and security is Uber. If Uber were unlicensed and unchecked it would be a disaster, but instead it takes the advantages of independent small business in the form of its independent drivers, welds them into multiple, diverse networks, and applies the necessary standards to bring safety and consistency to all that innovation and love of customer care.
This is effectively what we do at Solway Communications. We try to be innovative and give great customer care, but we link with diverse networks in the UK and internationally, so there is no single point of failure. We are careful to ensure that they, like us, are top quality networks which we can rely on, or replace as needed. In this way we are spreading the risk but managing it – something the big telecom companies could stand to do more of.
If you’d like to learn more about our reliable network,feel free also to give James or Linda a call if you’d like to know more about how you can future-proof your broadband on 01228 217171 or email me.