Why Backup Internet is Important for SMBs


According to Gartner, internet downtime can cost businesses an average of $5,600 per minute – which is an astonishing $300,000 per hour. For any business, especially SMBs, a loss that substantial can be devastating and have a major impact on overall revenue. It is important that businesses, no matter what the size, take measures to minimize the effects of internet outages and downtime. The simplest and most cost-effective solution is backup internet.

Many providers, such as Viasat, offer affordable, easy to deploy backup internet plans to suit any business. While small and mid-sized businesses might not think of backup internet as a necessity and may even view it as an added expense, these are exactly the type of businesses that can suffer the most damage from an outage. The small price of a light backup internet plan is warranted given the expense of just a single outage. 

The Cost of Internet Downtime

Internet outages or downtime happen unexpectedly, and can occur during peak traffic times, making the loss much more significant. A business can determine how much they're putting at risk by simply calculating their average revenue generated per hour.

But internet downtime costs more than just lost revenue. Calculating the average number of sales lost is pretty straightforward, but when the internet is down, what are other losses are taking place? Employee productivity is a big one – employees could be on the clock but unable to work. So much of employees’ workloads today require internet connections and web-based applications. Businesses can get a rough estimate of this loss by multiplying the hourly pay (or salary per hour) of each position within the company by the percent of their jobs that are dependent on the internet. Add up the total of all positions and add that to the the hourly revenue loss, and an organization will have a more accurate idea of the potential losses they face in the event of internet downtime.

Another unexpected expense is the need to immediately deploy IT resources to address the outage or even the need for outside resources.  If the company has in-house IT, they will most likely need to drop what they are doing (which can cause setbacks and project delays for IT departments already stretched thin) to resolve the matter. Depending on the size of the company and the resources available, an owner or executive might need to step in to help troubleshoot. Contacting an internet provider during these times can be a major headache usually involving long wait times for limited information – and the timeline for service to be restored is oftentimes unknown. All of this adds up to increasingly costly business disruptions and frustrations.

Once the internet is restored, there is still lag time for employees throughout the organization to be made aware and start working again. A study from UC Irvine showed that it takes an average of 23 minutes for employees to resume work after an interruption.

Benefits of Backup Internet

With all the delays, frustrations and expenses of internet outages, backup internet offers businesses peace of mind. The benefits are evident and include –

  • Guaranteed, uninterrupted internet access.
  • Business continuity & ongoing employee productivity.
  • Protection against lost sales or missed opportunities.
  • Preserving the customer experience and satisfaction.

Finding the Right Provider for Backup Internet

It’s clear that having a resilient secondary or backup connection can keep businesses safe from an outage, but how do businesses find the right provider and plan for their specific needs?

Viasat is a top provider to consider for backup internet over traditional wireline providers—cable and fiber. The Viasat system delivers broadband from space and offers a truly diverse, affordable connection with high-speed assurances against an outage. This is made possible through the ViaSat-2 satellite system, which has the most advanced, highest-capacity communications satellite in orbit today, coupled with the latest innovations in satellite ground infrastructure. Viasat internet also offers an affordable 1GB redundancy plan and 15 Mbps download speed.

With plans start as low as $50/month, including persistent IP addresses, equipment lease and priority connections, SMBs should consider Viasat as a top backup internet provider. Getting things up and running tends to be easy, and installation is typically quick, only three to five business days in most cases.

Even if a business is happy with their current internet provider, it’s smart to consider backup internet. It’s one of those things that you don’t need it until you need it. Too many operations today rely on an internet connection to function and companies need to be conscious of business continuity. Having backup internet keeps businesses online and running, which is crucial to keeping both employees and customers.

Want to learn more about cost-effective backup internet solutions for your small to medium-sized business? Request a consultation and the Tech Guidance team will offer recommendations and suggest the best provider for your business.