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It’s one of those months where I got frustrated. It has been a challenging week. A few of my clients were affected by the Comcast outage and the floods. My home business system was also impacted, but I was prepared. (For more information on the flooding issue, look here.)

One of my clients had some issues due to the flooding, and I worked to get them up-and-running again after the flood. Fortunately, they had everything backed up on line. They also had an app and could limp by with scheduling using a phone app. A laptop was procured to temporarily replace the waterlogged desktop. Once the water damage was cleaned up, they were back in business. The problem was quickly and easily resolved.

At home, I have a backup Wi-Fi system, so when my internet went down due to the flooding, it automatically switched over to this system and I was able to keep working. (My wife also works from home for the VA hospital. She didn’t even know the main internet was down until I told her later that first day.)

The Comcast outage due to the flooding was a different story for one of my clients. They are running a business with over 10 computers relying heavily on the internet and lost their internet on March 28th. They did not have any internet failover when their modem failed. We really didn’t even know whether the problem was a general Comcast outage or the modem or something else.

First, we had to wait for Comcast to come back up. That took a few days. The Comcast modem looked like it had begun working, but still no internet. Once I got onsite, it was determined that the Comcast modem had failed. We had to call Comcast Business to get them to come out ASAP. The first scheduled date was April 9th (over 12 days after the outage started). But Comcast actually responded on April 1st, which actually wasn’t too bad, but still 5 days.

The Comcast technician was great. The modem was replaced quickly and then we found out that the damage went from the modem to a firewall appliance. Between the two of us, we were able to determine that most likely a power surge had come in through the cable modem and damaged both it and the firewall. After bypassing the firewall and reconfiguring all of the computers, the client was back online.

During the downtime, we were able to set up one computer to use a phone hotspot to allow a small amount of billing and a few other small tasks that needed to be done by the crippled business, but not nearly enough to prevent business loss to the client. There is going to be more cost to the client to replace failed hardware and securing the network again.

All of this could have been avoided if they had a failover Wi-Fi. The business would have stayed productive until the repairs could be made.

Having a failover Wi-Fi system is not inexpensive. And when everything is running fine, it seems to be an unnecessary expense. However, when it is needed, the value is seen and it more than pays for itself.

So, how would you, or your business cope during a flood or internet outage?

All the best and stay well,
Jim Nay

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