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Navigating the Impact Of Connectivity Outages on Businesses

In our hyper-connected world, the stability of digital infrastructure is crucial for various industries. However, when connectivity fails, the consequences can be severe, affecting essential services and economic performance. This article explores the intricate impact of connectivity outages in key industries and stresses the importance of choosing a robust connectivity provider.

The Ripple Effect of Connectivity Outages

Connectivity outages create a ripple effect across sectors, emphasising the critical need for businesses to choose a reliable connectivity provider.

Financial Services

For financial institutions, payment terminals and ATMs, outages are more than mere inconveniences; they represent a direct hit to the bottom line and consumer trust. The recent Optus outage, for example, impacted payment terminals, ATMs, the Melbourne train network, hospitals to name a few.

Retail

Retailers rely on consistent connectivity for payment terminals and vending machines. When systems like Square go down, retailers are left unable to process transactions, and as seen in a 2023 incident, customers may simply walk away rather than seek cash alternatives.

The direct loss of sales paired with the intangible damage to customer service can be substantial.

Property and Building Management

Connectivity is crucial for the operational management of property systems such as lifts, fire alarms, and security systems. Outages in these areas can compromise safety and lead to liability issues, besides the inconvenience to occupants.

Councils and Government Departments

Traffic management systems and parking infrastructures are becoming increasingly digitised. The Austroads Guide to Traffic Management outlines the extensive role these systems play in maintaining order and safety on the roads. An outage here can lead to traffic chaos, increased risk of accidents, and economic losses due to delayed transportation.

Hospitals and Aged Care Facilities

Perhaps no sector is as vulnerable to the impact of outages as healthcare. Medical equipment and systems are essential for patient care and even small disruptions can have life-threatening consequences.

Energy & Utilities

The growth of smart utilities brings with it many benefits, but in the case of an outage, it could cripple basic infrastructure feeding homes and businesses water, gas and electricity. Our partner Wattwatchers utilises Thinxtra’s multi-carrier SIMs for their digital energy solution and they shared their experience from the Optus outage. “In Australia, the multi-carrier SIMs select the strongest signal available at the location where they are installed, from a choice of either Optus or Telstra. When Optus became unavailable, we could see that affected devices migrated automatically to the Telstra network (where it was available with adequate signal strength).”

The Cost of Outages

Person trying to make a payment using a payment terminal affected by internet connectivity outage

Globally, the numbers are staggering. According to various industry reports, the average cost of IT downtime is thousands of dollars per minute.

Over a year, the accumulated cost can run into millions. And there is of course the human cost. The Fire Rescue Victoria example from 2022 ended up being caused by a cyber-attack, but the impact to their dispatch system, phones, internet and email would be the same in the case of an internet outage.

What’s the alternative?

There is an alternative that provides redundancy for devices at scale. A connectivity that provides multi-carrier coverage, which means your device will connect to multiple networks across the country or globe, using the best tower for the job. Let’s have a chat if you’re interested to learn more about Thinxtra’s cellular connectivity and how it provides reliable connectivity at scale via a single IoT SIM.

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