Have you ever considered the ramifications when an event occurs that causes cell phone and land line overload? Too many people attempt to make phone calls at the same time, overloading the network. Instead of making a connection with a phone call, users will instead receive a busy signal, or a message stating all circuits are busy. This happened during a San Francisco earthquake in 2007.
According to a Computer World article (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9045438/In_emergencies_can_cell_phone_network_overload_be_prevented), “Twenty minutes after the 8:04 p.m. quake, instead of the normal 300,000 calls made between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. in one area of Santa Clara County, the call volume soared to 2.3 million….And many of those calls never got through because, as often happens after a major emergency, the huge number of cell phone calls overwhelmed systems that weren’t built to handle such high demand.”
And that’s not all, with the emergence of iphones, androids, blackberries, and the iPad, users are harboring more data then ever. “The result is dropped calls, spotty service, delayed text and voice messages and glacial download speeds,” (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/03/technology/companies/03att.html). And while we know that using all this data slows down networks, it is more of a headache for recreational users. But what happens when too many people are trying to either access data or make calls at the same time, and your business suffers? Emergency responders have access to special codes that give them priority when phone systems suffer, but businesses are not so lucky. When it comes to business continuity, we are finding many companies don’t even realize that data exchange exists via satellite technology as well, and it is a great tool for back up systems, an insurance policy against the inability to access data during emergency situations or problems with network providers.
Vermont suffererd severe flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in 2011. The damage was so severe that it even washed away the state’s emergency operations center. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/hurricanes/hurricane-irene-flooding-cuts-off-towns-vermont-york/story?id=14402696), the state was literally cut off from the outside world. These are especially the types of situations where access to satellite phones and data devices is crucial and can insure against further damage and devastation. Servers will back up data, and generators will keep them up and running, but when networks are down and you can’t access the data, this is when having a satellite device in place will prevent further losses for your company. Some options to consider include VSAT, BGAN, and even data plans through satellite phones.
Eighty three perecent of American adults own a cell phone, and 40 percent of these users have used their phone in an emergency situation. (http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Cell-Phones.aspx). What will these users do when they cannot access data?