How does a loss of internet access affect VoIP calls?

VoIP is the telephony of the future; in fact, many companies, big and small, have already switched. Its virtues include cheaper long-distance calls, integration with CRM and voice recognition software, out-of-the-box call filtering and routing, and greater mobility – you can move your phones to a different country and still plug and go.

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For large companies, wholesale VoIP termination rates provide substantial savings over separate lines and internal exchanges.

Key weakness

VoIP has one major weakness compared with traditional telephone lines: it is completely dependent on your internet connection, and therefore your electricity supply. If either goes down for any reason – HGVs reversing into junction boxes, diggers hitting cables, heavy storms, bill disputes, hackers, router problems etc – you could lose all contact with your engineers, your customers, and with the help centres of your service provider!

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Analogue and ISDN phone lines have always been remarkably reliable. When occasionally a repair is necessary, your one-stop telephony company responds swiftly and fault tracking is usually straightforward. As your phones are separate to your internet, you can fall back on email if you lose the phone; if you lose your network, you can fall back on the phone.

It is similar with electricity supplies: telephones are powered independently, so are rarely taken out when a storm, accident or power cut causes a blackout. In emergency situations, people have even been known to power a light or radio from their telephone socket.


Companies need an emergency plan for these exigencies. Mobile phones are an obvious fall-back solution, but only if vital numbers and account details are accessible offline to all who need them! Remember that storing this information must abide by modern privacy regulations; however, provided at least one designated person has access to emergency numbers, you can call your provider for help.

Some VoIP companies offer line monitoring guarantees. If you lose your connections, their system alerts them to respond without waiting for your call. Ask a specialist such as for details of these services.

Fortunately, one of the most useful guarantees is already built into your VoIP: it is simple to set up diverts so that calls not being answered in one office are automatically re-routed to another, or at least to a messaging service. Just remember to set these up before you need them!