How You Can Keep Yourself From Being Offline The Next Time Rogers Goes Down

In the wake of the somewhat still ongoing Rogers outage that happened on Friday, which is the company’s second in 15 months, clients have asked me how they can avoid being completely offline the next time Rogers goes down. Now to be fair, any telco could have a catastrophic event that takes them down for an extended period of time. But the fact is that Rogers track record in this area is extremely poor as of late. Thus the assumption is that Rogers is going to go down again and preparations need to be made to make sure that life can continue to some degree. To that end, here’s my suggestions as to how to be prepared for the next outage of your telco:

  • Diversify your telco services: This suggestion will chill the blood of many execs in the telco space because they would love to have all your telco services with them so that they can maximize your AARU or Average Annual Revenue Per User which is the one metric that they all care about. But your best defence against this sort of thing is to have some of your services with one telco, and some with another telco. For example, my wife and I moved our cell phones away from Rogers to TELUS. And last Friday that turned out to be the best decision ever. Because when all our Rogers Ignite services went down (meaning home phone, TV, and Internet), my wife and I were able to use our iPhones on TELUS to do what we needed to do and to communicate with people via the hotspot functionality. If we were still with Rogers for our cell phones, we would have been dead in the water. Bonus points if you can also split out your home phone from your other services and move that to a different provider…. Assuming you still have a home phone of course.
  • Have multiple Internet connections from different providers: I admit that this is bordering on extreme. But hear me out. By having multiple Internet connections coming into your home from different providers, you insulate yourself from one going down and taking you down with it. Albeit at a cost as your Internet costs will increase. But many businesses have this sort of setup to ensure that they stay operational. And given the times that we live in where people are working or learning from home, it’s worth considering. This setup isn’t cheap, but this sort of setup is doable for a lot of people if they have a recent router in their home. In my case, my ASUS ZenWiFi AX XT8 has the ability to connect to two Internet connections in an “active/standby” setup. Meaning the primary connection is active and the second is a backup that it can switch to if the primary connection fails. There may be a few seconds delay if a connection fails while the switch is made, but you will stay online. Your secondary connection doesn’t have to be the fastest connection speed, it just has to be fast enough to keep you online, which will help you to keep the cost of doing this down.
  • Never EVER rely on your telco’s gear: The problem with your telco’s gear is that it more often than not it is simply only “good enough” from a quality standpoint. And it is meant to lock you into using their services as if you use it to run your home network, switching to another telco will be a pain. That’s why you should get your own router and simply plug your telco’s gear into it. That way you make your telco simply a “pipe” to connect to the Internet. And it will be better quality stuff as well. Finally, it makes switching telcos are far more civilized exercise as at best it’s just one cable from the telco’s gear to your gear that you have to worry about. Or at the worst case you just need to make a minor change in your router’s configuration on top of that.
  • Keep Cash Handy: This tip comes from the fact that the Interac system which processes debit card payments in Canada went down due to the fact that they appear to be completely reliant on Rogers. While I do like to go cashless as much as possible and use my iPhone or Apple Watch to pay for stuff. Friday illustrated why this isn’t foolproof. Thus having some hard currency in a safe place is a good strategy to ensure that you can get food, medicine and gas should you need it. Especially if it can get you through a couple of days or more if an outage from a major telco drags on.

Those would be my tips in terms of surviving an event like this. But I am sure there are others. If you have any other suggestions, leave them in the comments and share your thoughts.

One Response to “How You Can Keep Yourself From Being Offline The Next Time Rogers Goes Down”

  1. […] of those options as we won’t have all our telco services with one provider as I outlined here. What however he did offer was a bump to 1.5 Gbps down/940 Mbps up Internet service for $49.95 a […]

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