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What would happen if your Internet went down?

No matter what type of business you’re in, chances are you rely on the Internet for something. From point-of-sale transactions to cloud computing, Internet of Things technology to video conferencing. If your connection falters, so do all of those day-to-day functions.

That’s why a widespread Internet outage can be a business emergency. Whether your network is down for minutes, hours or a day, it represents a possible loss of revenue that you may not be able to make up for.

Yet service interruptions do happen. And sometimes they’re hard to predict. But why is that?

Let’s look at some of the possible causes of a widespread Internet outage.

Weather-Related Interruptions

“Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night” are going to slow your local postal worker down, but some of the above can get in the way of your Internet connection. Rain, snow, thunderstorms or even heavy cloud coverage can interrupt some networks.

Of course, certain types of networks are more susceptible to weather outages than others. Since satellite networks transmit data through the air, they’re especially vulnerable to rain, snow, and even strong winds, which can interrupt signals. Snow and ice can also build up on your satellite dish, damaging your equipment.

But satellite isn’t the only type of Internet susceptible to poor weather conditions. Cables buried under the ground can get pulled out and damaged by heavy rains, winds or even heavy frosts. Above-ground cables can be affected by storms, extreme heat or cold as well, impacting speeds or putting a stop to your Internet connection completely.

Line Damage

Of course, weather is only one possible way for cables to be damaged. Cable-based DSL and fibre Internet networks face possible damage from a variety of sources.

Animals like squirrels and birds, for one, have been known to cause damage, chewing at exposed lines enough to cause an outage. Construction crews can also accidentally damage lines when digging.

Sound pretty random? It can be. Which is why nobody can predict when these types of Internet outages are going to happen.

Power Outage

Power outages are inconvenient to businesses in their own right, but can also cause widespread Internet outages.

After all, Internet providers rely on electricity to power much of their own equipment. Not only that, but you rely on it to power the equipment that brings wireless Internet to your business. Blackouts and power outages, then, are another possible cause of a service disruption.

Human Error

As humans, we make mistakes. It’s something that happens, and all of us are guilty of it at some point. But in the odd case, that human error can have a major impact on your Internet service.

Just take the Rogers outage of July 2022 as an example. In that case, the network failure affected almost 100% of Rogers customers across Canada. And it was all the result of a maintenance update to the core network, when a coding error supposedly led to the all-day disruption in service.

In fact, human error is one of the leading causes of Internet outages — responsible for 58% of network downtime, according to one survey.


Cybersecurity is an important issue for any business today. Cyber threats can hit businesses in a multitude of ways. And one of those ways is through an Internet outage.

Cyberattacks can hit your network in different ways. They can flood a network with traffic, target Internet infrastructure, infect networks and systems with malicious software or hijack Internet traffic, directing it to the wrong place. Any and all of those can affect your connection and/or put your Internet network temporarily out of business.

How to Prepare

So what can you do to protect your business from a possible Internet outage — whatever the reason? A redundancy, or backup, connection can help you stay prepared, letting you move seamlessly to a different network so that you can keep your business running smoothly no matter what. Your business will run as usual while the problem is taken care of.

Want to learn more? In our next blog post, we’ll look at the benefits of a backup Internet connection can have for your business.

Find out more about Xplore Business’s backup solutions.