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Culpeper Times • July 19-25, 2018

TECHNOLOGY 5 Reasons Your Internet Goes Out Many in the region were affected by a widespread internet outage John Barker that took place on June 29. There were reports of full outages, as well as partial issues, such as phones systems that could only dial out, but not receive calls; credit card machines that couldn’t process payments; ATM machines that were not able to function, and businesses not able to get to their cloud hosted software. I don’t recall the last time I lost electricity on a sunny day, but the internet will blip from time to time. Have you ever wondered why the internet connection seems susceptible to more interruptions


than electricity? Here are few common reasons the internet goes out. 1. Cut/Damaged fiber: The major outage on June 29th was blamed on a cut fiber connection along a major backbone that provides services to large regions of the country. The further up the chain fiber is damaged or cut, the larger an area it will affect. Businesses should be aware of new construction around an office park and the possibility that lines will be cut. I’ve seen it happen many times and those outages will last hours. 2. Misconfigured equipment: Internet Service Providers (ISP) must continually upgrade existing hardware or install new equipment to expand capability. Human error will come into play and equipment can be misconfigured during the installation process.

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3. Aging copper: While fiber is a major backbone for the internet, many homes and businesses will still have copper lines run into them. A home I previously owned would have very frequent outages. I learned my house was the very last home on that part of the network, the copper was old and there were too many houses on that line. The signal would be either too weak or too strong. Too weak and I lost connection; to strong and it would fry my modem. 4. Network Congestion: Many of you probably are not aware that the speed advertised is not guaranteed. The language says, “Speeds up to XXX Mbps”. Typical cable internet connections for home and business are shared services. The more people on that part of the network utilizing it at the same time, the less bandwidth is available for everyone. Too many network connections will cause little blips in the internet, the service will go down for a few seconds to a couple of minutes and then comes right back up. I’ve seen network congestion more in office parks with a lot of companies in the same complex. They pay for 100 Mbps (megabits per second), but during the day its 25 Mbps, and back to 100 Mbps at night. If the internet is critical to your business, you should consider a dedicated fiber channel option. Speeds are guaranteed and the circuit is built specifically for your account. Please utilize a tool such as and periodically check to make sure you are

getting close to the service you are paying for. 5. Weather: Weather is a contributing factor by bringing down trees, lightning strikes, flooding, or ice. Unfortunately, when outages do occur you don’t have a lot of options, place a support call and cross your fingers that the problem is resolved quickly. A wide area outage will get a faster response than if you have a problem just in your own home. Business plans and dedicated internet circuits will have a service level agreement (SLA) from one business day response or 4-hour response. If you ask, most ISPs will reimburse your monthly bill the prorated amount for the time the connection is down. But in most cases, that comes down to a couple of dollars a day and is not worth the hassle. I once tried to get an ISP to credit me for business lost during a 4-day outage when they kept missing scheduled appointments. The reason for the outage was their technician disconnected the wrong account. I think I got 5 bucks off the bill. Just remember the next time the internet goes out; the equipment is a little more sensitive than other utilities. John Barker is the Chief Operating Office with Attollo Systems LLC in Culpeper. You may reach him at or 540317-3150 ext 1001

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Culpeper Times 7-19-2017  

Visiting Memory Lane | Chamber Valor Awards | Officer rescues child with autism

Culpeper Times 7-19-2017  

Visiting Memory Lane | Chamber Valor Awards | Officer rescues child with autism