The True Costs of an Outage

By    July 16, 2013

Customer satisfaction is critical to any service provider.  And with increased expectations for always-on connectivity from anywhere, service providers need superior reliability to eliminate outages and maximize uptime both to balance customer satisfaction and control costs for profitability. To keep customers loyal, avoiding downtime is critical.

Of course, the best way to prevent outages is to invest in the right equipment to minimize the risk of equipment failure or the need for repair dispatches.  Low cost networks can be considerably less reliable—both in hardware and message delivery—reducing customer satisfaction while increasing operational costs.

Preventable outages are a WISP’s worst nightmare.  Not only can a single outage affect customer perception, but it can seriously affect business.  When service is compromised, subscriber loyalty is tested, and since the cost of switching providers is so low, increased churn is a reality. WISPs must consider reliability when choosing a provider because when outages do occur, there are often a lot of hidden costs aside from downtime and service impact on customers that providers need to consider. Outages can also lead to unacceptably high maintenance and operations costs.

Consider the following…

The cost of a typical installation—or swapping out—involving a tower climb can be significant.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that three technicians be at each tower climb.  Since an average tower climb takes approximately two hours, each at approximately $85 per manhour, the average cost of a climb can be upwards of $510 total.  When you also factor in the costs of travel and vehicle dispatch for the day, you can pay about $100 per dispatch for labor and a vehicle per each dispatch.  In an eight-hour, four-person dispatch day, that’s over $2,400 in one day, which is significant.  It all adds up pretty quickly.

The inability of most low cost equipment to stand up to outdoor use inevitably leads to more outages, increases in trouble calls and dispatches.  Canopy networks have not only proven to be reliable performers worldwide, but can also lead to reductions in the hidden costs associated with outages.

Ultimately, a single outage can wipe out the savings from purchasing lower-priced equipment.  Isn’t the investment in a reliable Canopy network worth that savings in the long run?