Why One Carrier’s Network Outage Can Have a Knock-on Effect

VTSL Explains Interconnectivity of Networks-1

As many of you experienced, Friday, January 31st felt more like Friday the 13th, with a host of services and internet connectivity failures. VTSL’s own network was affected, thanks to a dual fibre break in Gamma’s network, and BT suffered a major outage as well.  Which bodes the question, why does a network outage for one carrier often affect other providers, and even seemingly unrelated services?

All connectivity providers have downtime, and all connectivity networks are connected. So there is no perfect internet provider that is going to provide you with 100% uptime—they simply don’t exist.  Moreover, even if your internet provider has an incredibly robust network, your service can be affected by partner networks that your provider connects to. There is no such thing as a network that is unaffected by other networks.  The only thing a provider can do, is have connections into several networks so that if one supplier goes down (like BT), traffic can be re-routed through another network.

This is why providers like VTSL are able to offer extremely high levels of uptime.  VTSL’s network is connected to several major network providers such as BT, Gamma and others. In the instance that one major carrier goes down, VTSL can usually re-route traffic to ensure the service outage is only a very brief. 

Last Friday, BT suffered what looked like a major outage in the afternoon, knocking out telephone lines and internet broadband for several hours. Some business customers were warned they may have to wait until February 5th for a full fix.

The same day, Nationwide, the British building society (the largest of its kind in the world), left its millions of customers unable to pay rent and bills amid an all-day IT breakdown. Payments and transfers to and from accounts were held up in a queue, delaying money movements, and the backlog lasted for days. This meant that many customers had no funds on pay-day.

VTSL’s network partner Gamma had issues too. They suffered a double fibre-cable cut that caused a failure of services across the country. Worse yet – the cut occurred both in London and the East Coast, complicating efforts to fix it. 

And if all of that wasn’t enough for a disaster-of-a-Friday, the bank went down as well, preventing people from logging in. The organisation claimed it was overwhelmed by customers logging into the app at the end of the month to check pay and to submit tax returns.

So what can a business do if they want to avoid downtime? We suggest you find an internet service provider that is inter-connected to more than one major network, ask about redundancy and buy back-up failover. And with all of that, you may actually find your downtime is virtually nil.

About VTSL

VTSL is a leading cloud communications provider in the UK & Ireland, specialising in cloud telephony, LAN & WAN, fibre connectivity and unified communications. VTSL offers solutions ranging from contact centres as a service to flexible working solutions to integrated productivity management. VTSL has over 10 years of experience providing the leading IP telephony platform to businesses and over 15,000 users across the UK and Ireland. To speak to one of our experts today, please call 020 7078 3200 or email


Topics: Telecoms, Industry News