Hurricane Sandy and Your VoIP Service

by Jennifer Cuellar

With all of the damage across the East coast in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it’s no great surprise that some people have been having trouble with their other utility services, including their VoIP services.

At My VoIP Provider, we have seen a slew of customer reports and reviews of failed service from their VoIP providers, even with some of the biggest name VoIP companies.

Why all the trouble with VoIP service because of Hurricane Sandy? The bottom line is that power outages can be a big problem for delivering reliable VoIP service. However, you should be sure to note that your VoIP service is not really any more fragile than any of your other utility services. The only real difference is that it is much easier to lose power than it is to disrupt telephone lines.

As soon as you lose power, you will also lose your Internet connection in your house. And as soon as you lose Internet connection, you will lose access to your VoIP service. This is part of the reason that it is so important to set up a power back up, and a supporting service for 911 calls.

But many people outside of the hurricane zone are also losing service. In fact, some people are experiencing disruptions in their VoIP service as far away as the West coast.

Why would customers outside of the hurricane path be affected by the storm? It depends on the location of that customer’s service provider. Many VoIP service providers have major data centers on the East coast, especially in New York City. If a service provider’s major data center goes out, it can disrupt telephone service for their customers nationwide.

But it’s not just VoIP providers that are suffering. According to a report in The Daily Caller, service centers for Internet, landline telephone, cable, and power have seen damage and disruption as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Even some 911 emergency call centers have faced major disruptions and issues because of the storm.

In fact, the FCC is officially arranging an online system for communications providers to notify customers about advancements and setbacks as they work towards repairing their phone services.

If you are feeling disgruntled with your VoIP service provider because of the aftermath of Sandy, there are a few things you can do.

Several VoIP service providers are offering customers in the severely struck states to take advantage of some free number porting opportunities. This way, you can switch right away to a service provider that didn’t go down because of the storm.

You can also wait until service has been repaired. You may be able to get some answers from your service provider once the difficulty is over. Service providers may be able to figure out better ways to guarantee better service in the future.

If you are currently using a cheap or free VoIP service, you are a lot more likely to be experiencing some difficulty. Consider bumping up to a slightly more expensive VoIP service provider. After all, you get what you pay for.

Finally, compare your lose of utilities to that of your neighbors. Do you live in an area that was struck particularly hard? Are you experiencing trouble with your cell phone service as well? This may just be all part of living through a disaster, and nothing that your VoIP service provider could have prevented.

By Rachel Greenberg, Site Editor for My VoIP Provider.

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