- A cut cable in Brooklyn, New York caused a Verizon Fios internet outage in cities across the East Coast on Tuesday, disrupting several other applications, Verizon Support confirmed in a tweet. Users of competitor Comcast Xfinity reported service disruptions around the same time, according to DownDetector.com reports.
- Tens of thousands of users reported the Fios outage on DownDetector.com. AWS updated its service dashboard acknowledging issues with an "external provider." Zoom and Slack also reported connectivity issues linked to the internet outage on their respective status pages.
- Around 3 p.m. EST on Tuesday, @VerizonSupport said services were back up and running. "An internet issue impacting the quality of our Fios service throughout the Northeast has been resolved," according to an official tweet. "Network performance and service levels are returning to normal."
Blips in tech services have troubled remote workers since the mass shift to telework distributed the workforce, but the business cost of investing in back-ups, such as a duplicate cloud or personal hotspots, outweigh the benefits for some.
To IT professionals, major outages are nothing new. Gmail, AWS, and Slack — to name a few — all had platform outages hindering remote work over the last few months. In each instance, businesses can try to pivot for business continuity, but there are few in-house alternatives for Wi-Fi.
"Things are going to fail," said Naveen Chhabra, senior analyst at Forrester. "You better plan for it."
Businesses could, for example, invest in Wi-Fi hotspots for employees to support internet connectivity in the remote work environment. Organizations, such as the Society for Human Resource Management, have recommended investing remote work stipends to support employees working outside of the office, including to pay for wireless connections.
Preparing for worst-case scenarios, however, can sink a business's bottom line. "One way to look at that added expense is that it's insurance," Melanie Posey, research director for the Cloud & Managed Services Transformation at 451 Research, told CIO Dive previously, after an AWS outage last year.
Of note, Verizon reported its Q4 earnings on the same day as the outage, touting 92,000 Fios Internet net additions. Verizon Fios powers 13.4 million digital connections, according to the Verizon website.