“Downtime caused by network outages costs North American enterprises $700 billion a year.”
For small operators, that’s $1 million. The larger the company, the larger the loss. For smart businesses, reliable internet is non-negotiable. When WiFi goes down, productivity plummets and frustration increases.
Often we take fast, reliable internet for granted, the same way we assume the light switch will work. But what happens when your “office” is in the middle of nowhere, and connectivity isn’t so easy to find?
What if your workstation is a vast superhub of cargo, planes, and devices, all requiring distance and density of signal?
Remote sites have two major communication issues that absolutely require state-of-the-art internet.
Firstly, these isolated settlements need to be able to talk to the outside world. From a business perspective, it’s essential to be able to get updates from shareholders and head offices. Ordering supplies or scheduling shifts can’t be done without a way to call out.
Secondly, these settlements demand reliable internal communications. Making sure the camp or rig is connected with itself across acres and levels is vital. Not only for shift and status updates, but for safety across a public address system in case of emergency.
Unfortunately, it’s not just a question of calling in your local AT&T to hook up your camp. Because of the distance and low populations, most big companies can’t or won’t afford to dig a line out to these settlements.
Inconsistent and slow internet can be a huge drain on resources. For workers as well as owners, the limited availability of providers leads to overpriced, slow, and spotty internet. Morale gets low when you can’t connect to your loved ones for fear of incredible long distance charges and internet that’s too slow to load a web page.
Communicating with the home office is essential for all global industries, so offshore rigs and remote camps need to check in. Better connectivity allows for more current information across the board. This means pushing different phases of the mining project or moving from development to production on a rig, can happen faster.
Slow internet can also be a major frustration and a safety hazard. Choppy Skype calls cause headaches in management. Waiting for next steps on a project decreases productivity. Disrupted training programs take time and increase danger in an isolated environment.
Having access to fast remote internet is about more than just entertainment and social networking. It’s a hazard to be without it.
Quality connectivity at a remote workplace is fundamental to productivity, quality of life, and safety. It’s interesting to see how hard FedEx works to keep their pocket of LTE connectivity alive, and how few mining camps and oil rigs have the capacity or the will to do the same.
But that will change.
As we move toward 5G and beamforming in the small cell market, providing connectivity to these markets is getting easier. Products like the FW-300i, and even the FW-600 are an affordable way to fundamentally alter the aspect of remote work.
BLiNQ is trying to change what constitutes “isolation”, and provide connectivity to anyone, anywhere.