How Do You Deal with a VoIP Power Outage?

Posted on: 2018-12-27 | Categories: VoIP Providers

Who doesn’t rely on the internet to get things done in 2018? Imagine all the things you can’t do if you don’t have an internet connection. No website, no transactions, no response for customers and so many more things. Now, what if your phones also depend on the internet? That’s why most businesses have a backup plan for the phones.

But losing internet access isn’t the only danger to your phone system. VoIP phones need both internet and power to work. Almost everyone knows that landlines will work even when the power goes out. That’s because they draw power from the copper lines maintained by the phone company, not the power company.

VoIP phones work differently. They need the power to continue working. A question that most business owners ask is if their phones will stop working if they lost power. The short answer? Yes. Your phones will go dark with no power. Don’t panic though! With a bit of planning, you can get through such a situation.

Getting Through A VoIP Power Outage

Fortunately, you have options when it comes to VoIP phones. Provided you have backup plans in place, your business will continue to respond to customers even when your neighboring businesses cannot. So what are your options?

Backup Power Supply

The first thing you have to keep in mind is that when there’s no power, a lot of devices go dark. The routers, modems, switches, and every other piece of network equipment stops working. That’s why almost any business makes sure to have a backup power supply for such hardware. What work can you do without the internet? So you need to make sure that the network stays up through a power outage.

The same solution will work for your VoIP phones too. If you can connect them to the backup power supply, you can keep working as usual. But unlike portable devices, most VoIP phones don’t have a battery. So you have to plan ahead for desk phones. You don’t even have to connect all the phones in the office. What’s the absolute minimum number of phones do you need to stay up? Connect them to the power supply and you’re good to go.

Some advanced phone models support something called PoE. It’s a technology that allows phones to get power through the Ethernet cable instead of a separate power adaptor. It simplifies installation and saves space. PoE allows you to install phones even in places with no power outlet. Suffice it to say, these models can keep working through an outage!

Use Portable Devices

Smartphones are everywhere these days. Even in a business setting, you’ll be hard pressed to find employees without a phone or tablet within reach. Most modern VoIP systems and services integrate with mobile devices.

This feature can actually work to your advantage in case of a power outage. You can configure your system to route calls to smartphones when the power fails. It’s what is known as an automatic failover option. If and when your VoIP system fails (in this case, due to no power), it rolls over to another option.

The best part of rolling over to mobile devices is that your customers will never know the difference. Incoming calls are routed automatically to smartphones. When your employees call a client, your company number shows up. Not their personal or business number.

It’s a great alternative for small businesses, especially if you can’t afford to scale up your existing power backup system to accommodate phones.

Route Calls to an Alternate Site

If your office has 2 or more locations and both use VoIP phones, you can route calls to another site. Again, you can set it up to work automatically. Your customers won’t even know that anything has changed. There are some limitations though. It’s a great solution for businesses that have all departments spread across different locations. If you have all salespeople in one office and HR personnel in another, routing calls may not exactly work to solve customer problems.

Some companies prepare secondary locations in case of such emergencies. These are not offices per se but they have enough facilities to accommodate workers for a while. Since VoIP phones don’t really need any wiring, you can take them with you anywhere. As long as the second location has internet access, your phones will work. This option even works if you have to send your employees home for a day or two. They can still continue answering calls from their home, a nearby cafe or anywhere with internet access.

So there you have it. Preparing a plan in advance can keep your phones working through any emergency, including a power outage. But if you don’t have a plan? Nothing’s going to work!