Verizon Communication Inc's wireline unit workers on the East Coast have voted to go on strike if wage and benefits negotiations between the company and the unions representing the workers are not settled before their current contracts expire on August 1, 2015.
If a strike is approved by union officials, wireline services — which includes FiOS Internet, telephone and TV — could be affected for Verizon customers from Virginia to Massachusetts. Our experience is that these matters get resolved in a timely fashion. Nonetheless, we want to help you prepare for any challenges you may encounter during this crisis.
Impact on Business
The impact of such an event on existing businesses should be minimal, as Verizon will likely focus its resources on maintaining service and making repairs. However, if you are opening a new location in the region or have pending orders for moves/add/changes to your services, you may experience delays. Also, billing issues and contract renewals may not be resolved in a timely fashion.
Alternative services for setting up a new office during the potential Verizon strike include:
- Using an alternate broadband provider, such as cable or fixed wireless, as a substitute to FiOS, Ethernet or other network service.
Using SIP trunking, a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and streaming media service, as a substitute for PRIS or POTS lines. Check with your phone vendor or manufacturer first to ensure your existing phone system can handle SIP trunks.
If ordering alternate services, opt for a shorter-term contract; it might cost slightly more per month, but you won’t be stuck with a long-term solution procured under duress. Once the strike is settled and your Verizon services are restored, you can determine whether to keep or cancel the alternate services. It’s never a bad idea to have backup Internet services in today’s “always connected” environment, especially if your organization uses cloud-based solutions for e-mail and other critical business applications.
Other ways you can prepare for a possible strike are:
- Have a clear inventory of your existing services and know who to call for what expect longer hold times if you need to call because fewer people will be on the other end of the line.
Integrate your landline services with wireless for business continuity, if available.
As I mentioned earlier, I believe officials will resolve this matter in a timely fashion and avoid any work outages. However, if you have any questions or concerns about how a possible strike could affect your business, please feel free to contact us.
Written by Dennis O'Donovon at profitcomm.com