How to Switch Internet Providers with Minimal Disruption

Zia Shahid
Zia is Acronym's product manager for connectivity services. He steers the network connectivity initiatives taken at Acronym, helping provide connectivity solutions to enterprises and wholesale segments.
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In today’s business landscape, a reliable internet connection is vital for productivity, customer service and your overall business operations. If you’re looking for faster speeds, greater bandwidth, more robust cybersecurity protection, cost-efficiencies, or better customer support, it may be time to upgrade your Internet Service Provider (ISP). But switching providers can seem like a daunting task.

The good news is that proper planning can help you upgrade your service with minimal disruption to your business. Here are some tips to follow:

1. Do your research

Compare different ISPs based on your current and future needs. Consider each provider’s services, their track record and experience serving your industry, and their ability to offer customized solutions. Choosing an ISP that can scale alongside your business is crucial, accommodating increased bandwidth demands and technological innovations.

Don’t forget to check the terms of your existing service contract for any cancellation fees and notice periods for switching. At the same time, explore every avenue to negotiate cost savings and favourable terms when you switch, including savings on installation fees and discounts for longer-term contracts.

Ask potential ISPs if they offer:

  • Dedicated bandwidth – A dedicated connection ensures the highest levels of reliability.
  • Network resilience – Diverse path routing can keep you connected in the event of an outage.
  • Secure networking – Robust security features such as carrier-grade encryption, malware detection and optional add-on DDoS protection can boost your security posture.

2. Get your employees onboard

Prepare your staff for the incoming change by communicating the timelines for switching ISPs and providing any necessary training. Your employees should be informed of potential disruptions or downtime that may occur during the switch, and how they can deal with them – for instance, by working offline, remotely or accessing cloud-based apps and services from their mobile devices.

3. Communicate with your ISPs

Open and regular communication with your current and new internet providers can help ensure that everything runs smoothly when you make the switch. Inform your current provider of your plans and ask how they can support the transition. Don’t forget to tell important clients and partners about your plans and how this might affect them.

It’s also important to think about the best time to schedule the switch – preferably during off-hours or a downtime for your business.

4. Test before you switch

Despite meticulous planning, unforeseen challenges may arise any time you switch internet providers. Testing your new ISP before the switch can help identify potential issues. If you have the in-house capabilities, ask for a trial run of their services by setting up a parallel network with the new ISP. This will allow you to check the performance and compatibility of the ISP with your network and applications.

5. Plan for data migration

Smooth data migration is essential for uninterrupted business operations during the switch. Developing a comprehensive strategy for migrating existing data and configurations to the new ISP’s infrastructure will help ensure seamless continuity and minimal disruption.

6. Monitor the switch

Designate your IT lead or a team of in-house experts to collaborate with both your old and new providers to oversee the switch, including checking that all network functions and applications are running smoothly. It’s also a good idea to set up a contingency plan for backup connectivity in case any issues arise. This might include having a backup ISP or restoring the old provider.

7. Evaluate the new ISP

Be sure to evaluate the results and measure the impact of the change. You need to collect and analyze data on the performance, reliability, and cost of the new ISP. You also need to get feedback from your staff and customers on their experience and satisfaction with the new processes so you can make any adjustments or improvements.

Checklist for switching ISPs

Research ISPs based on your current and future needs
Develop a plan with your team and your new ISP
Communicate your intentions to employees, partners, customers and your old ISP
Develop a plan to migrate your data to the new ISP’s infrastructure
Monitor and evaluate the switch

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About Acronym

Acronym Solutions Inc. is a full-service information and communications technology (ICT) company that provides a range of scalable and secure Network, Voice & Collaboration, Security, Cloud and Managed IT Solutions. We support Canadian businesses, large enterprises, service providers, healthcare providers, public-sector organizations and utilities. We leverage our extensive network expertise to design and build customized, fully scalable solutions to help our customers grow their businesses and realize their full potential. With more than 20 years’ experience managing the communications system that enables Ontario’s electrical grid, Acronym is uniquely positioned to understand the mission-critical needs of any business to deliver the innovative and reliable services that respond to the changing demands of businesses, and support rapid growth and digital transformation initiatives.

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