So one of the issues I have with my business is that I must stay in touch via phone and the internet. I have landed in Calico Rock, Arkansas(pop 991) and done 50k worth of business while siting in the (relative) coolness of the shade under the wing while online via aircard and talking on my cell phone. So, phone and internet, golden, but no phone or no internet, very very bad. I have, for years, had my company accounts with AT&T, and carry a primary and a backup AT&T phone. As an emergency backup and secondary wifi hotspot (my primary internet connection in the field is an AT&T aircard) I picked up a line through Verizon. Using this setup, I figured I had a backup AT&T phone if the primary went south, and both a backup phone and internet connection if everything on AT&T went down.

Ignorance is bliss….

So while traveling, I had some problems getting my phone to forward. It appeared initially to be a problem with my iPhone (although I later found that it was a problem with AT&T), so I went by the AT&T store to swap sim cards between my iPhone and my Nexus 6p. They very kindly did so, without reprovisioning the accounts to account for the phone changes. So now BOTH phones are messed up, and I can’t forward to the Verizon phone, because phone forwarding is messed up on both as well. Multiple calls to AT&T latter, and with most of the day lost, the phone were finally (mostly) unscrewed. But, this pointed up a hole in my planning, which was with both of my physical business lines on AT&T, the phone company itself was a single point of failure. I should note that I have several different lines I use for business 2 “real” lines and a couple of Google Voice lines, all forwarded into my primary phone. With call forwarding down, I could have called AT&T and had both phones forwarded to my Verizon line (which is not used as a business line), but then I wouldn’t have been able to get the phones fixed. So after loosing more than a few $$$ on that day, I have come up with a new plan. I have been watching Paul Thurrott’s experiments with Google’s Project fi, and have decided to put the Nexus 6p onto a Project fi account. That will give me hotspotting and a phone line through Fi, to back up the AT&T line, and may cause me to eliminate my Verizon line entirely. With one business line coming in through AT&T and one through Project Fi, I will be able to loose one (and forward if able) to a completely different network (and still troubleshoot the down one). If I cannot forward, I can still get half of my calls (or more, as I can change the forwarding on the Google Voice lines).

As with many things in life, you think you have a solution going until such time as it actually gets tested and you find out notsomuch. I have gone through several data backup plans, and have one now that works pretty well, but I have lost data more than once when my “Foolproof” plan was thwarted by someone making better fools. Phones are apparently the same way. One of the things I love about the 21st century is that with phones or computers, using cloud services, you can now loose a unit, walk into a store and buy a new one and in under 2 hours be back in business (don’t ask how I know that). The trick now is choosing the proper plans and providers, so that you have no single point of failure. That is where I went off the rails in the past and will do better now.

I hope…