How to Keep Your Office Phones on During an Outage

No phone network is perfect. No matter what type of phone system you have in your office, there is always the chance of an outage, which is why you can’t put all your eggs into one basket, as it were.

Here we’ll go over the two major types of business phone systems, the shortcomings of each, and how you can keep your calls coming in, no matter what happens.

business woman on phone

Conventional Office Phone System

If your office has a traditional phone system that works over the PSTN (the old-school, wired telephone network), then you’re fairly safe. It’s for this reason that Talkroute connects calls over the PSTN, to make sure that users always have a reliable connection.

As we all know, the old landline in the house (if you still have one) will work even during a power outage. It still works when the power is out because that landline is powered by the phone company through its own dedicated copper line, not by the power company.

The phone company usually also has its own backup batteries and generators, so you’ll usually be fine, unless the line is cut.

System Failure Readiness:

Yes, that landline is as reliable as an old Chevy truck, but if the line does get cut for whatever reason, then you’re out of luck, unless you have a backup in place.

A virtual PBX system can be used as a fully-functioning backup phone system or a replacement primary system. See how to use Talkroute as a backup system, in this post:


VoIP/SIP Phone System:

Here’s where you need to make sure you have some redundancies in place, in the event of an outage. In an informative article about reliability issues for call centers, Caitlin Burge of AVOXI explains a few potential problems you may encounter when relying on a VoIP system, including server failure, severed cables, and natural disasters.

She notes that many VoIP providers don’t have enough “carrier interconnects” to supply redundant call routes. Of course, these alternative routes are there so that, when an outage occurs in one region, there are multiple other routes to take over.

All of these issues can result in hours, days, or weeks of lost calls and lost money. Not only can the data lines be compromised, but since a VoIP line needs outside power, a power outage will also cut off your phones.

System Failure Readiness:

Network failures can quickly bring down a VoIP system, and you should have either a virtual PBX system, or a separate landline to handle calls during a network outage.

Power outages will also put VoIP phones out of commission. To prepare for this, it’s a good idea to have backup batteries or an emergency generator to supply power for your phones. You may also forward all of your business calls to cell phones with a Talkroute system.

Outages can occur at any time, without warning, but you can avoid missing valuable business calls by making sure you have backups in place. Even if an act of God destroys one network, you can prepare yourself by setting up an alternative system to keep your calls moving.


Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.

Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.

StephanieHow to Keep Your Office Phones on During an Outage