Using 3G for Broadband Backup

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Project Overview

Organisation: Professional Practice Services

Partner: SCS UK

Solution: Broadband Failover

Products Used: Vigor 2820n router

Case Study Summary

  • DrayTek provides broadband failover solution to Professional Practice Services

  • Failover successful on three occasions within the first three months of operation


About Professional Practice Services

Professional Practice Services (PPS) are acknowledged as the most experienced advisers to the veterinary sector. They provide a range of financial services and insurance packages that enable a veterinary surgeon to trade securely and maximise their bottom-line profits. Based in Bromsgrove, PPS employ 16 staff and service over 2,000 veterinary practices.

The Requirements

A large percentage of PPS's business comes from insurance policy applications that are completed online by the customer, processed by the underwriter and then delivered to PPS via the Internet. As soon as an underwritten policy arrives, the policy documentation needs to be processed immediately. Then, the customer must be contacted as necessary and everything has to be checked to ensure accuracy so the business can be placed. A delay in the process can cause customer dissatisfaction and a backlog of work. Although PPS have a business class ADSL connection, they had experienced line failures on a number of occasions. Due to the nature of their business, any loss of service has a direct impact on day-to-day business, so they sought a solution that gave the man alternative.

The Solution

Simon Bateman at SCS (PPS’s IT supplier) considered the requirements and recommended a DrayTek Vigor 2820n. This is a business class ADSL router which has built in wireless access for laptop PCs (Wi-Fi) as well as connecting to the wired PCs. The Vigor 2820n also provides content filtering to prevent access to selectable websites. Most importantly, the Vigor 2820n has a USB port to which PPS connected a 3G USB modem. PPS selected Vodafone as their service provide (3G data service and USB modems are available from most providers now). When the main (ADSL) Internet connection fails, 3G kicks in automatically with no loss of service thus enabling PPS to continue doing business.

According to Bateman (SCS)

“In the early summer I was called by Paul whose Internet broadband had been cut off because of a fault with the local BT exchange. Though this was being repaired by BT as a priority, no time scale could be given for the broadband to be restored. I was asked if I could provide contingency in case this ever happens again and supplied a DrayTek Vigor 2820n, which, as well as being a top-class broadband router with some excellent firewall facilities has a 3G USB connection.”

PPS’s headquarters in Bromsgrove uses a business class ADSL line for its normal Internet connectivity. A Vigor 2820n provides shared internet access, content filtering and also secure wireless connectivity for laptops used in the office. In the event of ADSL line failure, the Vigor 2820n automatically switches over to using the 3Gmodem. Once ADSL service is restored, the Vigor 2820n automatically switches back to that. In this way, PPS have continued Internet access at all times. The Vigor 2820n can also be used for staff at client sites to connect to the office network securely as well as protecting the network from external attacks/hacking.

“Without the DrayTek broadband failover system our business would stop. We need the confidence of constant access to the Internet to process policy applications and their neat 3G failover option has saved us on three occasions over the past three months.”

Paul Jackson, Partner, Professional Practice Services

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