This past Fall several widespread public internet outages impacted the Dial-N-Document® (DND) system for some of our customers. The DND system, by necessity, must rely on several upstream infrastructure vendors over which it has no direct control if outages occur. That fact notwithstanding, DND has always endeavored to provide as much uninterrupted service and redundancy into its system as possible. Accordingly, DND has expended and will continue to expend a significant on-going amount to lessen or eliminate, to the degree possible, future impacts of widespread internet outages. DND has contracted for this new system with two major vendors. No system is perfect but by contract we are advised that this new system will give our customers 99.999% uptime between our national toll free telephony provider and our service center, notwithstanding public internet outages. DND has undertaken this enhancement with those vendors for the benefit of our customers and will NOT be raising its existing per visit fees. For more detailed information please continue reading below.
Nineteen years of experience has educated DND that although it provides a state-of the-art system, circumstances and technical innovations will require us to change with the times. We assure you DND will continue to evolve as circumstances dictate to meet our customers’ needs and demands for a robust electronic visit verification and documentation system.
Originally the DND system employed hard T-1 toll-free telephone lines for its service. That was a cost prohibitive approach and was inadequate if our primary service center, where our hardware and software are stored, ever suffered a catastrophe. DND maintains a remote disaster recover (DR) site where our data is continuously backed up and is available for use should a disaster ever occur at our primary site. Such old T-1 lines could not be quickly provisioned to that DR site and all field staff would have to be educated to utilize a new toll free number. Hence years ago DND converted to a VoIP toll free system that was somewhat more cost effective but more importantly let us activate the DR site in approximately an hour (not days or weeks) with no change in telephone numbers and hence no disruption to the field staff’s routine. Century Link, a national VoIP carrier, originally provided our VoIP service. In September of 2015 Century Link suffered a nationwide outage of its system, putting DND out of service for approximately six hours. That was an unacceptable situation and DND left Century Link for USA Digital, a national provider of toll free VoIP with two redundant sites, one in Las Vegas and one in Dallas, employing 4 different internet providers that could be employed if any one – like Century Link – had an issue. That gave us added redundancy but the widespread public internet outages this Fall demonstrated that even with that redundancy, a public internet outage could take our service down for up to an hour. Knowing the importance of uninterrupted service to the degree humanly possible, DND has contracted with USA Digital to provide a dedicated 30 Meg Ethernet private line between its facility in Dallas to our primary site in suburban Atlanta provided by Prime Care Tecnologies. That connection is to provide a 99.999% uptime guarantee between these two sites per the contract. We will continue to maintain a VoIP backup internet connection for redundancy, especially if we ever need to switch to our DR site quickly because an Ethernet private line takes considerable time to provision. For more detail see the diagram below showing this new configuration. This arrangement gives us great stability once VoIP calls reach USA Digital and come under our general control. We are not in a position to address local telephone company outages or internet interruptions that occur prior to calls reaching USA Digital.