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The Investment Association

About The Investment Association

The Investment Association is the UK’s trade body for the investment management industry. From its office in Holborn, The Investment Association’s 65 staff support over 200 members with policy advice, technical guidance, research, public policy and other membership services.

The Challenge

At 1pm on Wednesday the 1st April 2015, The Investment Association’s internet and telephone connections went down. The organisation’s Chief Operating Officer, Jack Knight was in the process of calling the ISP to identify the cause of the problem when a colleague interrupted him; “He told me that I might want to take a look out of the window, urgently, and when I did I saw brown smoke and realised straight away that the problem was not superficial.”  

An electrical fire in a tunnel beneath the pavement caused the evacuation of 5,000 people and would go on to take fire crews more than 36 hours to extinguish. Due to the office’s proximity, all electricity to the entire building failed and The Investment Association sent all its employees home.

Knight was faced with the challenge of getting the business back online and operational as quickly as possible – amid a very uncertain situation without a clear schedule for accessing the site.

The Approach

Knight explains that Luminet’s Network in the Sky had always been earmarked for a backup plan in such a business continuity circumstance, having previously investigated (and discounted) the option of 4G mobile connectivity when he discovered it could not handle the organisation’s bandwidth requirements. At 9am, the morning after the evacuation (with the fire still blazing), just as Knight was about to call Luminet, he received an email from them asking if he required help. “I replied to Luminet immediately – yes please, send me a quote!” describes Knight.

The Investment Association’s immediate priority was staff safety. With no access to the building still, all staff were asked to stay at home. The management team had a conference call to discuss its approach, working out how to keep the organisation running for its members. It was quickly apparent that connectivity for the staff to enable them to work remotely and then on site, once they were permitted to return, was of paramount importance. The whole neighbourhood was affected by the fire so Knight knew that it would be a priority for all authorities and suppliers to get such a large area back in operation, but he was keen that they were independently proactive in finding their own solutions to avoid delays.

The fire was finally extinguished on the Friday (having started on the Wednesday) and the Luminet team was on call all weekend, ready to go with the installation of its Luminet Wireless Lite service (previously known as Fibre-Air) as soon as site access was granted by the emergency services. 

The Results

One week after the fire had broken out, access to the building was secured. The Luminet team immediately arrived on site to install a wireless antenna onto the building’s roof and within two hours it was fully live. Knight was then able to move all phone calls onto a SIP service via the Luminet link so that phone lines could also be restored. Perfect timing for the staff returning to work.  

Knight: “Everyone responded to our requirements with a real understanding of the urgency. Luminet was able to make it happen in a way I have never known before. The installation was safe and professional but it prioritised speed. The moment that connectivity was restored, 90% of our problems were solved.”  

The Investment Association continued to operate exclusively via its connection to Luminet’s Network in the Sky for weeks after the fire, handling business as usual and without reported issues from staff or stakeholders.

On Tuesday 21st April, three weeks after the fire severed the Fibre line, the Luminet network and SIP services handed back the primary connection role seamlessly to The Investment Association’s reconnected Fibre line.  

Knight concludes; “We aren’t getting rid of the Luminet Wireless Lite connection now it’s there. We can now have the peace of mind that with a completely independent backup network, if another situation arose that severed our Fibre line, we would experience no downtime at all as the Luminet network would take over.” 

Summary of key benefits:

  • Urgent disaster recovery for business affected by a major London fire
  • Replaced Fibre connection within hours of getting access to the building
  • Business continuity solution now in place with backup bandwidth completely independent from the primary Fibre line

About Luminet

Luminet is on a mission to help businesses Rise Above with London’s Network in the Sky by embracing the fast, busy, thriving side of London and the opportunities it presents by providing excellent connectivity. 

Luminet is a managed services provider, offering businesses Connectivity and Cloud Computing services. Luminet has a peer-to-peer relationship with its customers and superb customer satisfaction ratings. Combining a true customer-centric organisation with strong values, culture and capability together with technical excellence and best-value makes Luminet a partner of choice for business, supported by industry-leading SLAs, and ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications.

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