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ISP Claims UK Lost £7bn in 2016 Due to Business Broadband Outages

Friday, Mar 24th, 2017 (2:16 pm) - Score 1,084

A new survey of 500+ British businesses, which was commissioned by broadband ISP Beaming, has estimated that the UK economy could have lost as much as £7bn in lost productivity during 2016 because of Internet connectivity outages at 77% of businesses.

The survey, which was conducted by research firm Opinium and a mathematician from the Imperial College, claims to have found that 77% (“approximately 4.2 million organisations nationwide“) experienced connectivity failures in 2016. On average, UK organisations were also found to have suffered 4-5 outages each during 2016 and a wait of 6 hours every time for service to be restored.

business connectivity cost of downtime 2016

The good news is that 25% of businesses affected by downtime were able to mitigate some of it by adopting tasks that do not require connectivity, while 13% switched to alternative / backup connections. However day-to-day operations grind to a halt at 38% of businesses when the internet fails and 13% start losing money immediately when hit by outages, while 46% only suffer a negative financial impact after 4 hours without connectivity.

Sonia Blizzard, MD of Beaming, said:

“Internet failures can happen for all sorts of reasons, including malicious attacks, poorly configured routers or simply not using products that are appropriate for business. As businesses grow, it becomes more important to put in place the right capacity, to have the ability to scale quickly and to protect networks from cyber attacks.

Any organisation with more than 10 internet users should be monitoring their systems for emerging problems and have experts on hand that can help immediately at the first sign of a problem.”

Digital networks are complicated beasts and sometimes even the most expensive dedicated leased lines can suffer failures, although most outages are usually resolved within the space of a few minutes or hours. Never the less even a short outage can cause a lot of disruption, although it would require a much more detailed survey in order to figure out the real cost.

However any business that depends on Internet connectivity should ensure they have a good level of backup / redundancy in their system, which would mitigate such problems and allow at least basic operations to continue. Admittedly this may be more difficult to achieve in some (rural) parts of the country than others, although in the long run a good level of redundancy can often pay for itself by keeping a business alive during primary network outages.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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