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28% of UK Consumers Fear an Internet Outage Could Ruin Christmas

Monday, December 17th, 2018 (9:44 am) - Score 899
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A new Censuswide survey of 2,010 consumers, which was conducted on behalf of UK ISP Zen Internet, has found that 60% of Brits using the internet on Christmas Day believe that their broadband going down would impact celebrations and 28% think it could ruin the day.

The outcome is not surprising, particularly given the huge popularity of internet video streaming services (e.g. Netflix, YouTube, Spotify) and the rise in modern smart devices (e.g. Amazon Echo, Google Home, WiFi connected light bulbs, heating controls). Apparently the popularity of these has led to 20% of consumers planning to give or receive a smart device for Christmas, with 33% planning to buy at least one device this year alone.

However, despite almost a quarter (22%) aiming not to use the internet at all this Christmas, Brits using the internet on Christmas Day admitted that in the event of a net outage they would miss social media sites and streaming music and film at Christmas. Mind you this does partly assume that both the fixed line and mobile data connection(s) would become unavailable at the same time (unlikely for most people).

What would you miss most during an Xmas net outage?
Social media (37%)
Streaming TV or music (24%)
Video calling (17%)
Gaming (12%)
Online shopping (11%)

Christmas should be the most peaceful time of the year, but our research shows that seemingly small issues with home broadband could cause family fallouts,” said Richard Tang, Chairman and Founder of Zen. “With so many new devices set to be connected to the web this festive season, testing the internet connection is now as vital in preparing for the big day as checking whether batteries are included and getting the dinner timings right.”

Otherwise Zen recommends ensuring that you can get good WiFi coverage around the house, have a strong network password set, change the default passwords on any new devices you connection and the obvious one of making sure to take time out from online activities to focus on family and friends.

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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17 Responses
  1. Avatar Joe

    Hmm 28% of ppl need to get a grip

  2. Avatar Mike

    28% need to learn how to tether.

  3. Avatar TheMatt

    4G backup …

  4. ..and a partridge in a pear tree.

  5. Avatar Optimist

    In 2018, Father Christmas’s favoured way of entering the home is no longer via the chimney, but the internet connection.

  6. Avatar Michael V

    Oh the thought of it terrifies me…! Hahaha. One of the things Christmas is about is family. It’s not about streaming as much as one can. Get over it people….

    • Avatar SimonR

      Except that not everybody has family to visit.

      And a proportion of those that have family rely on skype, etc., to be with them.

  7. Avatar Chris B

    I came prepared. Thanks to virgins crappy reliability during the past few months. i have two failover connections all connected to my pfsense firewall (TalkTalk VDSL and Three 4G). Probably more overkill than necessary, but as a network engineer myself, not having internet drives me mad.

  8. Avatar Adam

    I can see why an outage might cause some issues at Christmas. For instance, if a family member/s are out of town, in another country, far away from home. 1 of my kids live in the USA and the other lives in London. We would not be able to video call them and the grandkids if the net went down. Plus everything nowadays needs an update to work properly. Was buying 1 of those robot toys for the grandkid and was shocked to see it could connect to wifi and get updates. My coffee mug will be receiving updates next 😀

  9. Avatar joseph

    What age group was this survey?
    37% worried they can not get on facepalm or twatters over Xmas……… Has the millennial self absorbed idiot culture really got that bad?

    • Avatar CarlT

      I genuinely have no idea how you could be more judgmental or presumptuous.

    • Avatar joseph

      To be honest then your opinion of me is probably even worse as i personally would not miss and of the listed for a few days. THOUGH i can also understand why for some ALL the rest on the list to various degrees could upset things.

      I can understand why people would be disappointed they could not go online shopping and spend their Xmas voucher. Though they are fools also, the reason is wait a couple of days it will not kill you. In fact you may get a New Year sale discount (oh and those often now go on passed the holiday period, sometime till the 2nd week of January).

      I can even understand gaming and little billy not being able to set up his new shiny console and online account up and running or play the latest online only game. In fact having kids i can understand that a bit more, especially as for a young child getting a gift like that what they may have wanted all year will leave a memory.

      I really, really do understand Video calling, at this time of year things are supposed to be about loved ones and family. If yours live a distant away, abroad or may even be serving in our forces and are deployed overseas, then not having your Xmas day video call could indeed be upsetting. So i can appreciate people in a situation like that. For those with people serving overseas something like that could actually make the holiday for them.

      I also understand the Streaming TV or music answer. If you just got a Amazon stick, apple TV Roku or similar as a Xmas gift then what better time to fire it up and sit down with family and enjoy a film. Ruin things no, miss it if you never had it before though, probably not.

      Social media though…… Oh please, do you really need to tell the world in 100 or whatever it is characters when you are having your Xmas dinner, when you have opened you presents, when auntie Edna is drunk, document it all and then not be content with that but also instaspam a picture of your Turkey to the world. All for your nameless, faceless, probably never spoken to let alone met half the people reading your diatribe in the first place randoms.

      Oh and do not even try to argue you may be using it to communicate just with your loved ones……. The video call in the list as just a single example would be far more special for a close loved one or family member than some 2 second facepalm ‘merry Xmas to all my followers’ blub. Heck even a regular phone call (remember them) personal email etc etc shows more thought and love than firing up facepalm and a short message in a sea of thousands…. They need to get a life!!!

    • Avatar bob

      ^ Well said that man. The same 37% are also no doubt the stupid element that joined a platform designed to share your personal life like Facebook, and then complain too much is being shared or its too difficult to control what is shared or not shared publicly. The term “idiot culture” IMO is being overly kind to them.

    • Avatar joseph

      “The same 37% are also no doubt the stupid element that joined a platform designed to share your personal life like Facebook, and then complain too much is being shared or its too difficult to control what is shared or not shared publicly.”

      Oh gawd do not even get me started on those cretins.

  10. Avatar dragoneast

    NEWSFLASH: More Brits think their internet connection is more crucial to their Christmas than an electricity supply . . .

    • Avatar joseph

      One can only hope and assume their home is Gas powered and hopefully with better quality gas then what fills the empty heads of the type which would think that and participated in this survey.

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