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UK businesses experienced a total of 82 million hours of Internet downtime in 2017

UK businesses lost 82 million hours to Internet outages in 2017, according to research conducted by Opinium.

In January 2018, Opinium were engaged by Beaming, the business internet service provider, to survey the leaders of more than 500 UK businesses using a range of Internet providers and connectivity services. Opinium discovered that, on average, businesses suffered two major Internet outages each during 2017 that prevented them from trading or accessing vital services online.

Although this was half the number experienced in 2016, the total amount of productive time lost increased by four percent year-on-year, mainly due to the severity of the outages and it taking longer to restore service.

The amount of time it took to restore service to businesses with fewer than 10 people increased from eight hours on average in 2016 to 12 in 2017. For companies employing between 10 and 49 people, the average outage duration increased from seven hours to more than 10 over the same period.

Although the research shows that small businesses still struggle with outages, they are also more prepared for them. Half (48 percent) of the businesses surveyed said they focused on tasks that didn't need the Internet during outages, while almost a quarter (22 percent) said they switched to alternative connections such as the 4G network.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, commented:

“Businesses today rely on the internet more than ever. But instead of getting better Internet, many are simply getting better at managing the impact of a poor Internet service.”

“Smaller businesses suffer the most from Internet outages because they are more likely to rely on broadband services designed for household use. The service level agreements on consumer packages tend to permit longer periods of downtime and don’t provide rapid access to technical experts that can address problems quickly.

“Small businesses are taking steps to implement business continuity measures, but outages will undoubtedly affect their productivity. This is a hot topic when it comes to the wider economy.”

The table below shows results from the survey broken down by company size and compared to the previous year's findings:

Solo
1 person

Micro
2-9 people

Small
10-49 people

Medium
50-249 people

Large
250+ people

Businesses suffering downtime

2017

33%

54%

57%

55%

68%

2016

62%

73%

75%

83%

88%

Average outages per business

2017

1.4

2.1

1.9

2.1

3.1

2016

2.8

3.9

3.7

3.7

4.6

Average downtime per business (hours)

2017

12.6

24.8

19.7

6.9

28.5

2016

16.7

30.7

25.8

18.2

46.4

Average service recovery time

2017

9.0

11.8

10.4

3.3

9.2

2016

6.0

7.9

7.0

4.9

10.1

Productive hours lost across population

2017

50,885,370

26,709,878

3,862,769

181,979

188,273

2016

55,518,736

18,766,598

3,810,042

326,476

291,230

Source: Beaming & Opinium

www.beaming.co.uk



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