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£1.3 billion a year lost thanks to broadband outages – survey

pile of cash

Broadband outages effecting home workers have cost the UK economy £1.3 billion over the past year, according to a report by Uswitch.com.

Apparently around 11 million people suffered an internet outage that left them offline for three hours or more in the last year, mostly effecting those working remotely according to USwitch report – culminating in a £1.3 billion dent to the economy, though god only knows how they work these things out to such an exactitude.

According to a companion survey, 16% who reported a significant outage say it stopped them from working (we’re surprised that’s not higher given modern office penchant for putting everything on the cloud), and those affected lost on average nearly two days of internet service during the year. 10% got grief from their bosses when this happened, and ‘faced questions or comments regarding the quality of their broadband connection’, which seems a tad unfair.

10% said they were more likely to go into the office as they didn’t trust their home connection, while 8% felt they had missed out on jobs or promotions due to flaky broadband. Meanwhile Nottingham gets the wooden spoon for being the worst place for outages, with residents losing 9.2 million hours of broadband annually.

“Misfiring home broadband can quickly become a huge annoyance, given that video calls have become essential for many remote workers,” said Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch.com. “Stable broadband should not be the thing that you worry about when you are trying to impress a new employer. Bosses will not be filled with confidence if their first impression is buffering and internet drop outs. When people reach the point that their bosses are commenting on their connection issues, it’s time to consider an upgrade. You may find that better service often comes at a cheaper price when you have been with the same provider for a number of years.

“Competition is rife in the broadband industry and the price gap between standard fixed-line internet and full fibre services – which offer more consistent connectivity and superfast download speeds of up to 1Gb – is now minimal. Many households who took out a broadband deal during lockdown in the 2021 January sales will now be reaching the end of their contract, so it’s the perfect time to shop around, especially if you rely on your home internet to do your job.”

The good news is the number of people affected by outages fell compared with last year, and 23% of people who moaned to their provider after it happened received compensation. The study is from Uswitch, so it’s all in the service of encouraging people to switch out of contract broadband for new deals, which is its business, but it provides an interesting snapshot all the same.

 

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