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Small firms hit hardest by 82m hours of internet downtime in 2017

Better prepared businesses switch tasks and connections to mitigate impact of outages

UK businesses lost almost 82 million hours to  outages in 2017, according to our latest internet downtime research.

In January 2018, Beaming engaged research company Opinium to survey the leaders of more than 500 UK businesses using a range of internet providers and connectivity services. It 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 per cent 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.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, comments: “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.”

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

Internet Downtime 2017

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