Small firms hit hardest by downtime

09 April 2018

UK businesses lost almost 82 million hours to internet outages in 2017, according to research conducted by Beaming.

Earlier this year, the Hastings-based business ISP commissioned an independent survey of business leaders in 514 UK companies to identify the average amount of working time lost to internet outages.

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, Beaming says the total amount of productive time lost increased by four per cent year-on-year, mainly due to the severity of the outages and the amount of time it took to restore service. 

In businesses with fewer than 10 people, restoration time rose from an average of eight hours in 2016 to 12 last year. For firms employing between 10 and 49 staff, the average outage duration increased from seven hours to more than 10 over the same period.

Beaming MD Sonia Blizzard believes that instead of getting better internet, many businesses are simply getting better at managing the impact of a poor service.

She says: “Smaller businesses suffer the most from internet outages because they are more likely to rely on broadband services designed for household use.

The SLAs on consumer packages tend to permit longer periods of downtime and don’t provide rapid access to technical experts that can address problems quickly.”

Although Beaming’s research shows that small firms still struggle with outages, they are also more prepared for them. Forty eight per cent of those surveyed said they focused on tasks that didn’t need the internet during outages, while 22 per cent said they switched to alternative connections.