British businesses lost £7 billion to internet outages in 2016

British businesses need to protect themselves from potential revenue loss and down time caused by internet outages.

British businesses suffered three days of internet outages and downtime each on average during 2016, costing the UK economy £7 billion in lost productivity and extra overtime, according to research conducted by Beaming, the business ISP.

Beaming worked with research company Opinium, a mathematician from Imperial College and more than 500 businesses using a range of internet providers and connectivity services to quantify the impact of internet outages on UK businesses and the wider economy.

More than three quarters of businesses experienced at least one connectivity failure that prevented them from trading or accessing vital online services last year. On average, UK organisations suffered four outages each during 2016, and a wait of six hours every time for service to be restored.

It finds that 77 per cent of businesses – approximately 4.2 million organisations nationwide – experienced connectivity failures in 2016. Affected organisations suffered 27 hours of lost connectivity and losses of £1,287 each on average.

Although a quarter (25 per cent) of businesses mitigate some downtime by moving to tasks that do not require connectivity and 13 per cent switch to alternative connections, day-to-day operations grind to a halt at more than a third of businesses (38 per cent) when the internet fails. More than one in ten (13 per cent) businesses start losing money immediately when hit by outages and almost half (46 per cent) suffer a negative financial impact after four hours without connectivity.

Sonia Blizzard, managing director of Beaming, comments, ‘Internet failures can happen for all sorts of reasons, including malicious attacks, poorly configured routers or simply not using products that are appropriate for business. As businesses grow, it becomes more important to put in place the right capacity, to have the ability to scale quickly and to protect networks from cyber attacks.

‘Any organisation with more than ten internet users should be monitoring their systems for emerging problems and have experts on hand that can help immediately at the first sign of a problem.’

Further reading on internet outages

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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