Broadband outage costs UK economy £1.3 billion


Broadband outages affecting UK home workers cost the economy £1.3bn in the past year, according to annual outage report from Uswitch.comthe comparison and switching service.

Nearly 11 million consumers were affected by an internet outage that left them offline for three hours or more in the past 12 months.

One in seven Britons (16%) those who reported a significant outage said they were unable to work as a result, and those affected lost an average of nearly two days of internet over the course of the year.

And with half of employees (51%) working from home at least once a week, internet problems land some in their boss’s bad books, with one in ten (10%) admitting they’ve had questions or concerns about the quality of their work. their broadband connection.

Yet one in eight people (13%) say the cost of living crisis means they have to work from home more often – regardless of the reliability of their broadband – to save money.

When tackling key projects, 10% of employees said they went to the office earlier because they didn’t trust their home connection, while 8% felt they missed out on jobs or promotions because of unreliable broadband.

Nottingham is the UK’s outage capital with residents who have experienced service outages that have been offline for the longest time in a year, losing 9.2 million hours of broadband per year. The city was followed by Southampton and Manchester.

Table: The places with the highest total home broadband downtime in 2021-22



Average Downtime 2021-22



70.2 hours



45.8 hours



38.8 hours



38.7 hours



27.3 hours



22.4 hours



17.2 hours



15.3 hours


While the number of people affected by outages decreased compared to last year, those who did experience service interruptions were more motivated to complain. More than half (52%) with an extended outage contacted their provider, and a quarter of those who complained (23%) were reimbursed for their issues.

One in seven broadband users (14%) say they’ve noticed their service getting worse in the past year, but of those who experienced an outage, only 12% considered switching providers as a result, compared to a third (37%) in 2021.

Nearly seven million Britons have no contract with their broadband provider, and thousands more contracts are expected to end in July due to a spike in broadband sales that closed in January during lockdown 2021.

with outdoorcontract broadband prices often more expensive than current fiber deals, it is important that consumers switch to a new subscription when their deal expires. Otherwise, they could spend an average of £162 a year too much on poor or slow broadband.

Says Ernest Doku, broadband expert at

“The failure of home broadband can quickly become a major annoyance as video calls have become essential for many remote workers.

“Stable broadband shouldn’t be the thing to worry about when trying to impress a new employer. Bosses won’t be confident if their first impression is buffering and internet outages.

“When people get to the point where their bosses are commenting on their connectivity issues, it’s time to consider an upgrade. It may be that better service is often cheaper if 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 wired internet and full fiber services – which offer more consistent connectivity and blazing-fast download speeds of up to 1Gb – is now minimal.

“Many households that closed a broadband deal during the lockdown in January 2021 sales are now reaching the end of their… contractso it’s the perfect time to shop around, especially if you rely on your home internet to do your job.”

What to do if your internet goes down:

  1. Check your router: Often times, your equipment is at fault rather than an external fault, so it’s worth doing a quick reset of the router and checking your Wi-Fi connections to see if that fixes the problem.
  2. Status update: Many of the major broadband providers in the UK including: Skyvirgin media and BT have a special page on their website to show service interruptions. Visit this one and enter your information and you should see if the problem is specific to your connection or if there are wider network issues. More generally a website like Downward Detector can show if others are reporting problems on your network or if a particular website or app is down.
  3. Reserve plan: If your broadband goes down due to cable issues or a specific problem with your carrier, you could be out of service for several hours, so it’s worth making sure you have another option if you need internet access. Consider using your mobile phone’s data limit, either directly or through: pin it to a computer – turning your handset into a portable router that allows you to use the 4G connection in the same way as standard broadband.
  4. Watch your speed: In addition to outages, it’s worth keeping an eye on any slowdowns in your internet connection. When you get a home broadband deal, your provider must guarantee a minimum service speed, so perform regularly speed tests to make sure you get what you pay for. If a network issue means your speed is consistently slow — and can’t be fixed within 30 days — you should be able to leave without penalty.
  5. Long delay, get paid: If you regularly experience broadband problems, don’t hesitate to contact your provider to see if they can help you. According to Ofcom, if your connection goes down for more than two days, you are entitled to compensation of £8.40 per day.
  6. Still not satisfied?: It’s time to switch. Make a comparison to see which alternative broadband packages are available to suit your needs.

Chris Price

For the latest tech stories, visit

Get in Touch

Related Articles

Get in Touch


Latest Posts