Brits experienced over 24 hours worth of broadband outages in the past 12 months

multiple blue and orange wifi symbols

Almost five million Brits suffered from broadband outages of three or more hours over the past 12 months, with the average home experiencing more than a day's worth of downtime in total.

The city of Bristol suffered the longest time without internet per person, according to the comparison website Uswitch, losing their connection for almost three million hours in total due to outages over the past year.

Norwich had the highest proportion of residents affected by their broadband going down with 15%, whereas Londoners reported the most instances of outages, with more than seven occurring over the last 12 months. The longest single outage, however, happened in Leeds, where residents were reportedly offline for 54.4 hours on average.

Broadband has become more important than ever as more people take up remote working. A quarter of adults are still working exclusively from home as a result of the pandemic, according to Uswitch. As such, even a few hours of downtime can cause significant disruption, according to Nick Baker, Uswitch's broadband expert.

"Losing that vital link with the outside world is no minor inconvenience," said Baker. "So internet providers who fail to communicate effectively with their customers during an outage can make a bad situation worse if they leave people in limbo, not knowing when their service might be back online.


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"It is worth making a contingency plan so you can keep working if your broadband goes down, whether that's tethering to your mobile or preparing in advance by downloading essential work and favourite shows to your computer to use offline."

When their internet connection dropped, almost two in five used their mobile phone data or tethered their mobile phone to their computer, according to the report. Alternatively, 5% used their neighbour's Wi-Fi connection while more than a quarter of people (26%) were forced to stop their work and wait for their broadband to come back online.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.