Almost 11 million consumers have suffered a broadband blackout lasting more than three hours over the last year, with Nottingham named Britain’s “outage capital”.
The average UK household lost a total of almost two days of internet time as a result of loss of service, power cuts and maintenance, figures show.
Homes hit by outages in Nottingham recorded a total of 9.2m hours without broadband, which equates to an average annual loss of 70 hours or almost three full days, according to a report from the utility comparison website Uswitch.com.
Southampton and Manchester were the next-worst hit locations.
Nottingham, with a population of 337,000, replaces Edinburgh in 2021 and Bristol in 2020 as the worst city for broadband outages.
Across the UK as a whole, homes that experienced broadband provider outages were offline for an average of 19 hours in the year to 14 June, the report said. When additional factors that cause the internet to go down are added – including an average of 11.5 hours of power cuts, five hours of cable damage and almost 10 hours of routine maintenance – the typical UK home was offline for nearly 45 hours or almost two days.
Outages caused issues for remote and flexible workers operating from home, with 16% of those affected saying their work had been affected at an estimated cost to the economy almost £1.3bn.
Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said they had worked at least one day a month from home, clocking up a total of more than 25m lost work hours for their employers over the past year – equivalent to more than 1m lost days.
“Misfiring home broadband can quickly become a huge annoyance, given that video calls have become essential for many remote workers,” said Ernest Doku, a broadband expert at Uswitch.
“Many households who took out a broadband deal during lockdown in the January sales last year will now be reaching the end of their contract. It’s the perfect time to shop around.”
The worst cities in the UK for network outages (average amount of downtime for those hit by outages in the year to 14 June)