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Daisy: Poor internet connections costing economy £11bn a year

Paul Withers
March 19, 2015

Research from telecoms provider reveals average employee losing an average 38 hours and £494 worth of productivity each year

Daisy Group has found the average worker loses 38 hours of productivity a year through slow internet access or IT downtime, costing the UK economy a combined £11 billion a year.

This is according to research carried out by One Poll and commissioned by Daisy, which surveyed 2,000 adults (1,190 females and 810 males) living in the UK.

It shows that taking the UK’s average wage of £13 per hour, and 72 per cent of the UK’s workforce of 30 million that use the internet in their job roles, it is estimated that £494 worth of productivity is lost per employee per year, amounting to £11 billion.

The research showed that on average, a worker is unable to complete their normal job responsibilities for up to 44 minutes every week due to poor broadband speeds, while seven per cent said their internet connection fails more than 10 times in any given seven day period. The average downtime lasts for 14.5 minutes.

Nearly four in ten (39 per cent) said their home connection was ‘much faster’ than the one they used at work.

Daisy said this was despite the government’s effort to roll out free fibre broadband across the UK and offer free grants to subsidise the costs of upgrading a connection. As part of its SuperConnected Cities scheme, businesses located within a defined postcode in 22 cities are currently eligible for a grant of up to £3,000, with more cities to be added next month.

In addition, during periods of slow internet access, 60 per cent of those surveyed said they use their smartphones for non-related work activities, such as online shopping and checking social media. Nine per cent admitted to using their smartphone to look for other jobs when they had no internet access.

Daisy Group product manager for data networks Jan Wielanga said: “Too many businesses are still relying on basic ADSL connections that are aimed at the residential users. These are the businesses that struggle to cope with the high-bandwidth demands of software and apps that workers use.

“It is simply unacceptable for businesses that rely heavily on the internet to experience periods of downtime, particularly at a time when fibre and dedicated Ethernet connections have never been more affordable and available.

“The internet going down or running slowly for 44 minutes per week doesn’t sound much, but the result of any loss of productivity is that businesses can suffer.

“A strong digital infrastructure has become the backbone of any forward-thinking organisation because it ensures that they are prepared for the future. However, there is a lack of awareness amongst SMEs that the SuperConnected Cities scheme exists which is hindering the UK economy. Now really is the time to upgrade to avoid being left behind the competition,”

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