Want to know how reliable the Internet really is?

If you’re wondering how important it is to have multiple Internet connections at branch offices, you should read this report.

We are constantly looking at data points such as jitter, latency, and packet loss to understand the reliability and behaviour of broadband Internet connections. But it’s important to give context to these data points relative to the real-world. For example, what does a connection failure mean in terms of dollars and cents?  To gain insight we undertook the task of tracking all Google Alerts throughout 2015 for the key phrase “Internet outage”. Our findings are published in the report titled “Reliability: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”.

In preparing the report, we combed through 263 unique major Internet outages that were covered by online global news services. The diverse stories we researched demonstrate the fragility of the Internet. From small towns to big enterprises, we saw how reliant organizations are to connected devices. Thus, when data transmission is interrupted it not only causes widespread frustration and inconvenience but it hurts an organization’s bottom line.

Here are few key findings:

1. 40% of reported incidents were due to accidental 3rd party cut lines – the vast majority of which are created by construction and road crews inadvertently taking out service in the mid- and last-mile.

2. 78% of reported incidents are beyond the control of the service provider – meaning, no matter how good an ISP is, it’s up to the customer to understand its risks vis-a-vis downtime. The top three outage reasons that were “beyond the control of the Service Provider” were accidents (car usually), weather-related incidents (tornadoes and the like), and malice (sabotage, vandalism, and theft).

3. We’ve estimated  the cost of downtime to be (moderately) $150,000/hour for large enterprises. Consultancy giant Gartner estimates that each hour of downtime could cost an enterprise as much as $540,000/hour.

4. Despite marketing messages that tout their reliability at 99.99%, the typical broadband connection performs at 98.6% uptime – this means for large enterprises, they lose over $18 million each year!

The report digs further into the Google Alerts data, external estimates, and the business intelligence data we are seeing in order to give you a bigger picture of what it all means to organizations. We hope you find it as insightful as we did!