The village of Cranleigh in Surrey suffered the outage in May and despite assurances from BT that the outage would only be for a few hours, it was not fixed until the following day. Smartphone users were able to access internet services through the cellular network, but the biggest impact was felt by local businesses.
Lack of internet meant that there were no credit card machines in use, and that some tills could not be used. Some shops had to ask customers to go to an ATM in order to be able to pay with cash. Any phone operating system that relies on broadband did not work, and this left many businesses unable to take orders while the business broadband was affected.
Cranleigh’s Art Centre was unable to take bookings or receive calls, and the manager, Kary Backhouse, has said that no explanation has been provided. The few people that did attend had to have old-fashioned hand-written paper tickets. Another business reports it had to close up for the day because it was unable to access its cloud computing systems. The estimated loss for that day was in the region of £3000. The company is now looking at alternatives as a backup in case the same thing happens again. The local Chamber of Commerce has been told that businesses are not permitted to group together to look for compensation or backup services as each contract is individual.