The £370 million cost of staying connected

UK businesses are spending £370 million on wi-fi and roaming charges annually, a new report suggests.

Research by Amba Hotels finds that the average UK business traveller spends £16.30 on wi-fi and roaming charges.

This comes to a third more than the figure for the US, where free wi-fi is more common.

According to Amba Hotels, the main drain comes from hotels and airports, where customers generally pay high costs for wi-fi, with some charging up to £17 for 24 hours.

Apart from the upfront cost, the report suggests that there are other indirect impacts on travellers. Up to 70% of business travellers are regularly unable to work efficiently due to slow or unreliable wi-fi connections.

38% had been unable to join a work call or video-conferencing meeting, while 17% had missed a work deadline.

Financial commentator and founder of letssavemoney.com, Sarah Willingham, said: "Fast, free, reliable Wi-Fi is non-negotiable for modern business travellers. With airlines and rail companies investing in Wi-Fi on board and international roaming charges falling dramatically, it’s inexcusable to keep charging extortionate rates for patchy Wi-Fi connections."

"I’m pleased to see Amba Hotels is championing fast, free Wi-Fi and hope their competitors follow their lead."

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