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End user complaints about business network brownouts have grown 60% since the start of COVID-19, according to a new report from Accedian.

The report authors define network brownouts as unexpected performance degradations, excessive slowdowns and network congestion that impact application performance (as opposed to full network outages or blackouts).

Network brownouts have been a large issue since the pandemic hit in the late winter, with 40% of the businesses that analytics provider Accedian surveyed reporting that they had subpar network performance several times a week.

One in five organizations reported suffering from daily brownouts, even though IT teams report spending 12.5 hours a week trying to fix or prevent those issues. Additionally, over half (53%) of survey respondents reported that they spent an average of 2.5 hours resolving a network brownout.

Despite the negative impact of brownouts and other challenges faced since the onset of COVID-19, more than half of small businesses and mid-sized businesses think they will emerge from the pandemic stronger than they were before it, as Telecompetitor reported.

“COVID-19 or not, it would be wise for businesses across industries to fortify their networks so they can work more efficiently in this remote, distributed era,” said Sergio Bea, VP Global Enterprise and Channel Sales, Accedian, in a prepared statement about the COVID-19 network brownouts report. “If there’s one thing the current pandemic has taught us, it’s that networks and applications are the backbone of the digital economy. In order for businesses to compete and succeed in an increasingly competitive landscape, it is important for leaders to understand how the pandemic impacts network performance, as well as the causes and effects of poor network performance on their business productivity, IT teams and end-user experience. Based on our research with IT leaders, we’re able to provide data-driven insights to organizations scaling in this new environment.”

Among the causes for the COVID-19 network brownouts, according to the report:

  • Network connectivity issues (cited by 47%)
  • Maintenance and upgrades (43%)
  • Increased website/database traffic (43%)
  • Issues with third-party technology providers (36%)

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