During the weekend, tens of thousands of BT broadband customers and those of other ISPs that currently run on the old CN20 network, were left without internet access for more than a day as a major fault affected the service.
Given how essential internet is for a modern lifestyle, having some sort of backup does help tremendously in this case as we found out when our internet got borged last week. And it coundn't be easier now with widespread national network coverage.
The most straight-forward option is to get one PAYG broadband dongle (or broadband stick) and shove a PAYG SIM in there and literally pay as you go. Argos sells a Vodafone model for £15 and you will be able to get LOADS on any network for under £10.
In addition, some service providers like 3 UK sometimes provide with free dongle with the customer only having to pay for the P&P.
Speaking of 3 UK, they remain the cheapest and most flexible mobile phone operator on the market; their PAYG mobile broadband packages start at £20, a price that includes the modem and 1GB to be spent within 30 days.
A 3GB package costs £30 while the 12GB one, which lasts up to one year - ideal for browsing the web while doing short trips or commuting - can be bought for a mere £80.
Arguably, the other option would be to use your phone as a modem although you will have to check first with your mobile service provider. Most recent smartphones including the Nokia N95 and the iPhone do allow tethering.