Internet service providers (ISPs) have seen a huge surge in demand on their systems, with Vodafone announcing a 50% increase in usage for its services in some countries.
This comes as the coronavirus forces more people to work from home and self isolate. In the UK alone, Vodafone has seen a 30% increase in usage as a result of the Government’s suggestion of social distancing due to the pandemic and people across the country choose to work remotely.
TalkTalk also announced a 20% increase in daytime traffic since Monday. And, with all schools across the UK set to close on Friday (20th of March), there will be an increase in children using educational material online, playing games and watching films and TV shows on multiple devices.
The ISPs said that the normal high usage hours, typically between 6pm and 8pm, are now being seen throughout the day.
There is concern that the extra strain on the network could cause some areas to lose connection or network services. To ensure these remain connected and the world continues to function online, Vodafone has released a five-point plan designed to help communities in Europe.
The points include ensuring quality is maintained on its network, supporting healthcare workers to access vital healthcare information and providing text alerts for governments to keep people keep up to date with coronavirus developments in their areas.
Nick Read, chief executive of Vodafone Group, said: “Vodafone can play a critical role in supporting society during this unprecedented time and that is why we are announcing our five-point plan. A plan that ensures better outcomes for all citizens by working more closely with governments.
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“Through our networks, and our dedicated team, we will strive to ensure that people stay connected to their family and friends, businesses can continue to run using remote working, our health services get all the support we can deliver and students are able to continue their education virtually.
“While still putting the health and safety of our teams first, using our remote working technology, our teams are working round the clock to ensure that we deliver on this plan. I want to personally thank them all for providing this critical service for our customers.”
The ISPs new measures will remain in effect until 1 September with the potential for them to be extended, should it be necessary, in individual markets.