Coronavirus UK: Internet capacity may be RATIONED to prioritise most important apps

Boris Johnson has demanded the UK’s workforce works from home for the foreseeable future as the country tries to curb the coronavirus and reduce the contact we have with each other. However, with so many more people working from home, networks and apps have revealed that there is an unprecedented pressure on the country’s mobile and broadband infrastructure.

School closures also mean that many children will be spending far more time at home than they otherwise would, probably using internet services as well.

Expert analyst Paolo Pescatore, of PP Foresight, told The Sun: “In some cases it will be paramount to prioritise mission critical communications.

In these uncertain times, users should consider having a back up connection whether that be another SIM or data only plan.

“This will help them tether to their other connected devices in the home.”

O2 network has said that its customers can access NHS websites without using any data allowance.

The network has also said that they have increased capacity in the last few days in order to handle the extra demand.

Vodafone’s CEO Nick Jeffery has said: “These are difficult and worrying times due to the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), and I wanted to personally take this opportunity to assure you, our customer, that my number one priority is to maintain the reliability and capacity of our network at all times for you, your families, and your business.

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“Over the years we have invested heavily in building and maintaining our network, and it’s the strongest it’s ever been and we are constantly optimising and strengthening the network to ensure everything runs as smooth as possible.

“We are committed to keeping you connected, and you can rely on us.

Some content providers, which include Netflix, have reduced the quality of their videos so they can reduce the network load.

The normal peak internet rush hour is no longer just the couple of hours between 6pm and 8pm, but it has now extended from midday to 9pm.

A YouTube spokesman has said to The Sun: “People are coming to YouTube to find authoritative news, learning content and make connections during these uncertain times.”

“While we have seen only a few usage peaks, we have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity.

“We are in ongoing conversations with the regulators (including Ofcom), governments and network operators all over Europe, and are making a commitment to temporarily default all traffic in the UK and the EU to Standard Definition.

“We will continue our work to minimise stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience.”


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Some people have taken to Twitter to report a reduction in their normal Internet speed, Stephen Brookes said: “Internet speeds taking a real bashing at the moment.

“I am down to around 30 per cent of normal.”

BT has said that internet users should not worry and said that the company has “more than enough capacity to handle mass-scale home working.”

The Government has now asked people not to leave their homes for the next three weeks at least, unless they are exercising or buying essential items.

Many people are using the internet and apps to continue with their jobs, such as distant teaching or personal training.

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