UK telcos join forces in national campaign to manage online surge

News

European telcos step up efforts to keep everyone connected in the face of the pandemic.

According to The Guardian newspaper, the UK Stay Connected campaign is co-ordinated by telecoms regulator Ofcom. The initiative comes as more UK workers begin working from home as the UK goes into lockdown to slow the spread of coronavirus.

The campaign, which will be delivered online, via social media and through direct communications, will urge people to take measures such as using landlines and Wi-Fi calls where possible, disconnecting unused devices, using a wired connection and even avoiding using the microwave oven.

“Broadband and mobile networks are under increased demand because of the coronavirus (Covid-19), with many families online together during the day for home working and schooling. So we can all play our part in helping to manage how we use our connections,” a statement from Ofcom said.

Yesterday, network operators in the UK started sending out text messages to all customers outlining the details of the government’s shutdown measures.

Free links for hospitals

Telefónica has deployed a network to provide connectivity to the Temporary Hospital of the Community of Madrid at IFEMA and to the ten hotels converted into a hospital in Madrid due to the COVID-19 crisis. .
 
The deployment consists of a series of 1 Gbps fibre circuits in the Temporary Hospital of the CAM in IFEMA and 100 Mbps connections in the 11 hotels converted into hospitals. Telefónica will bear the cost of the installation, flow and start-up of these networks.
 
The operator has also worked with the Emergency Services to bolster the capacity and capabilities of their communication systems and infrastructures as the number phone calls about the coronavirus soars.

Netflix throttles streaming

Last week, Netflix agreed to slow the bitrate speed at which it delivers its streaming content in Europe in a bid to free up broadband networks during the coronavirus crisis, following discussions with the European Commission.

The Commission has now also reportedly reached agreements with Amazon’s Prime Video, YouTube and Disney+.

Reports note that IP network traffic has surged by 40% in Spain, while mobile phone use is up 50% and mobile data has increased by 25%.

Companies including Telefónica, Orange and Vodafone have asked people to curb their internet use to try and maintain service quality.

This includes prioritising work and education over entertainment and gaming during peak hours, downloading large documents out of peak times, compressing files and even using landlines where possible. Spanish operators are working to increase capacity.