As the coronavirus spreads, public and private companies as well as government entities are requiring employees to work from home, putting unforeseen strain on all manner of networking technologies and causing bandwidth and security concerns.
As the coronavirus spreads, public and private companies as well as government entities are requiring employees to work from home, putting unforeseen strain on all manner of networking technologies and causing bandwidth and security concerns. What follows is a round-up of news and traffic updates that Network World will update as needed to help keep up with the ever-changing situation.
Other service providers reported that thanks to extra capacity designed into the internet backbone and other major networks, they have survived the impact COVID-19 has had on overall traffic.
“There was some anxiety as traffic began to ramp up at the start – we’ve seen a 35% increase in internet traffic – but ultimately the networks have handled it quite well,” said , chief technology officer during a conference call.
It helped that the increased traffic generated by employees newly working from homes hits the networks during the day, not evenings, which is peak time for internet usage.
Enterprises and large network operators plan for capacity months ahead of when they need it so there was headroom there, he said. People who build large IP networks are proactive and engineer the network for unexpected congestion. “We had some infrastructure segments that ran hot, but we are fiber-based so we quickly were able to add capacity, and we continue to address those situations – but a byproduct of that is more capacity as well,” he said.
During AT&T’s Q1 call with analysts this week, CEO took note of heavy volumes of traffic its network has been handling. “What we are seeing is the volumes of network usage moving out of urban and into suburban areas… and we are seeing heavy, heavy volume on the networks out of homes,” he said. That traffic is being generated by work-from-home employees, students doing online classwork and commerce, he said, and “it’s impressive to see how much activity is still going on by virtue of the connectivity that’s been facilitated into the homes.”
He said network providers take a lot of satisfaction in how well the networks are standing up given that volume of traffic has increased at the same time its source has shifted.
The reported that Email traffic is down 25% as more people opt for phone and video calls and data usage is basically flat or down slightly week-over-week — including gaming, streaming video, web browsing and social media — indicating people have settled into their new routines.