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Working From Home? The UK Can Handle It

Telecoms giant responds to critics around the UK’s networks not being able to handle people working from home

In a strongly worded statement BT have confirmed than the UK’s networks are more than capable of handling the unprecedented surge in demand of employees working from home during the Coronavirus crisis. Their chief technology and information officer, Howard Watson, did confirm however that they’ve seen a recent shift in how data services are being used around the UK.

 

BT felt it was important to make the statement as a number of media outlets had been suggesting that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) forcing everyone to work from home would cause peoples internet services to be sluggish or unresponsive.

 

Interestingly, in the last two weeks or so the amount of mobile data being used has actually dropped by around 5% as people rely more on their personal WIFi at home, with mobile traffic becoming more evenly distributed around the country rather than being concentrated in large population centres as it was previously.

Data usage itself is peaking around 5pm, with everyone logging in online for Boris Johnson’s daily coronavirus briefings.

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We are seeing an increase in mobile voice call volumes, which is to be expected. This is well within the levels the network is built to handle, but we would encourage customers to use the landline or IP voice services like Skype as well, especially for long conference calls

Howard Watson – BT Chief Technology & Information Officer

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As expected VPN traffic has also seen a massive spike but BT wanted to reiterate that the key takeaway for everyone should be that whilst the type of useage of the UK’s networks have changed in the past few weeks, they’re [BT] more than capable of responding to these changes.

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This may mean that companies need to think about how they optimise use of these private networks or increase their provision of such services.

At BT, we're monitoring those changes carefully to make sure we can respond rapidly if needed. However, the UK's communications infrastructure is well within its capacity limits and has significant headroom for growth in demand

Howard Watson – BT Chief Technology & Information Officer

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