In a statement on Monday evening, the NBN Co said its data scientists and network engineers had been looking at data consumption patterns in other countries which had been badly hit by the virus, officially known as COVID-19.
The company said it had requested retailers to place forward orders for capacity or CVC as usual and it would increase the CVC as needed to meet the demand.
The statement said on Saturday, 14 March, network traffic was up by more than 5% on the previous Saturday as many Australians spent more time at home. "NBN Co will continue to monitor and augment the network as quickly as possible to meet potential demand surges," it said.
NBN Co chief executive Stephen Rue said: “The NBN is part of Australia’s critical infrastructure, and the role of the network has never been more important than now and what we see unfolding over the weeks ahead. For many Australians, the NBN and other broadband and mobile networks will become the primary channel for work, study, entertainment, ordering food and maintaining contact with the outside world.
“As a telecommunications industry, we will work together to keep Australians connected and productive through this crisis. These are unprecedented times and we are already seeing a steady increase in demand on the NBN, and this is set to continue. In terms of the expected requests for additional CVC capacity, we will work with the Industry to find the best solution. Clearly we all need to play our part.
“We are actively working with retailers and have the complete support of our government stakeholders to ensure we do everything possible to optimise the NBN to support the expected increase in residential use.
“We are in the fortunate position that more than 90% of the NBN rollout has been delivered across the country, so the vast majority of Australians already have access to fast, reliable, secure broadband, which will serve them should they need or want to spend more time at home.”
NBN Co chief customer officer – residential, Brad Whitcomb, added: “We are absolutely committed to supporting customers at this crucial time and we have built considerable strength and resilience into our network. We are ready to add additional capacity as required to produce the best possible customer experience.
“Most home Internet plans are used primarily to download (Web browsing, movies, music) and as such have great download speeds. But when it comes to working from home you may have a greater need for uploading large files or joining Skype calls, so speak with your Internet retailer to make sure your plan has the upload speeds you need to work from home.”