Tuesday, 17 March 2020 05:39

COVID-19: NBN Co says it has contingency plans to meet increased usage Featured

COVID-19: NBN Co says it has contingency plans to meet increased usage Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The organisation building Australia's national broadband network says it is well advanced with contingency plans to cope with increased usage of the network as Australians are forced to work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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.

"The NBN Co's peak throughput is typically at around 9pm and, by comparison, during standard business hours of 9-5pm, network traffic is usually around half that of the evening peak."

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.”

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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