Broadband network has the capacity to cope with increase of people working from home - providers

Internet providers have said that the broadband network has the capacity to allow for an increase in people working from home.

Broadband network has the capacity to cope with increase of people working from home - providers

Internet providers have said that the broadband network has the capacity to allow for an increase in people working from home.

This comes after the Taoiseach Leo Varadker encouraged companies to increase remote working where possible, to stop the spread of Covid-19.

It is also expected there will be a significant rise in the use of children accessing streaming services such as Netflix, as well as students accessing online learning apps like Blackboard and Moodle.

Eileen Gallagher, head of marketing at the Internet Neutral Exchange Association (INEX), said internet providers will work together to ensure connectivity.

INEX is a non-profit IP peering facility for some of the county’s individual internet service providers, such as Three, Vodafone, and smaller providers like Kerry Broadband and Regional Broadband.

"All of the individual internet service providers are connected to INEX. Instead of the providers being connected to every other provider in a tangled web, they are all connected to INEX centrally... this enables data to move faster," Ms Gallagher said.

For three weeks, INEX has been putting measures in place to combat potential problems with capacity and has already contacted smaller internet providers who may reach their capacity and has worked with them to expand.

"We have also put measures in place where if providers need to increase capacity we don’’t have to physically go into the data centres, it can be done remotely."

Eir, Virgin Media and Vodafone have said that businesses and individuals should not worry about connectivity.

Vodafone: "Vodafone has a dedicated and comprehensive network monitoring system in place and a team of expert engineers who on a daily basis will be taking actions to deal with any localised congestion issues that may arise."

Virgin Media: "Virgin Media is well prepared for our workforce and customers to work from home, having responded to a wide range of storms in the recent past (and over the years), and having undertaken significant preparedness and rehearsal plans to deliver an effective and smart response for the ongoing management and operation of our network. We have planned extensively and are well prepared to respond in a way that is both proportionate and responsible."

Eir: "There is ample capacity for all users of eir’s network to work from home with confidence. Eir has invested €1.5 billion over five years in its network, including the upgrade and expansion of its high-speed, high-capacity fibre network around Ireland."

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