As the pandemic continues to redefine how we work, Dan Pontefract, of Forbes, reminds us that it’s time to stop complaining and give thanks to the people who are working around the clock to keep the networks up and running.
Telecom companies are working around the clock to make sure there is enough bandwidth for us to work from home, learn at home, while streaming Netflix across five separate devices.
Team members of telecom firms across the globe are dedicating countless hours to prevent the mobile voice and data networks from collapsing as we switch from face-to-face meetings to ringing people up whenever we can on our mobile phones. Across the UK, for example, Vodafone reports that mobile voice traffic has increased by 56% and broadband traffic has increased by 15%. Fixed broadband usage has increased by more than 50% in both Italy and Spain and in Canada, it has spiked up by 60%.
Behind every issue, first-class telecom employees are desperately trying to solve them. And they’re doing so – for everyone.
Multiple parties, from industry organizations and network equipment vendors to individual service providers, have been weighing in with data to illustrate how broadband networks are holding up from a surge in traffic, as millions of consumers stay at home to work and study during the COVID-19 crisis.
It appears that most networks are generally holding up amid this recent rise in traffic, but some of this data puts numbers behind the trends.
The Internet & Television Association (NCTA) this week introduced a “COVID-19 Internet Dashboard” that provides a high-level, illustrative view of how broadband networks from a cross-section of US cable operators are coping.
The NCTA’s current dashboard is based on aggregated data from Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, GCI and Midco, with data from more operators to be added in the weeks to come. Looking ahead, NCTA plans to update the dashboard weekly.
Atlantic Broadband, the nation’s eighth-largest cable operator, has reported significant increases in internet bandwidth usage since the COVID-19 outbreak. With stay-at-home orders in place in most states, there has been a significant increase in traffic due to working from home, e-learning and increased usage of video platforms.
The reports show that since mid-March:
- Internet traffic from Atlantic Broadband customers increased approximately 25%, with some areas exceeding 30%.
- Netflix has experienced bandwidth usage nearly 60% higher, with some evenings seeing peaks 80% higher.
- Video on Demand (VOD) usage increased by 50%.
Overall usage on the company’s video platforms has been higher not only during the typical peak period of primetime, but also throughout the day, with those peaks extending for longer periods of time.
Italy sees light at the end of the fiber
Telecom Italia (TIM) and state-owned Infratel Italia are working to accelerate the deployment of ultra-fast broadband in Italy.
The move aims to support the growing need for high-speed connectivity as millions of people work and study from home due to coronavirus pandemic lockdown measures.
Under the agreement, which was first announced in July 2019, Infratel Italia will provide the public fiber-optic network infrastructure in eight regions including Abruzzo, Sardinia, Tuscany, Puglia, Calabria, Lazio, Lombardy and Marche.
TIM will hook the cables up to local street cabinets and install electronics components. So far, work has been carried out in 241 municipalities and this is expected to rise to 310 by May, with the switch on of over 1,600 cabinets.
National Broadband Ireland (NBI) won the contract for the nation’s €3 billion National Broadband Plan (NBP) last year and the company has no time to waste if it wants to hit its target of connecting 130,000 premises in the first two years.
NBI has announced that it is currently surveying sites for fiber rollout. One such site is the town of Cavan, situated just south of the Northern Irish border; it is hoped that this town will one day act as a major node of the country’s burgeoning broadband network.
Covan currently has more than 16,000 premises without access to high-speed broadband, but NBI has told Cavan County Council that it could begin building out the fiber later this year, with customers potentially having access to the network sometime during 2021.
Working with VMware, Vodafone Group has completed the roll-out of network virtual infrastructure (NVI) across all of its European business and 21 markets in total.
Operating a reliable, agile network that can be more efficiently upgraded to maintain the quality of coverage has never been more important as Vodafone customers across Europe rely on the operator to provide critical connectivity and communications services during the COVID-19 crisis.
With the completion of work in Albania, Vodafone now has a single digital network architecture across its European markets, enabling the operator to design, build, test and deploy next-generation functions more securely. Infrastructure automation also helps limit the amount of manual intervention required to operate and maintain Vodafone networks.
DASAN Zhone Solutions (DZS), has appointed renowned technology marketer Geoff Burke as Vice President, Global Marketing.
Well known for his success in leading marketing transformations and championing major communications industry initiatives at Broadband Forum, Calix, and Motorola/Next Level over his career, Burke provides deep expertise, global perspective, and a history of accelerating the mass deployment of cutting-edge technologies.
Prior to DZS, Burke was Chief Marketing Officer at Broadband Forum, the communications industry’s leading organization focused on accelerating broadband innovation, standards, and ecosystem development. There, he worked with the major service providers and vendors globally to drive mass adoption of emerging technologies and services and fostered global awareness of the Forum’s work.
“The communications industry is now at an inflection point, as device proliferation and network capacity requirements driven by new applications and 5G facilitate the leap to hyper-connectivity and hyper-broadband,” said Philip Yim, COO at DZS. “The success formula for service providers, operators, and enterprises in this emerging world will require a partnership with a new kind of vendor that understands how to map technological innovation and insights to their needs. Geoff’s role will be key in driving this strategy forward, ensuring global awareness of the industry-leading innovation, unique value proposition, and compelling vision that DZS is bringing to the market.”
A Series of Fortunate Events – by Broadband Forum
The event must go on…Broadband Forum to host virtual Q2 meeting
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is continuing to impact the way of life for all, bringing a set of unprecedented challenges. In light of the current global situation, Broadband Forum has decided to switch its Q2 meeting, scheduled for June 16-19 in Melbourne, Australia, to a series of virtual meetings.
Broadband Forum anticipates the series of virtual meetings to run for approximately two weeks and will have both opening and closing sessions, as well as technical sessions driven by an agenda with the usual contribution deadlines.
More details will be forthcoming as Lincoln Lavoie, Broadband Forum Technical Committee Chair, has been tasked to work with the Steering Committee to further define the details of the virtual meetings. At these uncertain times, the Forum is able to take a new approach to meetings, explore new tools, and continue valuable work and cadence of that work to the best of its ability.
If you would like to attend the virtual Q2 meeting, please contract Rhonda Heier at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Opening the door to the Connected Home – reserve your place for the latest USP webinar
Join the Broadband Forum Connected Home Council and Axiros on April 16 at 14:00 UTC to find out how today’s providers and consumer electronics vendors are monetizing the connected home.
The Broadband Forum’s User Services Platform (TR-369) has powerful new tools and an improved data model to make this simpler than ever before. Attendees of the webinar are invited for an in-depth technical look at:
- How to quickly and easily discover device capabilities via USP
- How commands and events in USP’s TR-181 data model provide flexibility
- How backwards compatibility with the TR-181 data model aids migration
- And more!
The webinar will also end with a live Q&A session, so mark your calendars now!
You can register for the webinar here.
To find out more about how Broadband Forum is unleashing the connected home ecosystem, please click here.
Knowing me, knowing you…
From 5G and the smart home to next-generation access and network automation, Broadband Forum is working on a series of initiatives to enable the next era of connectivity. If you would like to track or get involved in these projects, you can learn more about Broadband Forum’s work in progress here or visit its YouTube channel for further insight.