Will the internet break?

Challenging times

No need to emphasize anymore that we are facing challenging times. As the uniqueness of the period grow more and more by the day, there is one area that is put to stress, internet. A few years ago, not so long, do you remember …, working from home would have been a serious challenge for most of us.

 

Will the internet break

 

Home office

It is maybe one of the factors that will enable us to fight more efficiently this virus than before. Obviously, it seems that home office applies only to part of the population and productivity is probably a bit lower, but it is still a fact that we are able to move forward while more and more people are blocked at home. For example, in the US, about 30% of the workforce can work from home, that means around 40 million people.

 

Increasing use of internet

Home office is a great solution but is a stress test to the internet. Broadband providers are facing serious challenges. As the home office requires large amount of capacity, people staying at home are also using more the internet. News, streaming services, kids’ programs, boredom, everything convey to the added use of the internet.

 

If most specialists agree that we have not seen the peak of usage yet, it is an unprecedented test of our network capacity. Furthermore, we now realize the importance of internet in managing crisis, working from home and being able to be connected with one another.

As an expert in testing solution, we can only recommend everyone to think when surfing, watching a film or communicating with friends to try to use as little capacity as possible. Streaming services, as Netflix, have already taken some steps towards this goal by giving up HD quality of their streaming content. It will help as about 70% of the total traffic is generated from videos.

 

Increasing capacity

On the other end, providers try to increase their capacity in order to answer the challenge of increasing demand. They are facing the so-called last mile challenge. As bringing internet to home is not the same as bringing it to offices and schools. The last mile connection is most often quite different and can be understood and a traffic jam at a car toll on a highway. As of today, internet providers are still confident they can meet increasing demand and face positively this situation.

 

The importance of test

Once again, we realize that preparation is key to any crisis. Testing solutions to their limits always help when we have afterwards to face challenging situation.

We are living a truly black swan moment and we can only once again emphasize that testing hypothesis while everything is normal is crucial on how companies, government and people are able to react facing adversity.

 

 

 

References:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/technology/coronavirus-working-from-home-internet.html

https://fortune.com/2020/03/08/coronavirus-internet-remote-work-from-home/

https://www.axios.com/broadband-providers-brace-for-coronavirus-stress-test-cf4d93bb-940d-470b-a139-2ca3307dc57f.html

https://nypost.com/2020/03/19/how-the-coronavirus-is-impacting-internet-speeds-across-the-globe/