People working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic are putting extra strain on internet providers, and some experts are concerned they can’t cope.
Vodafone has reported a 30 per cent rise in internet traffic across its home Wi-Fi and mobile networks this week, while TalkTalk has seen traffic jump 20 per cent since Monday.
One EU official has urged streaming sites like Netflix to show content in lower resolution to relieve the pressure on internet providers.
To prevent internet overloads, EU commissioner Thierry Breton called on content providers to block high definition streams.
However, internet service providers have downplayed the effect the extra traffic is having on their networks.
Boris Johnson told the nation on Monday that he was shutting down mass gatherings to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The PM said people should work from home and avoid pubs, clubs and theatres as part of a range of stringent new measures.
Complaints of plummeting broadband speeds in the UK began flooding in this week.
One Twitter user wrote: “Maybe because everyone is just home a lot more now bc of this coronavirus sh*t but my internet is slow as f**k.”
Another said: “You can have all my toilet paper, PLEASE DON’T BREAK THE INTERNET!”
One analyst told The Sun that it’s possible surging demand for home broadband is affecting people’s speeds.
“The more people that connect to a network at the same time will inevitably put a strain on it and thus reduce the speed,” Paolo Pescatore, of PP Foresight, said.
“This is akin to a motorway; increasing the number of lanes means more cars. However, the more cars on the road will lead everyone to slow down.”
“Telcos clearly need to brace themselves for an explosion of traffic over their networks,” he added.
“More needs to be done to stabilise the network