On the first week of Enhanced Community Quarantine in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, people in these areas were ordered to stay at home following the declaration of Malacanang for people to restrict their movements to mitigate the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. This would make people use their home internet a lot more like watching streaming media services. On the other hand, there were companies who enabled their employees to work from home. As communities are called upon to practice social distancing, telecommunications now play a vital role in sustaining economic activity in the country. Employees now turn to the internet as their only alternative to face-to-face meetings.
Forecasting an increased network traffic from home internet users, Philippine internet service providers (ISPs) through the PCTO are asking customers to be conscientious with using connected apps and services while on Quarantine.
“We expect internet usage to grow exponentially given the government directive to work from home. Presently, we have enough capacity with the investments we’ve made into our network in the past years but since the internet is a shared resource, we encourage our customers to still use the internet responsibly and refrain from using torrents that hog bandwidth and negatively impact others,” said PCTO Chairman Enrico delos Reyes.
Unlike robust enterprise networks used by businesses, home and mobile broadband networks may become strained quickly with more users accessing the internet simultaneously. As a precautionary measure, customers are urged to adhere to these best practices to minimize strain on the network, and ensure quality customer experience:
- Use landline as much as possible to decongest call traffic from mobile networks
- Download urgent documents only. Other documents should be downloaded during off-peak hours
- Heavy files should be transferred via sharing services, and attached as links instead of as attachments to emails
- Use of entertainment apps such as video streaming and gaming is encouraged during off-peak hours
PCTO assures local telco operators are relentless in their efforts to increase capacity, and will continue its essential operations and expansion during the quarantine period.