Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Ofcom unites UK telcos to launch national Stay Connected campaign

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Wednesday 25 March 20

The campaign offers seven tips to help the public reduce the pressure on national networks

The UK’s operators continue to insist that their networks can take the strain of a nation working from home, but that has not stopped them uniting to deliver a public awareness campaign at the behest of regulator Ofcom. The operators, including BT, Sky, O2, and Virgin Media, have created the Stay Connected campaign to help encourage the public to preserve their networks…

The UK’s operators continue to insist that their networks can take the strain of a nation working from home, but that has not stopped them uniting to deliver a public awareness campaign at the behest of regulator Ofcom.

The operators, including BT, Sky, O2, and Virgin Media, have created the Stay Connected campaign to help encourage the public to preserve their networks. The key tips include staggering family broadband usage, turning off unnecessary wifi devices, and using a landline or web calling service over a mobile call.

“Families across the country are going online together this week, often juggling work and keeping children busy at the same time. So, we’re encouraging people to read our advice on getting the most from their broadband, home phones, and mobiles,” said Melanie Dawes, chief executive of Ofcom, who surely did not expect such a baptism of fire when she took up the reins of the regulative body last month.

While the broadband networks appear to be relatively robust, with most operators suggesting that the usage of their networks has not exceeded that of traditional peak times, the mobile networks have been more fickle. Last week, many of the UK’s mobile networks crashed as a result of increased traffic, with O2 reporting a 50% increase in phone calls.

It is not only the public who are being asked to be conscientious in their network usage. The EU recently asked services like Facebook, Netflix, and YouTube to reduce the quality of their streaming services, which gobble up a large portion of network capacity. Companies have been broadly responsive to this call, though it seems that customers can mostly manually override the default measures being put in place.

With Monday seeing PM Boris Johnson issue a nationwide lockdown, the strain on the UK’s networks is set to be the higher than ever before, but cooperation between operators – and from the public – will go some way to reducing the impact.

 

How is the UK’s fibre topology affecting the country’s connectivity during the coronavirus lockdown? Find out at this year’s Connected Britain

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