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KCOM network ideally placed to cope with surge in homeworking


KCOM has reassured customers that its full fibre broadband network is ready should Hull and East Yorkshire see an increase in home working due to the coronavirus

The spread of coronavirus – or Covid-19 – has led to an unprecedented upsurge in people around the world working from home as they follow official advice to self-isolate to help stop the spread of the virus.

KCOM chief executive Dale Raneberg says he is confident the company’s Hull and East Yorkshire fibre network is well-placed to cope with any increase in daytime domestic demand.

He said: “We are well prepared for an increase in customers across Hull and East Yorkshire working from home. Our full fibre network is built to deal with much higher peak demands and we are confident that our award-winning fibre network has more than enough capacity to cope with any increased daytime demand. Given our access to the benefits of full fibre to the premises, compared to just 11 per cent of the rest of the UK, then Hull is undoubtably the best city to be in if you need to rely on your broadband connection”

Mr Raneberg pointed to the success of this week’s major gaming updates which saw KCOM’s network coping easily with huge increases in peak downloading.

On Tuesday, 10 March, two global updates on the Call of Duty game saw KCOM’s network handle record levels of demand. During this peak time 340 Gigabytes (GB) of data were being downloaded every second across Hull and East Yorkshire as thousands of gamers downloaded the free 90GB release – the equivalent of 22,500 songs being downloaded every second.

In total, during the day the network enabled properties to download nearly 4,000 Terabytes (TB) of data (the equivalent of 4m Gigabytes) with no impact on quality of service for users.

This was 1,000TB more than the usual level of traffic on the network - or the equivalent downloading an extra 200 million songs, 500,000 hours of movies or 310 million photos.

The UK Government has predicted that up to a fifth of the nation's workforce could be off sick at the same time during the peak of coronavirus. It is also expected that similar numbers will choose to stay at home, even if not infected by Covid-19, to avoid catching it.

The increase in people working from home has led some industry experts to question whether the UK’s broadband infrastructure will be able to cope with the increased demand.

The combination of home working and school closures, resulting in children being at home using online devices, could mean that demand on broadband services is considerably higher than normal.

However, Mr Raneberg added KCOM’s engineers are busy monitoring and reinforcing the network’s resilience to ensure the region’s businesses can continue to operate effectively and safely despite any disruption.

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