March 6, 2020

"Empty Offices, Full Homes: Covid-19 Might Strain the Internet."

Bloomberg reports.
“As an engineer, I will tell you that we will have the capacity in our system that employees and customers need access to, at times like this,” said Jeff McElfresh, chief executive officer of AT&T Communications, which oversees landline, wireless and TV services. “We can provide the ability to work where customers need to work and help them continue to be productive. It’s something I’m proud of. This is something we do right.”

The phone companies’ underlying confidence in their networks is due, in part, to the fact that the volume of traffic won’t necessarily change. What will change are the patterns. Traffic will originate less from offices with powerful connections and more from residential areas.... Among the biggest network cloggers, or bandwidth hogs, will be popular video and social-media services, like Netflix, YouTube, Facetime and Skype, according to Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics.

“Video is already 70% of all network traffic,” he said. “The moment you add in videoconferencing to all the shows the kids are watching because schools are closed, it could be a problem if everyone is trying to get on at the same time.”...

22 comments:

Annie C. said...

I already work from home. 4am to noon. I have always noticed a definite slow-down in download (and less so upload) around 8am.

Sydney said...

Interesting. Telemedicine has been recommended for respiratory illnesses during an outbreak. Probably better to do by phone rather than video.

rhhardin said...

I still have dialup for when DSL dies. Most modern web pages take minutes to load even with images turned off. The dialup handshake is a nostalgic sound though.

Sandra Bullock in The Proposal, connecting to the internet in Alaska, "What's that sound?"

rhhardin said...

I worked from home starting in 1986. /bin/ed was the optimal text editor because it echoed locally and made sense even with a very delayed response from the host. Visual editors were impossible to use.

tim in vermont said...

Video conferencing was never a critical part of work from home. Conference calls using voice work just as well. So there is an easy fallback. I worked from home for two decades, as did my wife, and the only time we did video conferences, either of us, was as a show for some client. You can still do presentations without using full on video.

Lucien said...

Why trust any content from Bloomberg? It proved that it deserves to be considered propaganda. Mini-Mike is reportedly looking for new ways to hurt our President. Hmmm . .

tim in vermont said...

As a provisioning question, the first half of the article is correct. But the second half ignores behavior changes that will inevitably happen as people adjust to the realities.

Tom T. said...

Great, now people are going to run out in a panic to stock up on extra internet.

Phil 314 said...

If only there was some medium that you could hold in your hand that could entertain you, tell you a story, engage your children...

If only.

Phil 314 said...

And clogging up the internet with silly sunrise and sunset pictures doesn’t help either!

tim in vermont said...

A tale of two strategies on the Spanish Flu by two cities.
https://twitter.com/florian_krammer/status/1235761684431724550

tim in vermont said...

"now people are going to run out in a panic to stock up on extra internet.”

You mean HAM radios.

daskol said...

There's already a lot of redundancy in areas covered by mobile broadband. When we signed up for Disney+ to watch the Mandalorian, they still hadn't whitelisted our cable provider because their roll-out was generally a dumpster fire. But we could just switch over to one of our phones as a mobile hotspot. I have a feeling if things get tough, they'll start blocking video streaming on the mobile broadband channels.

Fernandistein said...

Any deaths of Africans in Africa? I can't find any mention of such.

With only three official cases, Africa's low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts (Mar 1)

"Whether it's a matter of faulty detection, climatic factors or simple fluke, the remarkably low rate of coronavirus infection in African countries, with their fragile health systems, continues to puzzle – and worry – experts."

They omit the most obvious reason because it's not PC: Africans have a natural immunity.

++

Senegal became the second country in sub-Saharan Africa to confirm a coronavirus case. (Mar. 2)

"Health Minister Diouf Sarr said a French man who lives in Senegal visited France in mid-February, contracting the virus before returning to the West African country."

++

FIRST CASE OF COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS REPORTED IN SA (Mar 5)

"Dr. Zweli Mkhize, South Africa's Health Minister, said the the 38-year-old man with the disease returned from Italy on March 1 as part of a group of about 10 people."

Another European, almost no doubt.

Fernandistein said...

teh google
["covid-19" "2020" "deaths in africa"] = all mentions of deaths in the results seem to be from other diseases, and years ago.

Replace "africa" with "italy" = all the results are about deaths in Italy caused by the Chinese bat-piss disease.

richlb said...

I abhor working from home. I'll be happy when all my co-workers stay at their residence and I can come into this office and do my job in peace and quiet.

Magson said...

China's internet had trouble with it -- I recall reading a few articles about it a few weeks back.

An example: https://www.abacusnews.com/culture/worlds-biggest-online-population-staying-home-and-chinas-internet-cant-cope/article/3050947

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iman said...

I abhor working in an office and from home. So I retired.

tim in vermont said...

Even in a panic, nobody wants to eat vegan food

https://twitter.com/DarrenPlymouth/status/1235937288087121922

Ken B said...

Bloomberg is the least credible source on the web. Its owner openly ordered biased coverage, and the alleged professionals went along.

Rob C said...

So now For the geek answer to this. There are two separate issues in the work from h pool me world

1 VPN capacity. A lot of the appliances that let people in to the corporate networks will only support so many concurrent connections. If your apps are more cloud based then you'll be in better shape.

2 LAN (Local area Network) traffic. All those files and apps hosted in a local setting would now have to go over the Internet.

These are the two things that will really impact/limit the work from home crowd