BT Group reveals response to Covid-19

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UK incumbent BT Group has revealed what it is doing to keep businesses connected - and ensure the health and safety of its employees - during the Covid-19 crisis. 

In response to demand for reliable connectivity to ensure people now working from home remain connected, the group has committed to unlimited home broadband for everyone, removing all caps on home broadband plans so all its customers have access to unlimited data. 

In a statement, Marc Allera, consumer CEO at the group acknowledged the vital role that service providers are playing in keeping the population connected. He said: ‘For us to do that in these difficult times, we need to provide enough capacity, and resilience across our UK fixed and mobile networks. We know that working from home won’t generate significantly more traffic across our network than working in the office, even with more video calling and conferencing, HD streaming and now digital home schooling. We also have a dedicated team of brilliant engineers in our Network operations centre monitoring 24/7 for even the slightest issues.’

To provide a little more detail, Allera alluded to a statement from chief technology and information officer, Howard Watson, which detailed that the highest peak seen by the UK’s broadband network core during evening traffic was 17.5Tb/s, driven by videogame updates and streaming football. In contrast, normal daytime usage tends to run at about 5Tb/s.

Since people started to work from home more extensively this past week, said Watson, ‘we’ve seen weekday daytime traffic increase 35-60 per cent, compared with similar days on the fixed network, peaking at 7.5Tb/s. This is still only around half the average evening peak, and nowhere near the 17.5 Tb/s we have proved the network can handle.’

At the time of going to press, the company is keeping its 600+ stores open as well as maintaining staff at contact centres. Continued Allera: ‘We’re asking our most important people to come into our contact centres and stores if they’re healthy and able, so customers can get help without leaving their home.’  

However, said Allera, the incumbent is also putting additional measures in place to make sure these crucial workers remain safe. ‘We’re asking colleagues to remain vigilant and to protect themselves by strictly following personal hygiene measures,’ he said. ‘We’ve increased the cleaning throughout our stores and call centres. We are building in social distancing wherever possible in our centres, having people sit and work further apart. We’re paying our people fully, even if they need to isolate, giving them the security to make the right decisions for their health and the health of their loved ones. We’ve also placed a travel ban between sites. A huge thank you to all of my colleagues who are keeping our customers connected in this really difficult time – we'll keep working together to make a huge difference to our customers and communities across the UK. We're here to help. Let's all look after each other.’

 

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