Experts are saying the U.S. internet should be able to handle the increased stress of millions of Americans working from home as a result of the coronavirus.
Some have feared that the sudden increase of individuals staying at home, using the internet for telecommuting and videoconferencing, would overwhelm internet providers’ capacity. According to ABC News, however, experts believe there is no danger of overloading the core network.
“The core of the network is massively over-provisioned,” Paul Vixie, CEO of Farsight Security and an internet pioneer who helped design its domain naming system, told ABC News.
At the same time, they do warn that individuals may experience issues if too many people in a single household engage in network-intensive videoconferencing or similarly demanding activities. Even in those situations, however, the issue is not with the core network, but with the “last mile” of connectivity, the last bit of cable that connects a household to their internet provider.
As ABC points out, newer areas that have fiber are able to keep up with the demand, but older neighborhoods that have cable or DSL are likely to experience issues if several users are all trying to engage in intensive internet use. In such cases, if some users fall back to teleconferencing, rather than video, it should help alleviate the issues since audio takes far less bandwidth.
Either way, the reassurance that the core network can handle the increased load is good news for workers trying to stay safe and do their part to help slow the spread of the virus.