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Corona crisis: networks stable despite high internet usage

Jochen Homann: "Monitoring increase in network usage and working closely with the telecoms industry"

Year of issue 2020
date of issue 2020.03.25

The Bundesnetzagentur has today published guidelines with solutions and measures for permissible traffic management to handle unexpected overload situations in the telecommunications network.

"The networks are currently stable and no serious impairment is expected at the moment. The providers are well prepared for an increase in data traffic," said Jochen Homann, Bundesnetzagentur President.

Working closely with telecoms industry

During the current coronavirus crisis, school closures and home working mean that the internet and therefore the telecommunications networks in Germany are being used more than usual. In particular services such as video streaming and downloading online games are very data-intensive.

The Bundesnetzagentur is working closely with the telecoms industry, and companies are providing the Bundesnetzagentur with daily reports on the situation in their networks.

If, contrary to expectations, networks become overloaded, telecoms companies can take appropriate measures in line with the net neutrality Regulation to reduce the overloading. Possible measures include lowering the quality of individual services. The Bundesnetzagentur has developed guidelines with solutions and measures for permissible traffic management in the event that networks become overloaded.

Content providers ease strain on network

The Bundesnetzagentur has welcomed the proactive measures taken by major content providers such as Netflix, Youtube, Amazon and Facebook to reduce the load on the networks. These companies have modified the transmission quality of their streaming services across Europe to ease the strain on the networks while still providing high-quality content. All market players involved are therefore contributing to tackling the current challenges.

Causes not related to network

Much of the disruption internet users are experiencing at the moment is caused by factors outside the network operators' control. For instance, not every company currently has adequate capacity to accommodate home working by all its employees. In addition, individual internet connections may not have sufficient upload or download speeds.

The new guidelines and further information are available at the following link: www.bundesnetzagentur.de/trafficmanagement.

Press release (pdf / 306 KB)