Technology

Brazilian telecom regulator determines wi-fi expansion during pandemic

Services may get strained with more people working remotely, and carriers must improve them to guarantee their continuity

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  • The agency sent memos to all Brazilian telecommunications carriers with advices for joint action in face of Covid-19 pandemic
  • AT&T is the first major ISP to confirm that it will be suspending all broadband usage caps as millions of Americans bunker down to slow the COVID-19 expansion

With empty offices and full homes, the coronavirus outbreak might strain the internet, as firms ask employees to work remotely. Acting on this scenario, Brazilian telecommunications regulatory agency determined broadband and wi-fi expansion. The agency sent memos to all Brazilian telecommunications carriers with advices for joint action in the face of Covid-19 pandemic. Information comes from Telesintese and Estadão.

As VICE reported, American AT&T is the first major ISP to confirm that it will be suspending all broadband usage caps as millions of Americans bunker down in a bid to slow the rate of COVID-19 expansion. Consumer groups and a coalition of U.S. senators are now pressuring other ISPs to follow suit.

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In Brazil, the regulator said that as there is a scenario of greater physical distance between people, quarantine requests and remote work, network access connections will become even more essential. Therefore, the preservation of workflows, teaching, access to information on health and also for leisure, will largely depend on telecommunications services.

The agency demands arrangements for free access to the mobile application developed by the Ministry of Health, Coronavirus-SUS, and asks for the adoption of measures to expand access to non-subscribers, such as free wi-fi networks in certain public places. It also claims for expansion of connection speed in fixed broadband accesses. Operators should also promote advertising campaigns of information related to COVID-19, especially those carried out by the Brazilian Ministry of Health.

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Carriers should define an action plan to guarantee the technical stability of the system, in order to avoid congestion and quality degradation resulting from sudden expansion of demand, within the scope of the Risk Management Group and Monitoring of the Performance of Telecommunications Networks.

The agency also asks the companies for flexibility in cases of users defaulting when in areas under travel restrictions and for prioritization in response to repair requests in health establishments and emergency services.