BEREC

Press release - Updated BEREC report on the status of internet capacity in light of Covid-19 crisis

Document number: BoR (20) 79
Document date: 06.04.2020
Date of registration: 06.04.2020
Document type: BEREC Press Releases
Author: BEREC

The overall traffic on fixed and mobile networks has increased during the Covid-19 crisis, but the internet service providers (ISPs) continue to cope with the situation – shows the updated BEREC reporting document on the status of internet capacity in light of COVID-19, compiled on 2 April 2020.

30[1] national regulatory authorities (NRAs) have shared their data on the impact of the crisis on the telecommunications’ networks and the actions taken so far. Since the last week, many NRAs reported a stabilisation in the overall traffic, but some NRAs still observe an increase of the overall traffic.

According to the available information, some operators have increased their network’s capacity to cope with the sustained traffic growth. Operators, which did not take any such measure, are still closely monitoring their network’s capacity to check if an upgrade is necessary.

In some Member States, operators have implemented customer-friendly measures. For example, increasing the amount of mobile data in the subscriptions for a limited period without any additional charge and temporarily zero-rating for additional services. Some operators also offer services free of charge, such as educational content and platforms.

NRAs monitor the situation and regularly collect data from the internet service providers and other market players. Several NRAs closely cooperate with their respective ministries and other authorities.

BEREC will continue to report to the European Commission on the effects of increased demand for network connectivity and internet access for as long as it will be necessary. Based on the regular input from the NRAs, BEREC will complete its fifth status update on 8 April 2020.

On 19 March 2020, BEREC and the European Commission released a joint statement on the way, how network operators can cope with the increased demand on network capacity. BEREC committed to setting up a special monitoring mechanism to ensure regular monitoring of the Internet traffic situation in each Member State to be able to respond swiftly to capacity issues. In order to follow-up on this statement, and in accordance with Article 40(2) of the BEREC Regulation, the European Commission has requested BEREC to deliver regular monitoring, at least twice a week, and signal any significant unexpected event of the Internet traffic situation in each Member State linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

[1] The NRAs from the following countries have contributed to the information gathering exercises: Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands.