The Ontario government recently announced plans to extend school closures until at least May 4, and implement e-learning policies for all students starting Monday April 6. This change, combined with the work from home initiatives that most companies have recently implemented, will put more demand on both residential and mobile internet connections than ever before.
Networks everywhere are already starting to feel the strain due to the volume of people logging onto gaming and streaming services due to social distancing measures, with companies such as Netflix even going so far as to reduce the quality of their streaming video in an effort to decrease bandwidth.
This increase in network traffic is expected to greatly impact speeds and could even cause sporadic outages, as telecom companies struggle to cope. Users in more rural areas will likely experience this slowdown the most, but as time goes on and demand increases, so will the extent of users who are affected.
The good news is that internet and mobile providers everywhere are currently doing everything they can to improve the overall infrastructure throughout the country. In the meantime, we as users can do our part by trying to build connectivity breaks into our daily routines to reduce the load, and by being as patient as possible when we inevitably start to experience these network issues ourselves.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that this – like everything else during these times – is just another challenge we will overcome if we work together.