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While telecoms companies such as Eir say they are well-prepared, backhaul organisations note that the unprecedented number of citizens now spending more time indoors is likely to see a spike in demand for data. Picture posed

While telecoms companies such as Eir say they are well-prepared, backhaul organisations note that the unprecedented number of citizens now spending more time indoors is likely to see a spike in demand for data. Picture posed

While telecoms companies such as Eir say they are well-prepared, backhaul organisations note that the unprecedented number of citizens now spending more time indoors is likely to see a spike in demand for data. Picture posed

Ireland's internet infrastructure utility firms are expecting a rise in traffic over the coming weeks in response to schools being shut and a large number of workers being asked not to go into offices.

While telecoms companies such as Eir say they are well-prepared, backhaul organisations note that the unprecedented number of citizens now spending more time indoors is likely to see a spike in demand for data.

"There may be a significant increase in traffic from home internet connections for video streaming and work-from-home traffic," said a spokesperson for the Internet Neutral Exchange Association (Inex).

"We used insights gained from the increase in traffic during Storm Ophelia and 'Beast from the East' storms, and also analysed traffic in countries that have had to impose such restrictions, such as Italy.

"We have offered to put in place additional or higher-capacity ports which can be brought live in the event they are needed. A number of [Inex] members have now progressed with this option, both content providers and eyeball networks, and further upgrade requests are coming in. We are working to bring them live as soon as possible."

The spokesperson also said that infrastructure and backhaul providers were planning in case there was any restricted movement or self-isolation required around critical data centres, especially if operations teams become unable to get to crucial connections and ports.

"We have also pre-emptively built out an extra 100G of core network capacity on Inex LAN1 between Park West and Citywest, which we intend to bring into production remotely in the coming days," the spokesperson said.

Earlier this week, a spokesman for Eir said that the company was not expecting any difficulties with network capacity as it was used to school holidays, with children using the internet for gaming and movies.

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