The UK is taking the lead while expecting other countries to follow in lifting internet restrictions to keep people online during the coronavirus lockdown period. Major UK telecommunication providers like BT/EE, Openreach, and Virgin Media have sealed an agreement that will remove “all” data caps on current landline broadband services.
Mobile and fixed data providers are also expected to offer generous new packages that will enable almost everyone to stay connected, most importantly the vulnerable, like data boost at lower prices and free calls as well.
If the COVID_19 outbreak prevents landline repairs then telecoms will have to provide “alternative methods of communication”. They’ll also have to make sure that customers are treated fairly even if they are unable to pay their telecom bills.
ISPs are taking the lead as they have already made some accommodations of their own, but this should ensure a consistent level of service across these larger companies. Not that there was necessarily much choice.
While the coronavirus outbreak has caused most people to lose their jobs, many of those who are still employed now have to work from home and that’s only possible with the internet. And the internet is a major source of entertainment for people who aren’t working from home.
Although the unexpected change of things is putting a heavier load on networks, allowing the internet and data business to run, as usual, could have led to widespread disconnections and overage charges at the worst possible time.