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Amidst Covid-19 Outbreak, Internet Speed Becomes Slow in Nepal. Demand and Supply Dilemma!

Imagine a world where you had to live with no internet at all. No YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Netflix or even YTS; sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well, fortunately the situations aren’t all that bad but that is a possibility that you must be aware of. With Coronavirus out in the open, everybody has decided to counter it by staying indoors. That’s fine and all but staying indoors means people using the internet all the time.

People using the internet all the time has caused the internet speeds to collapse instantly. Most of us are complaining that internet speeds on our home environment have gone down drastically in the past few days.

So, what? Everybody’s paid their amount and everybody has the right to use it as much as they want. And it’s all the ISP’s fault! Well that’s a plausible argument and I agree to most of it but unfortunately going down that road won’t exactly be that helpful. Instead, let’s try to understand the situation and then look at a possible solution.

The ISP Crisis: Demand and Supply Dilemma!

With almost everybody hogging into the internet bandwidth at the same time continuously; ISP’s are in a state of crisis right now. How exactly? Well, it’s simple really, the demand and supply chain are choking almost every ISP right now.

How it works is, when ISP’s allocate a certain bandwidth for your home, it is divided into groups and not all of it is used at the same time. Now, when everyone’s home and hogging the internet all the time, its difficult for ISP’s to constantly supply the same bandwidth to each device. This has caused internet to slow down in most homes.

And since everybody’s been advised to remain indoors, there aren’t employees at the ISP to handle this type of situation. To address this situation, WorldLink and Vianet have each responded with their Facebook posts urging people to consume as less bandwidth as possible.

So, are the ISP’s only to blame for this instant Drop Down in the Internet?

Well, mostly yes but no as well. They weren’t all that prepared for this situation and they don’t have the necessary material to address this problem. But, it’s not just them who are to blame. We as end users overuse the internet a lot and that sometimes causes the ISP’s to be packed all the time. There are people working from their own homes, people watching online steams or playing games all the time.

Each day a point where there’s maximum usage of bandwidth. At this point, maximum people using the internet causes it to slow down. For instance, during the day I usually play games a lot, my friend watches online streams and everybody else is either watching a video or using social media. And frankly, network providers haven’t designed their networks to cope around such rapid increase in bandwidth.

In fact, during the peak hours; Bhoj Raj Bhatta, president of the ISPAN (Internet Service Providers Association of Nepal) mentioned (as reported by TKP), that the bandwidth consumption had increased by 22-25 percent within these few days.

“With the increase in internet use, we cannot boost the bandwidth capacity immediately as it takes time to upgrade, and that is not possible in this situation,” he said.

And it’s not Just the Internet; Cellular Network are in Peril Too!

Well, this should be pretty clear as well. It’s not ISP’s that have gotten a huge blow to the head. Cellular networks are in the same situation. Calls, data usage throughout the day non-stop are congesting these networks which is why you aren’t getting that good signal on your cell phones.

This is just the initial stage of breakdown. Material are still not impossible to reach out for. But once it goes into complete lockdown, materials won’t be arriving for months. ISP’s will recover from this situation. But it will surely take some time. Till then, instead of gobbling up the entire bandwidth, we can at least limit our usage in order for them to figure out a method to solve this problem.

ALSO READ: How Tech Companies in Nepal are Responding to COVID-19? [Inside Story]

Here’s Some Guidelines to Follow While Using Internet during this Pandemic!

We know that it’s your internet and we have no right to say not to say it at all. But in these perilous times, it’s going to easier only if we cooperate. After all, there are people working to find cures or information regarding Covid-19 too.

So, here are some guidelines to follow during the peak hours,

  • Try to maintain your internet access throughout the day. (Maybe read a book or play board games!)
  • As far as possible, avoid downloading large files.
  • Do not upload huge files or stream in the highest quality available. Try limiting it to 480p; (the quality is still pretty good.)
  • Do not use torrent to hog all the bandwidth.
  • Prefer using Landline phones over cell phones in peak hours.
  • Information is quite critical now. It can cause a lot of disruption in an instant. So, don’t forward fake or useless news to avoid panic.
  • Since the ISP’s are already low in employee numbers, try not to make changes to the default internet settings. (Note that this could in fact leave you without internet for weeks!)

 

Well, that’s all the information I can give you right now. Remember that this is an unprecedented situation and we have absolutely no idea about how long the lockdown’s gonna last. Thus, we advise you to act accordingly in order to avoid further problems.

READ NEXT: covidnepal.org – An Open Source Platform for COVID-19 for Nepal by Fusemachines

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