Providers speed up Internet as pandemic confines people at home

By Phan Anh   April 8, 2020 | 04:03 pm PT
Providers speed up Internet as pandemic confines people at home
Restrictions for travel and public gatherings due to Covid-19 have led to a surge in Internet demand in Vietnam as people study and work from home. Photo by Shutterstock.
Internet service providers in Vietnam have increased bandwidths for free amid rising demand as more people stay home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

FPT Telecom said it would increase its bandwidth by 60 percent from Wednesday until the government announces the pandemic is over.

Bandwidth describes the maximum data transfer rate of a network or Internet connection. It measures how much data can be sent over a specific connection in a given amount of time.

Military-owned Viettel Telecom said it has doubled the bandwidth using its high-speed fiber optic Internet services since April 1 and would keep it at those levels until the outbreak ends.

State-owned VNPT said it would increase the speed for all customers with packages of below 50 Megabits per second (Mbps) to 50 Mbps for three months from April 9.

As Covid-19 began to spread in Vietnam, schools have let their students study online and companies have allowed employees to work from home. Internet traffic increased by 40 percent in March, according to data from the Vietnam Telecommunications Authority.

Last month Saigon and Hanoi ordered "non-essential" businesses such as bars, cinemas and restaurants to close temporarily to combat the spread of Covid-19.

A two-week nationwide social distancing campaign came into effect on April 1, requiring people to stay home and not allowing public gatherings of more than two. People can only leave home for emergencies, buying food and medicines and working in factories, production facilities and businesses that involve trade in essential goods and services.

Vietnam has reported 251 Covid-19 cases so far, of whom around half have recovered. There have been no fatalities.

The pandemic has hit 209 countries and territories and claimed more than 88,000 lives.

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