“To be honest, I think life has changed forever” sentiments expressed by Keith Finnegan in a recent interview with local broadband provider Lightnet.

The changes brought about by COVID 19 are unprecedented and different from anything Ireland’s broadband providers have ever seen.

Lightnet are broadband specialists based in the west of Ireland and Managing Director End Broderick joined the Keith Finnegan Show on Galway Bay FM recently to discuss the challenges COVID 19 has presented in many homes throughout Ireland.

The present climate shows “An awful lot of people are working from home, an awful lot of people are cocooning, and an awful lot of people are using data”, Keith explains and poses the question has there been a noted increase in data usage within homes?

Over that last 5 weeks or so Mr. Broderick has noted ‘Peak traffic is now an all-day norm’. As the shift to virtual technology becomes more prevalent, Enda explains ‘the evening bell curve that we would see on our normal traffic usage has pulled well back and by midday, we are at what we would normally consider as evening traffic.’

This unprecedented surge can be attributed to both an increase in people working from home together with an increase in the use of home entertainment. ‘Midmorning traffic compared to this time last year shows a 125% increase on Netflix and a 250% increase on Amazon Prime. Gaming is up 75% and this is a daily average’ Enda adds.

Astonished by the figures Keith rightly identifies the type of internet traffic seen during this cocooning phase is similar to what’s seen on Christmas day each year. ‘But you see Christmas is one day, this is going on and on and on!’, Keith exclaims. Mr. Broderick further recognizes the influx of data usage seen on St Patrick Day was very much in line with Christmas day figures.

“People have now different working patterns, daily lives are starting earlier and finishing later. There is a change of work environment for everyone and its not just a 9-5 anymore.” Enda explains

Lightnet have been building this dedicated network for 14 years now. “So can the network take this?” Mr. Finnegan enquires. Enda assures that there is plenty of capacity yet “we have more surplus and redundant systems which we can bring online as extra feeders if needs be, so there is plenty of capacity to cope with this”.

“To be honest, I think life has changed forever”, says Keith “When you see the amount of people working from home and you see the way people have adapted from a school and college point of view, it’s really the future way were going to be living, working and socializing?” he adds. Mr. Broderick agrees “We’ve had this challenge ourselves; all our guys have been a month now working from home. And we’ve actually seen some of the systems we would use come into play with video conferencing apps like zoom suddenly becoming a household name.” “It’s keeping communities together and it’s not just social isolation anymore, you can actually have all that without ever leaving the house.”

Some of the Galway Bay listeners went on to commend the service Lightnet are providing with one noting “last month and this month they have given their customer 500gb of data free which is an enormous help to me as I’m working from home and for my student daughter.”

Enda explains “We were conscious in the first couple of days when people started getting closed down and working from home, we began to see spikes in usage. We knew this was going to continue for weeks, so we took the initiative to give everyone a free data top-up for the month.” “We figured that was more than double what the average household would use and that should keep people’s usage and bills constant.” “Were also working with a lot of small businesses, all of them with different challenges.

Some businesses like supermarkets are really busy whereas others in the hospitality sector, restaurants, bars, hotels were forced to close. They don’t have the financial output but may still need the service for security cameras or booking systems, while they are not in full production, they’re trying to survive themselves, so it’s important we work with them.” Enda adds. “That’s why local is best, and we should be supporting local companies more and more.” Mr. Finnegan advises.

Lightnet has seen a huge increase in demand over the past few weeks and households who normally may not have had the necessity for a home internet connection are now finding they can work from home. “Were doing our best to accommodate everyone and we really appreciate the way customer are being so helpful as well. When the guys call to a house, they are observing social distancing and they are conscious of the technician’s health as we are of the customers”. Mr. Broderick outlines

Enda concludes, “It’s a different time! What will come out of this is a different look at life. The pace of life has got very, very quick and maybe this will reset the clock on that and give people the option to work from home with less traveling.”

As we reflect on the views put forward and the regulations around social distancing that will be in place for some time to come, it’s safe to assume the current climate is bound to reshape the course of business and life as we know it.

Fancy getting your home or business hooked up with Lightnet gigabit broadband? Contact our Lightnet sales team today on 091 395804 or email sales@lightnet.ie to find out if your home is included in our gigabit coverage zones.