We asked Alexander Windbichler – founder and CEO of IT service provider Anexia – to explain the knock-on effects of all that working from home and e-learning on the internet.

Are all those people who are working from home and self-isolating having a notable impact on the internet?

Absolutely. We noticed the change in online activities immediately. The demands placed on the system are huge: in some cases, data transfer is up three-fold, the amount of computing power needed has more than doubled, and is even up ten times the normal amount at times. The issue is that “last mile” to the user, and the changes in their usage habits.

Taking a family of four as an example – mother, father and two children. On Monday mornings the children are usually at school and the parents at work. The father has lost his job due to the crisis or has been furloughed. The mother is still working, but from home. Let’s say that the children are doing their lessons via video link, mum is working on the PC and dad is watching a video on YouTube.

And due to the restrictions on movement, many people living on their own are sitting on the couch and passing the time by watching shows on Netflix. So we have had to adjust capacity to suit user behaviour. And make sure that millions of people’s teleworking setups across the world are working properly, while still supporting e-learning and streaming services.

What will things look like going forward, can we expect everything to carry on as seamlessly when working from home?

To put your mind at rest: yes, of course. IT and cloud service operators in Austria have taken all the necessary steps and are ready for a crisis like this. As a precautionary measure, we have also hugely expanded the capacity of our cloud platform, especially in Austria, Germany and the USA.

And, like supermarkets, we have ‘operator of critical infrastructure’ status. This means that we are in the reassuring position that we have full access to our own infrastructure at all times so that we can respond to any changes quickly. You could say that our industry is Austria’s digital backbone during the crisis, just like grocers when it comes to our basic needs, and hospitals and doctors in the case of health care.

What we are seeing though is that some are trying to manipulate the crisis for personal gain. We have registered a spike in social engineering attacks and increased circulation of fake news.

How are things looking in terms of bandwidth? IT companies such as Facebook and Netflix have now started streaming files in lower quality…

The steps initiated by Netflix (which runs via our servers) and YouTube to cut video quality from HD to SD were necessary.

Based in Carinthia, Anexia was founded in 2006 by the then 19-year-old entrepreneur  Alexander Windbichler. It has continued to grow ever since, developing into one of the nation’s f astest growing IT service providers. Anexia also offers a broad range of software development and hosting services. Internationally it is best known for its cloud hosting solutions. Anexia’s customers include Netflix, Lufthansa, BMW and .

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