Given the unparalleled challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the world of work, and particularly healthcare provision, has changed beyond recognition. With the increased demand being placed on the network capacity of healthcare providers of all sizes, we are recommending that all sites using an ADSL connection review their network connectivity and move to a faster, more reliable connection type which is, at a minimum, superfast broadband.
In the event of a second significant increase in COVID-19 cases, combined with added winter pressures, it may be necessary to offer an increased suite of remote services, including video consultations for patients and increased remote working for staff. According to Microsoft usage statistics, a high-definition video call requires a minimum download/upload speed of 2Mbps. As such, networks can quickly come under strain if staff need to move work to a virtual environment.
The best ADSL connections can offer download speeds of around 24Mbps, but the maximum upload speed is 1.5MB. This limit to local upload speeds is a severe limitation and will prevent multiple users being able to work concurrently. This considered, we are advising you to move away from ADSL connections in advance of a potential second wave of COVID-19.
Moving away from an ADSL connection is also a requirement under the GP IT Operating model at the next procurement cycle. The GP IT Operating model states that ADSL services should no longer be procured for primary connectivity and existing ADSL primary connections should be upgraded to superfast broadband at the earliest opportunity.