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 recommend that all sites using over 75% of current available capacity on their FTTC connection, as provided by your HSCN supplier, review their network connectivity and move to a faster, more reliable connection where available.
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.
FTTC connections can offer download speeds of up to 80Mbps, and upload speeds of up to 20MB, however these are often much lower depending on local factors, as well as contention on the network from other users. Limits to upload speeds hinder a site’s ability to:
- upload large files
- adopt Cloud hosted services
- adopt Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony and video conferencing
- run multiple lines of data traffic
This considered, we are advising you look to upgrade from FTTC connections, where a better physical alternative already exists, in advance of a potential second wave of COVID-19.