As the global situation changes due to the outbreak of COVID-19, many people are being asked to work from home to help avoid spreading the virus to clients and co-workers. This shift will place higher demand on networks such as mobile phones and NBN.
The NBN has been addressing this demand with an extra 40% capacity offered to retail service providers at no extra cost, and for now, that capacity doesn’t seem to be needed – but that will change in time according to the experience overseas.
On 17 March 2020, UK networks including O2, EE, Vodafone and 3 were all said to be struggling with connection issues; this coming just one day after UK Prime Minister Boris Jonson told people to avoid workplaces where possible.
With the growing push for gatherings of large numbers of people to stop, and increased numbers of workers either working from home, self-isolating or – worse – being stood down due to lack of available work, the strain on our networks will increase and quickly.
In the UK, customers have taken to social media to complain about their network service disruptions, but also to note that they are have been unable to speak to customer service representatives after many hours of waiting on hold.
Whilst global shutdowns are becoming a daily reality across many industries, the telecommunications industry is at significant risk of being hit hard with call centre shutdowns in areas such as the Philippines, where many offices have already closed, and workers have been asked to self-isolate.
MATE, an Australian owned and operated telco, made the commitment from day one to keep all customer services onshore and currently operate their call centre from Western Sydney. Whilst arrangements are being made so that their call centre staff can work from home, the fact that the call centre is run locally means that MATE has a much easier road ahead if offshore call centre shutdowns become the norm for the foreseeable future.
David Fazio, CEO of MATE said:
“As our call centre is located in Australia, it’s much easier for us to manage any changes when it comes to the location of our call centre operations. Our team is able to be set up at home with a MATE connection, and we are able to keep all of our staff’s positions secure as they move locations and continue to provide support to our customers.”
MATE has always offered unlimited plans for their NBN connections, and is giving customers the highest speed tier to cater for all their work and play needs with NBN 100 for $79 per month.