Parliament Sitting on 5 May 2020
QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
*3. Mr Liang Eng Hwa: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information (a) what is the extent of the surge in internet data traffic during the circuit breaker period; (b) whether there have been capacity and internet slowness issues; and (c) how are the industry players responding.
Mr Speaker, since the start of the circuit breaker, our telecom operators have seen an increase in their network traffic, particularly for fixed broadband and daytime usage due to telecommuting and home-based learning. On the whole, the volume of traffic remains well within each operator’s network capacity, with a buffer of at least 30%.
2. Some users may have experienced a longer wait when accessing certain websites or buffering when viewing online content. One reason for this is the usage patterns in the home rather than a network capacity constraint. To help users optimise their home Internet experience, IMDA has provided tips on its website and social-media platforms on how users can share and manage their bandwidth consumption, such as closing unused mobile apps which are running in the background.
3. Notwithstanding the current healthy capacity headroom in their networks, my Ministry and IMDA are working with our telecom operators to further increase their buffers. This is to ensure that we are prepared for a possible rise in future demand, and help ensure that individuals, households, and businesses will continue to have strong and reliable Internet connectivity.
4. Our experience in recent months has underscored the importance of investing to build up a robust and resilient infocomm infrastructure. My Ministry and IMDA will continue to ensure that our telecom infrastructure keeps pace with demand and meets our connectivity needs, especially as digitalisation accelerates in our economy and society.