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INTERNET and social media use have exploded in Spain as people begin a 15-day lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Operators warned today that ‘telecommunications networks, both fixed and mobile, have been experiencing a traffic explosion in recent days as result of COVID-19,’ before asking that users ration their time online so that networks don’t collapse.

“In general terms, traffic through IP networks has experienced increases of close to 40%, while mobile use has increased by around 50% in calls and 25% in data,” read a statement signed by Movistar, Orange, Vodafone, Grupo Masmovil and Grupo Euskaltel.

“Likewise, traffic from instant messaging tools such as WhatsApp has multiplied by five in recent days.”

They also raised concerns that tomorrow will begin a week of nationwide working from home which will likely place further strains on networks.

The companies have asked people to ‘prioritise internet access for teleworking or studying and save the streaming of video or gaming for the hours of least traffic.’

It means if you follow the companies’ advice, you will have to resist the urge to stream Netflix all day.

This, they said, ‘will help maintain the quality of service in this new period of national self isolation.’

It is also advised to only download the documents you need and to not send large files if possible, while also encouraging use of the landline to make calls.

The document reads: “A rational and responsible use of networks will allow us all, service providers, companies and individuals, to ensure that we have quality communication in a sustainable way over time, in a scenario of intensification of work and remote schooling that could last several weeks.”

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