AARNet response to the global challenges of the new coronavirus

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This page is intended to provide information for AARNet customers around the coronavirus COVID-19 and any impact on AARNet operations. We will update the page as needed.

We’re here to help you stay connected and informed. We encourage everyone to  follow  the guidance of the Australian Health Department on how to protect yourself.

1 April Update

Zoom logo






For AARNet’s response to Security and Privacy issues concerning Zoom please go to our dedicated Zoom update page.



23 March Update

Need help with Zoom? Here’s where to find support information

18 March Update

Information from around the web:


Teaching & Learning online resources

Running virtual conferences and sessions

Working from home

16 March Updates

Our Network, Services and Supply Chain

AARNet is working to maintain our services in order to support continuing business operations for customers. We have implemented a senior management response team which meets daily, are working with our key suppliers, and are continuously developing plans specific to this incident. These actions are in addition to the usual measures we have in place to ensure the high level of service we offer, including operating a diverse domestic and international network, as well as designing our services and operations to withstand disasters, including a pandemic.

Further, in response to COVID-19, AARNet has taken the following actions:

  1. We have tripled direct network capacity between China and Australia and continue to optimise traffic routing in collaboration with customers. We are working closely with our global research and education network partners to meet the increasing demand for international bandwidth and capacity
  2. We have doubled the capacity of our Zoom service in response to increased demand as our customers shift course delivery online
  3. We are working with our suppliers (such as of optical fibre and network equipment) to prepare for and minimise impact of supply-chain interruptions
  4. We are reviewing our inventories of equipment and materials as well as the distribution of those inventories.

We do not foresee any interruptions to AARNet services and we will work closely with you to keep you informed of how our plans are progressing as the situation changes.

Help & Support

If you are an AARNet customer requiring assistance with connectivity, Zoom or other services, please contact the AARNet Operations Centre Help Desk:

9 March 2020

AARNet provides critical communications infrastructure for the research and education sector and has quickly boosted capacity on its international network as part of the global rapid response to the recent novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.

During the past few weeks, usage of AARNet’s international network has grown significantly.

AARNet CEO Chris Hancock says the recent impact of the novel coronavirus on the Australian research and education community has been both unexpected and devastating.

“AARNet moved immediately to procure additional capacity on our existing links into North Asia to meet the increased demand for video conferencing, remote learning and personal communications,” he said.

Traffic to and from China over the AARNet links has more than doubled in recent weeks. AARNet is closely monitoring traffic across the network and will be making further upgrades should they be required.

Usage of Zoom videoconferencing has also doubled over the past few weeks as Australian universities turn to delivering courses online for the tens of thousands of international students impacted by the disease and associated travel bans. AARNet has added capacity to its Zoom infrastructure with plenty of headroom to further scale up on demand to meet the needs of the universities.

In recent years, AARNet has invested in long-term international network capacity through projects such as Indigo, connecting Sydney to Perth and Singapore, and CAE-1 which continues this link on to London.  In addition, the new JGA-S cable system, connecting Sydney to Guam, will further support the growth of the AARNet network into North Asia, and will provide additional options to connect to China.

With these projects, and in partnership with research and education networks worldwide, AARNet ensures Australian universities and research institutes continues to have the robust and resilient connectivity they need to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. This networking infrastructure supports not only teaching and learning, but also participation in global collaborations undertaking new research around the rapidly evolving COVID-19 disease.


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