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Video usage surges as universities go online

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Sydney, Australia, 25 March, 2020 – AARNet (Australia’s Academic and Research Network) has seen substantial increases in video traffic over the past two weeks as staff and students transition to working and learning from home in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

AARNet CEO Chris Hancock said the sustained and rapid uptake in the usage of video technology by the universities is at a scale he has not witnessed before in his time at the helm of AARNet.

“This kind of growth is truly amazing. Yesterday, we saw video traffic surge by 20% in one day,” said Hancock. “Traffic load balancing and orchestrating upgrades around peak service times has helped enormously in our delivery.”

While the universities use a variety of learning management systems and video platforms to deliver online learning, AARNet hosts infrastructure for Zoom Video Collaboration on its network.

AARNet doubled its Zoom hosting capacity over the past weekend and this capacity boost represents a 20-fold increase from capacity in February. By week’s end AARNet is planning to add further capacity to bring this to a 32-fold increase compared to February.

“We’re working very closely with the universities and the leading ISPs across the country to ensure we meet the needs of video users. New issues arise every day and both the growth and the issues it brings are likely to continue for many weeks to come,” he said.

-ENDS-

About AARNet

Australia’s Academic and Research Network (AARNet) provides high capacity national and international telecommunications infrastructure and collaboration services for the nation’s research and education sector, including universities, health and other research organisations, schools, vocational training providers and cultural institutions. AARNet serves over two million end users who access the network for teaching, learning and research. For more information, visit www.aarnet.edu.au . Follow us on Twitter @AARNet.

AARNet media contact:                                        

Jane Gifford, media@aarnet.edu.au, +61 2 9779 6960