Feeds

Swine flu will [enter scare words here]...

...but BT says it won't kill the internet

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Several people in the UK have quite possibly got swine flu, but this doesn't necessarily mean the end of civilisation.

Some of you might worry that the epidemic will swiftly carry away your comms services. The 'reasoning' goes something like this: the flu reaches epidemic proportions, offices close as our transport infrastructure shudders to a halt, everyone not at death's door logs in from home and BT's network, and the internet, collapses under the strain.

What happens next will be clear to anyone who's seen 28 Days Later...

But be not afraid, the reality will likely be duller. The internet is good at not falling over, although it might well slow slightly as all those off sick try to watch iPlayer.

BT said: "BT's network is in a strong position to cope with the expected demands in home working."

The busiest time for internet usage in the UK is early on Sunday evening, when average speeds can fall as much as 25 per cent.

A more realistic worry is how well your firm's own infrastructure would cope with most of the staff working from home. And how about if half the IT department were off sick too? Chief medical officer Dr Michael McBride said at least 12 per cent of staff could be off sick at any one time.

That's assuming they can get to work. Transport for London has tried to reassure people that it was possible for tube trains and buses to continue to function even if some staff did get the sniffles.

But some of its unions were not so enthusiastic, and Bob Crowe of the RMT union warned that his members were more likely than most to catch the disease because they work in close contact with large numbers of people.

Transport for London pointed out that any epidemic which hits their staff would likely also reduce the number of passengers using its network.

Of course flu is nothing to be, umm, sneezed at. It kills about 1,500 people in the UK every winter - but of course that is dull old people flu, not this headline-friendly new flu.

Government advice is available for both businesses and individuals here, and there's a symptom checker here.

A vaccine is being developed and should be ready by September. It will be given to frontline medical staff and then other groups depending on need - rather like the existing flu jab which goes to the young, the old and the otherwise vulnerable. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.