Swine Flu-Wary Telecommuters Could Floor Internet
Report finds surge in demand might make telecommuting unfeasible
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2009 6:06 AM CDT
A computer work station is reserved for flu line use at a call center.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Telecommuters hunkering down at home because of swine flu could overwhelm Internet networks in the coming weeks, a federal watchdog reports. The report earlier this week found that no guidelines are in place to deal with any surge in demand caused by a spike in workers telecommuting and students going online to access games and videos, the Washington Post reports.

ISPs run the risk of violating contracts or regulations if they slow access to entire neighborhoods or cut off high-traffic sites to cope with pandemic-related congestion, according to the Government Accountability Office report. Providers should continue expanding their capacity and look into ways of ensuring that financial services and other vital sectors of the economy don't lose their ability to keep functioning and transfer data in a crisis, the report concludes.