Because of the COVID-19 coronavirus the Netherlands and the world find themselves in an exceptional situation. As a responsible telecom operator and employer, KPN is taking measures to protect employees and customers and to guarantee the continuity of its services so that customers can work from home and people in the Netherlands remain connection with each other.
As the whole the Netherlands is making substantial use of the KPN network, we are seeing a considerable rise in the use of our network and a shift in traffic in the network (more from home, less from the office). We are seeing a sizable increase in the number of mobile calls and a rise in internet traffic. Our network is equipped to handle peak load, which usually occurs at the weekend, and at present the network can deal with the increase in business and consumer traffic.
The use of our network by consumers is several times greater than the business usage. Watching TV and video streaming take up proportionately the most capacity, and the greatest network load normally occurs at the weekend when customers tend to watch more TV than during the week.
In these exceptional times we are taking exceptional measures. We are therefore currently restricting our network maintenance work to the most essential. In addition, we have several options for coping with peak load and to further increase the capacity in the event that this becomes necessary. In any case we are monitoring the situation very closely and, as always, we monitor our infrastructure and that of our customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Our primary task is to keep the Netherlands connected.
KPN is minimizing the physical contact between members of staff and between employees and customers. Since last week employees have been working from home as much as possible. This applies also to the employees that manage and monitor our networks. Where this is not possible, we split up teams and allow them to work from various KPN locations.
Service to customers
- We have made all the necessary arrangements to be able to serve customers remotely, online via kpn.com and by phone. Additional capacity has been taken up at these customer entry points.
- Physical contact with customers is temporarily being restricted as much as possible. This applies to customers in the consumer market as well as those in the business market. Consequently, we are closing all KPN stores from March 17 to at least April 6. We plan to reopen 16 stores across the Netherlands on March 20 where customers can go with questions about products and services, in a way that is safe for both customers en employees.
- As from Wednesday, March 18 the working activities of engineers throughout the Netherlands will be limited to urgent malfunction reports and to safeguarding and delivering the broadband service. The engineers will work in accordance with tighter safety measures.
In these exceptional times KPN is keen to help make things less unpleasant for consumers and businesses in the Netherlands and is therefore taking the following steps:
- KPN is making free conference numbers available from March 18 to April 15 to all homeworkers in the Netherlands. Even those people who are not KPN customers and who are working from home due to the coronavirus can take advantage of this initiative.
- From March 18 to April 15 KPN will not charge for any mobile calls made by large business customers and by KPN ÉÉN customers to Dutch numbers that fall outside of their usual subscriptions (with the exception of 0800/0900 numbers).
- From today until April 13 KPN is making the following channels available free of charge to iTV customers:
- The movie channels Film1 Première (channel 245), Film1 Action (channel 246), Film1 Family (channel 247) and Film1 Drama (channel 248)
- The kids’ channels Nick Toons (channel 52), Nick Jr. (channel 53) and Nick Music (channel 54)
- The channels Comedy Central Extra (channel 71) and 192 TV (channel 113)
Additionally, we are helping our business customers with the increased demand for bandwidth, for example by upscaling the capacity for working from home or the VPN connections so as to facilitate working from home. Businesses and organizations can get in touch with their regular contact persons at KPN for this. For business customers this is the assigned account manager or Business Partner.
Finally, KPN is doing everything it can to keep the Netherlands connected and, along with our customers, to contribute to the health, solidarity and economy of our society. We are keeping a close eye on the situation and will take further measures if required.