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Britain’s biggest telecoms companies including BT, Sky, O2, Vodafone and Virgin Media have set aside their differences to launch a united, national public information campaign designed to educate the public on how to manage a surge in home internet and mobile phone usage.

The Ofcom-brokered campaign issues seven tips for people wishing to minimise the load on overstretched networks during enforced confinement. It has been issued via a range of digital and social media channels as well as direct communications to their combined customer base.

The pointers range from advice on staggering family usage, to switching off wi-fi enabled devices when not in use, and prioritising landline or wi-fi calls to reduce pressure on mobile networks.

It follows a decision to scrap all data allowance caps to ensure Britons enjoy access to vital telecoms services for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ofcom chief executive Melanie Dawes said: “Families across the country are going online together this week, often juggling work and keeping children busy at the same time. So we’re encouraging people to read our advice on getting the most from their broadband, home phones and mobiles.”

The issue is being taken seriously at the highest levels, as evidenced by the European Commission which has secured an agreement with Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and Disney + to cap streaming video speeds for 30 days to minimise data loads across the continent.

This followed a decision by Sony to limit the speed at which players in Europe can download games, although the Japanese giant states that multiplayer gaming will not be affected.