Following the announcement by Unified National Networks (UNN) on a series of upgrades of its broadband network to be carried out on the early mornings of 13 and 14 August 2021, these were to address the increased traffic and data volume carried in the fixed broadband network specifically during the day as everyone is working from home and a further increase of 20% in the evening hours between 8:00pm and 12 midnight.
On 14 August 2021, as UNN started to adapt the traffic routing in the broadband after implementing capacity and system upgrades, it detected part of the broadband customers were experiencing unsatisfactory broadband quality due to this routing issue.
While there is a noted increase of traffic and data volume since Ministry of Health's announcements of the control measures, these numbers have been increasing steadily prior to 7 August 2021. The data volume in the broadband network has tripled in the past 3 years and is currently 50% higher than compared with 12 months ago. As such, UNN upgrades network and capacity are done proactively and in advance base on forecasts from this information.
Meanwhile on 15 August 2021, the disruption impacted mobile users was a separate issue from the previous incidences. It was an unfortunate isolated incident, where one of the routers experienced memory allocation failure. Apart from that, the mobile network is in a state of modernization with more than half of all bas stations in the country are already upgraded. The mobile network is therefore stable and would not be impacted by the recent issues in the broadband network.
All in all, UNN teams worked around the clock to resolve the affected connectivity and resolved all disruptions within 24 hours or less in spite of the pandemic.
As part of the Authority for Info-Communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI)'s on-going efforts to ensure service quality from the network provider, the Authority actively monitors the situation of network congestion issues that the users are currently facing. AITI tested the network in multiple sites across the country before and after the network improvements by UNN. The test showed that during the hours of 8:00pm to 12 midnight, it showed an improvement from 24% of the subscribed speed on 12 August to 85% on 15 August 2021.
The tests were conducted using a third-party application to simulate users' experience. It must be noted that the results must be taken as estimates and not exact figures as the home networks still had active user traffic which will reduce the test speeds. The conclusion of the tests show that the speeds have improved after the network improvement, but AITI and UNN will continue to monitor the situation to ensure the continuity of Internet connectivity for users during this period and will communicate to the public if any degradation on network performance is experienced during this monitoring phase.
AITI would like to assure the public that UNN will continue to prioritize the upgrading of existing infrastructure and installation of new infrastructure to accommodate the higher deman for Internet connectivity.
AITI would also like to express its appreciation to the public for their patience and understanding during these challenging times. UNN will continue its operations, adhering to safety procedures put in place in light of COVID-19, to safeguard their employees while ensuring sufficient capacity and service quality for the Internet services to meet the demand of the consumers.back