Telecoms companies have said they are equipped to handle any increase in traffic over their networks that may come as a result of more people working remotely.

Many companies had already directed staff to work from home in response to the outbreak of Covid-19. Today the Government urged more employers to use remote working where possible, as part of its new measures aimed at slowing the virus' spread.

Communications firm Eir said it was prepared for an increase in voice and data traffic on its networks, and there was "ample capacity for all users".

It said a €1.5 billion investment in its fibre network, along with a €150m investment in its mobile network, would help to provide resilience in the face of additional demand.

As well as services offered under its own brand, the Eir network is used by a number of other telecoms companies to provide services.

Vodafone Ireland said it was prepared to deal with additional demand from users and had a comprehensive monitoring system in place to identify and deal with any localised congestion issues that arise.

"Our aim is to manage the network performance and capacity to maintain the level of service you need and expect from us, and to react to unexpected incidents on our network," the firm said in a statement.

Siro, which operates a fibre-to-the-home network covering 300,000 premises in the country, also said it had sufficient capacity for an increase in traffic.

It said fibre connectivity was far less prone to suffering from congestion than traditional copper-based networks.

"Each 1 Gigabit SIRO service is capable of managing 400 times the average user speeds observed on the network to date so while we do expect to see increases in traffic (like we saw during the snow event in March 2018) the SIRO network is dimensioned to carry many multiples of the current data traffic," the company said in a statement

"We are confident that customers on the SIRO network will have their usual best in class uninterrupted service."

Virgin Media said its network was designed to handle peak traffic through the day, meaning it can deal with any rise in daytime activity.

"Virgin Media is well prepared for our workforce and customers to work from home, having responded to a wide range of storms in the recent past (and over the years)," the company said.

It said it had also "undertaken significant preparedness and rehearsal plans to deliver an effective and smart response for the ongoing management and operation across network."

BT Ireland also said its network had additional capacity and would be capable of handling the increased traffic from remote workers.

"Our network is built to support 'evening peak' network capacity, which generally means at least four to five times the typical daytime (working hours) demand. "Evening peak" is  driven by streaming video, gaming updates and sport content," it said. 

"We have invested significantly in our network and capability to support multiple services and applications for all our customers, day or night. We are confident that our broadband network could handle daytime home-working on a mass-scale."