The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused a massive change in the way people go about their activities. Almost all forms of work and education have been pushed online. Meetings are being held over video calls, as are classes.
For individuals, this has translated into a lot of effort being reduced. They can now work from the comfort of their homes.
Moreover, people who don’t have to work or study now have a lot of free time on their hands. Since they cannot leave their houses, they have been forced to turn to the only source of entertainment possible – the internet. People all over the world are accessing services like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu et cetera a lot more now.
However, this sudden shift in the mode and scale of working or studying has led to problems on a larger scale.
HOW HAS INTERNET USAGE BEEN AFFECTED BECAUSE OF THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC?
Internet traffic over the local landline network Telecom Italia SpA (Italy) rose by almost 90%.
WebEx, a videoconferencing service, experienced a rise of 80% in parts of Italy.
Seattle, the epicentre of the virus in the USA, internet traffic surged by 30%.
This has led to a severe decrease in internet speed in various areas. In addition to the increase in usage across the country, this is also because of a shift in the usage of the type of connections. Since people are now working from home, they are using home networks. Home networks are different from office networks because of their bandwidths. Office networks are built to handle huge amounts of data being transferred. On the other hand, home networks are built for small amounts of data.
However, there are many companies trying to battle these problems.
Cox announced that would upgrade its users to a package with 50 MBPS speed from one with 30 MBPS.
Comcast announced that it would remove its cap on broadband usage for the next 2 months. This means that people who exceed their data limit will not be penalized. Moreover, they announced that they would make Xfinity WiFi hotspots available to anyone for free, even non-users.
AT&T, Verizon and Charter also said that they were making changes to increase the capacity of their networks.