US Internet Usage Almost Doubles After COVID-19 Warnings

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On March 10th, the world went into a state of panic over the coronavirus spreading. Governments advised their civilians to stay indoors, work at home if possible, and not send their kids to school. The result is a wave of people now stuck at home, with only one source of new entertainment and work: the Internet.

As we covered before, this increase in demand managed to crash Microsoft Teams as Europe logged on to get work done. Now we see the impact on the entertainment side of the Internet: the average American download usage almost doubled in the space of a week.

How Much Is Being Used?

In the report, it’s revealed that the average daily U.S. downstream usage went up to 5.16 GB starting March 10th. This average held its strength until March 16th when the usage clocked in at 5.1 GB.

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The report says that this average is 98 percent more than March 9th’s average rate. It’s also more than double what was observed nine weeks prior in January.

Upstream usage also saw a drastic increase. It shot up 68 percent over the last recorded value to 0.326 GB per day, which shows how heavily everyone is using the Internet, both down and up.

What Are ISPs Doing About This?

This increase is a massive challenge for ISPs, which have to handle this sudden surge of users. Fortunately, it appears that service providers are confident they can deliver what people want.

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We recognize that more of our customers will be working remotely or taking classes online,” said Verizon, a U.S. ISP, in a statement. “Verizon’s networks are designed and built to meet future demand and are ready should demand increase or usage patterns change significantly.

Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of U.S. Telecom, wrote the following in a letter: “Broadband providers are laser-focused on making sure the innovative networks they built and manage are ready to accommodate a prolonged reliance on telework, distance learning and other forms of high-bandwidth remote communications.

Analyzing the Ups and Downs of the Internet

As more and more people stay indoors under orders from their government, it’s only natural to expect Internet usage to increase. Now we can actually see the impact that COVID-19 had on the Internet, with U.S. users downloading almost double the amount of data they did a week prior.

Do you think this number will increase as the weeks and months go on? Or will it stay the same? Let us know below.

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