Following current events and our response to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re now starting to see the impact on our digital and technology infrastructure. Already a core part of our 21st century lives, these are now becoming even more invaluable, both in facilitating the flow of information to prevent the spread of the virus, but also allowing some small semblance of normalcy to continue in some people’s work and all of our personal lives.
To facilitate isolation, there has already been a drastic rise in home working, remote learning and consumption of streaming and gaming services. People aren’t just trying to keep things going as much as possible, but staying engaged and keeping morale up will become more and more important the longer the crisis goes on.
According to the Verizon CEO, global web traffic has spiked by 20% in just one week. This is paralleled in the UK with statistics from Vodafone and TalkTalk, who report a 30% rise and 20% rise in traffic on their networks, respectively.
Netflix has also today reported they will be reducing the overall streaming quality for Europe to reduce network traffic by up to 25%, saving bandwidth for other services and reducing the load on Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
UK broadband provider Zen Internet this week said: “many of our customers have been making enquiries over the last few days about how to upgrade their broadband to faster speed”.
While providers continue to look at options to force their services to reduce bandwidth, the public can take proactive mesures to reduce the load. Many streaming services offer the option to reduce the quality of your playback:
People might also choose to use more suitable services for the purpose of their activity. For example, many people listen to music on YouTube, but this includes a video stream, using up much more bandwidth than a music streaming service, which only uses an audio stream.