As millions of people sit back and relax with the opportunity of working from home, questions regarding the internet viability over a long time have emerged. At the time of writing, over 300,000 people are infected with the novel strain of the COVID-19 and many countries around the world are already seeing their health systems under strain. Many policymakers have now started concerning the technological aspects of the internet staying online if many more join the spectrum of working from their private confinements.
As the U.S enters the second week of the complete self-quarantine process, many home broadband networks have begun experiencing a strained experience. Europe and Asia have been experiencing the same strain with the governments of the respective countries even asking major social providers to decrease the bandwidth of their frequencies to cope up with the increased traffic. Major government officials have even asked OTT leaders such as Netflix and Amazon to begin streaming content from SD quality as compared to the original HD quality to cope up.
To put things into retrospect, Verizon quoted that voice usage between March 12 and March 19 increased by 25% and that total traffic usage was up by 22%. Services like Netflix and Amazon consumed 12% of the increased tariff while VPN traffic increased 30%. Online gaming and streaming service leader Twitch reported an increase of 75% in player count as they broadcasted 20 million concurrent players last week with no end in sight.
Anticipating the increase in traffic and bandwidth, many U.S carriers and carriers in general all across the world have opted to remove the general cap that limits internet usage. While unlimited broadband is like free gold, what goes to see is the extent of this pandemic and whether our systems can handle a spike in usage at the same time.
If the situation continues to persist, many platforms and services would have to put onto hold as the major bandwidth would be shared by the digital medicine platforms and essential service providers such as firefighters and 911 operations.