Due to COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown, surging traffic is causing an internet slowdown. As China locked down some provinces to contain the spread of the coronavirus in late January, average internet speeds in the country slowed as people’s online usage increased. In Hubei Province, the epicenter of infections, mobile broadband speeds fell by more than half. In mid-February, when the virus hit Italy, Germany and Spain, internet speeds in those countries also began to decline.
And last week, as a wave of stay-at-home orders rolled out across the United States, the average time it took to download videos, emails and documents increased as broadband speeds declined 4.9 percent from the previous week, according to Ookla, a broadband speed testing service. Median download speeds dropped 38 percent in San Jose, Calif., and 24 percent in New York, according to Broadband Now, a consumer broadband research site.
Quarantines around the world have made people more reliant on the internet to communicate, work, learn and stay entertained. But as the use of YouTube, Netflix, Zoom videoconferencing, Facebook calls and videogaming has surged to new highs, the stress on internet infrastructure is starting to show in Europe and the United States — and the traffic is probably far from its peak.
European regulators… have pushed streaming companies such as Netflix and YouTube to reduce the size of their video files so they don’t take up as much bandwidth. In the United States, regulators have given wireless carriers access to more spectrum to bolster the capacity of their networks. Some tech companies have responded to the call to ease internet traffic. YouTube, which is owned by Google, said this week that it would reduce the quality of its videos from high to standard definition across the globe.
MacDailyNews Take: Are you noticing a hit to your broadband speed or ISP reliability as of late?