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As COVID-19 has caused a world-wide shift to remote working, learning and socializing, there has been a major increase in network usage. Connectivity matters now more than ever. People all over the world are relying on internet providers to keep them connected with work, school, family and friends as we navigate these unsettling times. How are providers like AT&T and Comcast holding up with an unprecedented increase in traffic? 

Comcast says while there has been a significant increase in traffic, it is within their capabilities and are continuing to deliver the necessary speeds and support customers need to continue daily life. They engineer their networks for peak capacity in order to handle shifts patterns.  As traffic is increasing in Chicago, earlier cities such as Seattle and San Francisco are starting to plateau. Here are some statistics on Comcast's network usage:

Since March 1, 2020:

  • 32% overall increase in traffic; up to 60% in some cities

  • 700K speed tests performed each day

  • 24% increase in mobile data usage over WiFi

  • 212% increase in VoIP and Video Conferencing 

  • 40% increase in VPN traffic 

AT&T networks are also performing well and have technicians working around the clock on installing, maintaining and repairing any issues to ensure connectivity for customers. Their network for first responders, FirstNet, has been performing excellent and is free of any commercial congestion. They are in process of deploying portable assets to support public safety; including a cell tower on wheels in support of the Naval Ship Mercy in LA. Here are some statistics on AT&T's mobile network usage:

Since March 1, 2020:

  • 33% increase in voice calls

  • 63% increase in instant messaging

  • 41% increase in text messaging:

  • 18% decrease in emailing

  • 5% decrease in web browsing

  • 4% increase in video (also accounts for over half of all mobility traffic)

  • 200% increase in AT&T’s global audio-conferencing solution

  • 400% increase in audio, web and video conferencing tools

  • 200% increase in large-scale webcast events

It seems like the common theme throughout most internet providers (and the technology industry in general); To be prepared and always remain a step ahead. Industry leaders around the globe are constantly focusing on new technologies and innovation. This pandemic will lead to many new technologies, strategies, and teach us new ways to keep our networks and infrastructure solid. 

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