While so many people are staying at home in order to try to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is one thing that’s growing as an effect. As more people resort to the internet in order to do their work, to attend classes, or even just to find something to occupy their time while they’re stuck at home, the amount of network traffic has caused internet usage to increase.
Already, many providers are seeing spikes in network traffic, though it is still too soon to know whether this is the beginnings of a major spike or otherwise. We asked phoenixNAP, Arizona-based global IaaS provider, for a comment:
“The world is facing an unprecedented change, and technology is providing us with the means to continue with our daily tasks as normally as possible. We have seen a 15% spike in network traffic, and we estimate it will grow in the following weeks,” says phoenixNAP.
Though they are seeing a spike in traffic, this isn’t preventing them from looking out for their employees while still keeping up their reliable service: “Like most businesses, our company has shifted to a work-from-home policy, but we have systems in place to ensure availability of our solutions and services, especially as we know how important they are at this time.”
Yet, that’s not the only spike we’re seeing. People are staying at home and using the internet like never before seen, and this causes increases in other ways. While phoenixNAP saw a 15% spike in network traffic, we at JaxNAP have been paying attention to other increases.
“As a facility and industry that focuses on housing telecom providers and cloud servers, more so than the traffic itself, we have not noticed any significant traffic increases in direct internet traffic like many of the larger Internet exchanges in the world,” states JaxNAP. “What we have noticed, however, is an increase in cross-connections, and colocation services. Without any visibility into the carrier networks themselves, we do see them activating more internet services to colocation customers.”
On top of all of that, there was also a widely reported massive spike on Tuesday evening, March 10th, which lines up with a report from CNN stating that Google recommended all employees work from home, and it was the day after the stock market had its worst day since 2008. However, another big event that could have led to that spike is the fact that Call of Duty: Warzone, the newest entry to the massively popular franchise, dropped that same day. To support the theory that Call of Duty contributed to this spike, the download for the game’s day one mandatory update was between 18-23 GB in size
. Even DE-CIX Frankfurt, “one of the world’s busiest interconnection hubs,” according to an article from Data Center Frontier, “reported a new all-time traffic peak of 9.1 terabits per second” that Tuesday night, which was a massive increase from 800 gigabits seen just two weeks ago. – You can read the article at https://datacenterfrontier.com/internet-exchanges-see-record-levels-of-network-traffic/.
In the end, it is still a bit too soon to know whether this spike will continue to be an upward trend, or if this will be the most we see out of it. Regardless, we are at the beginning of an event that will change the world, and the internet, as we know it.
All numbers and reports about the coronavirus are from CNN and their daily updates on the coronavirus. For further information about the effects of the virus in terms of numbers, you can check out updates on CNN.com.