The internet is booming at the time of COVID-19 infection. Never have we seen the immense rise in internet traffic, speculations, conspiracies, and cyberattacks.
Although the internet has helped to ease daily chores by offering online banking and e-shopping options, it has also given rise to digital malpractices such as cyberattacks and conspiracies.
How COVID-19 is affecting the Internet?
WeForum.org reported that Internet usage is up 50% in some parts of the world as more aspects of our daily lives have moved online.
Although some remote-work platforms have struggled to keep up with increased demand, Internet Service Providers are doing enough to keep up with the demand.
What’s causing the rise in the use of the Internet?
As people are resorting to online platforms on a daily basis, the internet is seeing a rise in usage. Some of the major reasons for the rise in the use of the internet are as follows.
a. Remote workspace - Work-from-home culture is on a rise. Most companies have resorted to the remote workspace to keep up with daily operations. Now, more people are working from home, and at the same time, using other internet utilities such as VPN, video conferencing, and social media.
b. Video Streaming -More people have resorted to watching Netflix and YouTube at the time of lockdown. With pandemic looming and lockdown in place, Netflix and other digital streaming platforms are seeing a surge. Netflix reported that its 117.58 million subscribers watch 140 million hours of content on average per day.
c. Online gaming – The online gaming community has seen a rise in both the new users and daily time spent. With people stuck at home, they are getting more active in online gaming platforms such as PUBG. The rise in online gaming has also seen a rise in the consumption of mobile data.
d. Online shopping – E-commerce has definitely risen at the time of lockdown. As physical stores are inaccessible at the time of the pandemic, people are using e-commerce apps and e-banking facilities to shop online. Industries such as Medicine and drugs, food, and media and news have seen the highest amount of transactions.
File-sharing and other internet activities –With remote workspace on the rise, digital file-sharing has become even more important. The file-sharing apps like BitTorrent are used rampantly during the time of lockdown. Cloud services offer you the advantage of accessing your data using multiple devices and you can connect to the Internet from anywhere, but these services can also require significant bandwidth
The effect on Internet Usage & Bandwidth
ISPs saw a sudden surge in almost all parts of the world before and during the lockdown. The largest increases in traffic volume occurred immediately after public policy announcements, such as school closures, stay-at-home orders, or immediate government notices.
The regions that are hit hard by the pandemic saw a sudden increase in internet bandwidth. Similarly, the most dramatic decreases in download speed followed the official starts of those policies — presumably when populations made the shift to staying home.
With the increasing use of different internet technologies or services, internet health seems to decrease markedly in the last few weeks. The experts are of the opinion that this is likely because traffic is both increasing and moving rapidly to residential networks, giving regional residential ISPs little time to react.
Many internet users have experienced the drastic degradation on the internet following the announcement of the lockdown.
Someone with a high-quality, 100Mbps internet connection might not even notice a download speed reduction of 35% — a typical 1080P video stream requires just 6Mbps and fits well within the resulting 65Mbps. However, someone with a lower-quality connection, say 10Mbps, might notice some quality degradation: their typical 1080P movie might now automatically adjust down to 720P to fit well within the resulting 6.5 Mbps.
According to the data gathered by Fastly.com,
- News and digital publishing saw a boost in traffic. The traffic in the news site averaged a 70.16% increase in requests per second (RPS ) globally between February and March.
- Video streaming services saw a 29.6% increase in RPS between February and March
- Gaming industry saw a 28.54% increase in RPS between February and March
- Social media averaged a 40.88% rise in RPS at the same interval
- Education sites, including online courses, saw the rise in RPS of 34.55%
How will the pandemic affect future technologies?
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to affect future technologies. The future technologies focused on consumer’s need is likely to rise. As people fled indoors to avoid contracting and spreading the virus, they went online to communicate, shop, work and learn.
Here are a few of the technologies that will likely be affected by the pandemic.
A. Data-enabled healthcare initiatives will increase
According to the stat generated by NeilPatel.com, healthcare is one of the most thriving industries during the pandemic along with news, media, and food. Healthcare is a vital part factor of the economy that has helped generate trillions in revenue.
As the industry and consumers are resorting to the digital platforms to buy or sell medical care, tech companies have started implementing a data-enabled approach and A.I. to simplify digital transactions.
With the right data in hand, it has given an opportunity for various data and A.I. specialists to develop useful solutions that will help reduce risks of contagion, relieve consumer anxiety while also providing reassurance to help them cope with these difficult times.
B. Scalable digital business models will start to replace product-focused operations
Because of the pandemic pressurizing the global supply chains of companies such as Best Buy, Wayfair, and Nike, companies have increasingly started to build resilience in their businesses by complementing product-focused models with scalable and stable digital alternatives. This might include businesses diversifying from their core offer to sell data and AI assets to third parties.
The implications of digital business models apply to both B2C and B2B. The intermediary digital agencies are transforming business models by creating a digital environment. This fosters collaboration between two different businesses or industries.
C. E-commerce will experience a renaissance
Due to self-isolation, consumers who normally visit physical stores are increasingly shopping online. As a result, e-commerce is booming especially when it comes to food items medicines, and clothing.
Over 80% of smartphone users in the US resort to online shopping. The growth in e-commerce is preeminent; however, industries must facilitate easy access to online shopping. The advances in online payment getaways have helped shape the entire e-commerce experience. Post-pandemic, we can expect similar innovations going forward.
D. Digital collaboration and entertainment tools to see an upsurge
More people have resorted to watching Netflix over going to the theater. With pandemic looming and lockdown in place, Netflix and other digital streaming platforms are likely to see a surge. Netflix reports that its 117.58 million subscribers watch 140 million hours of content on average per day.
The producers of movies and web series are spending more on an average which is regularly streamed on Netflix.
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