Internet Usage Up During Pandemic

Major ISPs claim their networks are handling the extra demand well

NBCUniversal, Inc.

All of those kids learning online, and all those parents working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, have combined to put a noticeable strain on major internet service providers (ISPs).

Dallas-based AT&T, the nation’s largest ISP, noted that overall internet traffic was up 31% on Friday, March 27, compared to the same day last month. In addition, cell phone calls were up 32% on the same day, and Wi-Fi calls were up 82%.

Overall, text messaging is up 46% over the past two-and-a-half weeks, according to AT&T.

“Our network is performing well as our customers shift to staying home during the COVID-19 pandemic,” an AT&T spokesperson noted in a statement.

Similarly, Verizon has said its services are performing well during the increased strain on its bandwidth.

Verizon’s wireless and broadband networks handled more than 218,000 terabytes of data last Monday alone, according to a news release from the company. That equates to 106 million hours of streaming content, 190 billion photo uploads or 38 billion songs downloaded.

Both of those companies, as well as others, have agreed to temporarily do away with data overages for the foreseeable future.

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