COVID-19 Effect on Internet Usage


To determine the coronavirus' effect on Internet usage, with a specific focus on the increase in WiFi bandwidth , the increase in corporate VPN usage , the increase in mobile bandwidth , and any other similar statistics that show how the coronavirus pandemic has effected the digital media consumption of people.

Early Findings

WiFi Usage

  • Broadband consumption has increased by 50% since the beginning of January, with a 20% increase being recorded between March 25th and March 27th.
  • OpenVault predicts that the average data consumption per household in March will reach 400 gigabytes.
  • Because of that, wireless carriers, including Verizon, T-Mobile US and AT&T, "have been given temporary access to fresh spectrum over the past week to bolster network capacity."
  • So far, Boston and New York' day time activity has continuously reached 85% of peak activity, which has put a lot of strain on the providers.
  • According to Tony Werner, president of technology at Comcast Cable, Comcast's network is running at just above 40% capacity.
  • AT&T also reported an increase in their WiFi usage, seeing a 27% increase in the business, home broadband and wireless usage.
  • According to Cludfare, the internet traffic increased by 18% in the US from January 1 to March 22, with New York seeing the biggest increase in traffic.

VPN Usage

  • Verizon data shows that VPN traffic on their network was up 52% compared to the month of February.

Mobile Usage

  • AT&T has reported no significant increase in the data usage from mobile phones as the majority of people have transitioned to home WiFi networks.
  • However, the provider has seen an increase in the volume of mobile voice calls, which increased by 44% compared to the average company voice call volumes.
  • The company has also seen an increase in their WiFi call minutes and wireless voice minutes, up by 78% and 39%, respectively, compared to February.

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