Covid 19 impact on Internet #2
- May 15, 2020

This second paper examining the impact of coronavirus on internet use and the network infrastructure provides an update on our first post-lockdown analysis and it introduces a new methodology to identify the cities where internet infrastructure is most stressed.

Amazon, Facebook and Twitter, which previously recorded the largest slowdown in access speeds, have all improved access times during the last week. YouTube and Netflix, which both provide bandwidth hungry video images, appear to have been the most successful in reducing access speeds. Access speeds are now the same or faster than before lockdown.

Access in the Netherlands is still considerably slower than pre-lockdown speeds recorded on 5th March. Our new ‘peak and trough’ stress test shows that the most stressed cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam and Rotterdam. Comparisons of ping speeds between peak and lowest internet use times in Amsterdam is 31.5 per cent and in Rotterdam it is even higher at 32.1 per cent. The average in Europe is 7.2 per cent. Large differences, indicating stress were also observed in two locations in Italy. Preliminary analysis in the US indicates lower stress levels averaging 4.9 per cent. But stress is considerably more in the States of New York and New Jersey where coronavirus is most prevalent.

Internet infrastructure continues to be resilient. But in many countries we are still in the early stages of the global pandemic and sadly many more people will become ill. Managing and maintaining internet infrastructure when problems arise is a major undertaking. The resilience of the workforce is yet to be fully tested.