Lockdown Impact on Internet

Lockdown Impact on Internet

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OTT traffic surged 198.68 per cent, hosting traffic (storage space and access for websites) went up by 62.78 per cent, ISP traffic increased by 54.38 per cent

There has been a significant increase in traffic in categories like gaming, over the top (streaming) services and hosting and internet service providers (ISP) since the week of February 24-28, according to the Internet Exchange DE-CIX.

For instance, during the period of April 6-10, when the lockdown was in place, gaming traffic in India grew by 109.4 per cent (compared to February 24-28).

Also, OTT traffic surged 198.68 per cent, hosting traffic (storage space and access for websites) went up by 62.78 per cent, ISP traffic increased by 54.38 per cent, and social and online media grew by 27.1 per cent. Information technology, IT-enabled services and security traffic, on the other hand, fell 29.6 per cent, while telecom traffic went down 4.3 per cent.

Overall, traffic grew by 39.53 per cent, according to the Germany-based Internet exchange.

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in traffic since the country went on lockdown,” said Ivo Ivanov, chief strategic & corporate development officer at Internet Exchange DE-CIX. “Homes are the new offices, people are streaming content during working hours, and the shift of traffic has been huge,” he added.

The European Union has been asking streaming services to use lower resolutions. This has been of some help in reducing the burden on networks as it reduces the volume of data packets, said Ivanov.

Interestingly, in India, the most popular streaming portals are Netlfix, Amazon, Google (YouTube), Hotstar and Zee5.

The need of the hour, Ivanov said, is to have a proper fibre optic-based backbone for Internet and broadband networks, in addition to proper data centres and Internet exchanges. These allow better resilience to the sudden spurt in traffic.

A recent report from Bobble AI, which tracks usage of mobile applications, showed that people are increasingly looking to the Internet to meet work, social and entertainment needs.

In addition to social network and streaming applications, it found that fitness and education have also been in demand as people look to meet their goals through Net-based resources like Home Workout and Udemy.

The active user count of video conferencing applications has also seen a significant increase.

Applications like Zoom and Houseparty have seen a 71.1 per cent increase in time spent. Active user count has witnessed a 104.1 per cent increase. The experience of other countries in a lockdown has been similar.

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