More than two thirds of the U.S. population is now stuck at home as more states are creating new restrictions to try to slow the spread of COVID-19. The internet is now being used more than ever as millions are turning to it as an alternative source of social connection, work, and entertainment. In Seattle, one of the cities in the U.S. that was hardest hit by the virus, internet traffic quickly began to rise - from January to March it has risen by an astounding 30%. Other U.S. ISPs are noticing huge spikes in WiFi calling, online gaming, and VPN usage across the country. With a huge number of increased active users, governments and companies alike are making moves to help Americans stay online. One of these steps is the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge that over 70 telecom companies have signed stating that these companies will waive late fees and retain service even with lack of payment. Other companies are making public WiFi networks for students and remote workers. Comcast is setting up public hotspots for free use, Comcast and Spectrum are both offering 2 free months of access to low-income families, and AT&T is suspending broadband usage caps.
This massively increased use might mean a lot of trouble - most of us aren’t prepared for such an outage. Because of this some companies and governments are taking steps to make sure that we can stay connected, even with millions of extra users. In the EU, major streaming companies such as Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube have lowered all streaming to standard definition for the next 30 days - many want this new procedure to be introduced to American streaming services.
Find more about if we can handle the internet coronavirus pandemic and stay connected here: