India being under a 21-day lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak has lead people to become increasingly dependent on the internet to stay connected. This, in turn, is putting a lot of usage strain on the internet infrastructure which is causing a significant dip in internet speeds.
According to the March Speedtest Global Index report of Ookla, a web service that provides an analysis of internet access performance metrics, such as connection data rate and latency, India has now stepped two positions down to 71st in terms of fixed broadband speed.
It has also been observed in the same report that compared to February 2020, the country now ranks at 130th after slipping down two spots when it comes to mobile broadband speed in India.
The report also highlights that since the beginning of 2020, India has been declining in terms of average fixed broadband speed from 41.48 Mbps in January to 35.98 Mbps in March. This is a drop by 5.5 Mbps.
Similarly, when it comes to mean mobile download speed in India a dip from 11.83 Mbps in February to 10.15 Mbps in March 2020 is observed.
Dough Suttles who is the Chief Executive Officer of Ookla in a statement has said that it is only natural for internet speeds to slow down at this moment because the usage levels have currently increased a lot in India due to the lockdown and therefor networks are under a lot of strain.
Suttles also added that as more and more people continue to move their daily activities online, there will be some impacts on the speed as some ISP networks might struggle to keep up. However, the internet itself should be able to handle the increased usage.
The Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index for the month of March showed that UAE is currently ranking at the topmost position for mobile broadband speed with an 83.52 Mbps mean download speed. The top spot for fixed broadband speed went to Singapore with a 197.26 Mbps mean download speed.
The company said that they are currently monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on internet performance across the globe very closely.
Increased Internet Usage Amid The Outbreak
The curbs on day-to-day civic life to check the raging pandemic has not only driven up internet usage in India but all over the world. The countrymen now depend on it to do their jobs, to go to school, and to see other people. It has also become our primary source of entertainment.
More people have now started using the video-conferencing software Zoom in the first two months of 2020 than in all of 2019. Stay-at-home entertainment options such as streaming services and online gaming are also booming. Record numbers of people are using Steam which a popular online PC game store. At one point in this month, more than 24 million players were logged on at the same time which is a massive 25% jump since February.
In India, it has been found out that before the lockdown, social media usage was on average 150 minutes per day. However, in the first week of lockdown, the figures reportedly jumped to a whopping 280 minutes per day according to a survey conducted by Hammerkopf Consumer Survey.
The survey also found out that compared to the week before, 75% of people are now spending more of their time on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp consuming news and communicating with their friends and family.
If there’s one thing that is absolutely evident, it is the fact that the outbreak of COVID-19 has made the presence of internet stronger than ever. The pandemic is also bound to change the way we use the internet in the future.