Bandwidth VS Covid-19

We are living in strange times, suddenly a large part of the world’s population is staying at home. Social distancing, quarantine or even complete lockdowns are the measurements taken all over the world due to the outbreak of Covid-19. 

Now, more than ever, the internet has become a crucial part of our lives to make sure we can continue as much of our day-to-day life as possible. 

Many people (including myself writing this blog) are working from home, using email and all kind of videoconferences to be able to keep working without having to leave their homes and jeopardize themselves or others. Also students, from kindergarten to university are also getting educated online. And that is not all, fitness classes, religious services and even shop tours are being streamed to our homes. And after a long day of working from home and maybe also homeschooling your kids, we need some time to relax. Stream a movie, watch tv-shows on You Tube, video call friends and family or play online video games. It is fair to say consumer networks have become our tool to stay connected to all services and to each other. 

As Covid-19 continues to spread globally services of ISP’s, Cloud providers and conferencing services are experiencing increased traffic. All of this together is putting an unforeseen strain on all manner of networking technologies and can cause traffic congestion and security concerns. If you look at the increased traffic, Verizon has reported a 20% increase in its network traffic in just one week, Vodafone even reported a 50% increase. And that is just two of the many providers. 

Last Sunday AMS-IX in Amsterdam even reached a new record! A whopping 7,88 terabyte per second was being processed. The traffic increased drastically, where it was around 48-50 petabyte a day in February, last week it rose to an average of 56,31 petabyte a day. (1 petabyte = 1000 terabyte)

However, up till now, the internet is not collapsing under the weight of the extreme traffic increase. Big public cloud services (such as Google cloud, Microsoft Azure, AWS) have build major networks designed to withstand high increases of traffic. Whereas with large UCaas provider networks outage incidents are fairly rare, the massive increase in usage is stressing current design limits. Across the board capacity is being added to meet the new demands. A couple of streaming services, like Netflix, You Tube and Disney+, have lowered the quality of their videos to relieve pressure on the demand of bandwidth. Recently also Sony has announced to lower the download speed for games on their PlayStation platform. 

Maybe not as big as an increase as you would expect, but during the past six weeks there has been a steady increase in outages across multiple providers worldwide. In the first months of 2020 ISP outages worldwide were around 150 a week, in the last three weeks this increased to about 225 weekly.

With the increased importance of the internet being available at all times and the demand for bandwidth rising, it is more important than ever to make sure your infrastructure can handle the demand and is ready for replacing parts when necessary. Maybe you can already increase your bandwidth availability by adding those extra switches or it could give you some piece of mind knowing you have those spare parts on the shelf in case you need them.

Times are strange, but could you imagine how much stranger it would be if we did not have the internet? 

Stay safe and stay connected 

As for the measures EmXcore has taken regarding Covid-19

– We are still available for you through email and phone for all your questions and are still accepting and fulfilling orders

– We take in account all measures provided by the RIVM (dutch health organization) 

– Most of us are working from home. We have a minimum of people in the office to make sure equipment can get tested and shipped