Broadband use surged 30% to 40% during the COVID-19 pandemic in the US, and even reached 60% in some areas, an industry group has concluded. CNET reports: The Broadband Internet Technical Advisory Group released data this week that it gathered from internet service providers, broadband analytics firms, and networking companies that help deliver data. We all consumed more downstream data — the flow from the internet to the home — but upstream use grew faster. That’s an important consideration given that most cable and DSL services offer much higher downstream capacity. All those videoconferences for work meetings and online schooling likely were involved in the upstream data traffic. “Some networks saw more than 300% increase in the amount of video conferencing traffic from February to October 2020,” the report said.
Though the internet itself held up well overall, there are problems. “Rural and low-income households have struggled” with broadband access to online services, the report said, and some households suffered with older equipment that couldn’t handle heavy traffic or the increase in networked devices in the home. If you’re having problems at home, you should consider an Ethernet cable connection to your network router, upgrading to a mesh network with multiple network access points, upgrading your PC or phone, or paying for a faster internet connection if it’s available.