Internet usage up by 70% due to coronavirus

Statistics show that Internet hits have surged by between 50% and 70%, with streaming jumping by at least 12%, Forbes reports.

This is according to preliminary findings by research firm Omdia.

“Increased consumption of digital content from mobile apps to free TV streaming and gaming has already been observed in China and Italy,” says Omdia’s Maria Rua Aguete.

“Online streaming services provided by brands such as Netflix and now Disney+ are likely to see 12% growth.”

Video streaming services including Facebook, YouTube, and Disney+ have all reduced the quality of video streaming in Europe to ease the strain on their networks.

Aguete said the ecommerce market is also expected to receive an increase in revenue thanks to the virus.

“Ecommerce will be the other sector that will see a revenue boost as a result of the pandemic, adding $175 billion in revenue in 2020, which represents a 5% increase.”

Offline media suffers

Omdia’s data predicts that various offline media industries will suffer significantly in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

This includes a 25% decline predicted for the movie industry in 2020 – totalling $11 billion – while TV advertising is expected to drop by 15%.

Omdia said the paid TV industry will begin to recover in 18-24 months.

South African ISPs come to the party

As Internet usage is expected to increase, South African ISPs and fibre networks are working to upgrade customer Internet connections at no extra cost.

Vumatel recently announced it would upgrade user fibre line speeds from 1 April until 31 May.

“We have a responsibility to make it easier for people to stay connected as they navigate the next few weeks of working and learning from home,” said Vumatel CCO Simon Butler.

Fibre subscribers will receive an upgrade to the next fastest line speed offered on the Vumatel network.

Line speeds Vumatel offer are as follows:

  • 10Mbps
  • 20Mbps
  • 50Mbps
  • 100Mbps
  • 200Mbps
  • 1Gbps

This means, for example, that someone subscribed to a 20Mbps line will have access to 50Mbps between the given dates.

Popular ISPs – including RSAWEB, Afrihost, Axxess, Webafrica, Cool Ideas, and MWEB have all confirmed that their customers who are using Vumatel fibre will access these upgrades.

Frogfoot has also confirmed it will be offering the same upgrade scheme, allowing users to enjoy a fibre line speed twice as fast as the one they are paying for.

This upgrade will be offered between 1 April and 30 June. Frogfoot offers the following line speeds:

  • 5Mbps
  • 10Mbps
  • 20Mbps
  • 50Mbps
  • 100Mbps
  • 200Mbps
  • 500Mbps
  • 1Gbps

Now read: Coronavirus WhatsApp service used in South Africa to go global

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Internet usage up by 70% due to coronavirus