After a huge spike in March in response to COVID-19 home sequestering measures, residential internet use has “leveled off,” according to broadband research and consultancy firm OpenVault.
According to the Hoboken, N.J.-based company, which measures use of hundreds of thousands of ISP customers in North America, total downstream data consumption fell 5.8% for the week of March 30 to April 3. Upstream usage, meanwhile, showed only a modest week-over-week gain of 2.3%.
In mid-March, when states and cities began issuing shelter-in-place orders and guidelines, OpenVault measured downstream usage spikes during peak periods of up to 98% in certain markets.
For the most recent measured week, overall data usage was still up 33.1% over January benchmarks. Average daily downstream consumption during business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) last week was 6.35 gigabytes, up 42.46% over January levels. Upstream usage rose 82.5% from January to 0.392 GB on average.
“It’s too early to say that the industry has weathered the storm of additional usage, but signs point to the greatest surge of growth by far as being behind us,” said Mark Trudeau, CEO and founder of OpenVault, in a statement. “Operators will need to keep close eyes on any incremental increases — particularly during peak hours and in the upstream – as well as the impact of new quarantines in additional markets, but their networks seem in the meantime to be well-prepared to handle this increased data consumption.”
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