In-Home Data Usage Surging, Comscore Finds

With the COVID-19 crisis forcing people to work from home and closing most schools, in-home data usage has jumped compared to this time a year ago, according to Comscore.

In-home data usage is up 18% for March 1 through 17 compared to a year ago, Comscore said, with mobile phones, smart spears, connected TV and streaming devices accounting for most of the increase.

The increases are likely attributable to more Americans using the internet on their phones to work from home and all family members interacting with more streaming media while staying home, Comscore said.

Data usage by connected TVs was up 37% and streaming boxes and sticks were using 38% more data.

"If the current quarantines continue across the country, we expect this upward data usage trend to continue, as consumers shift their work, school, information gathering, shopping and entertainment habits amidst the COVID-19 crisis," said Comscore CEO Bill Livek.

Most internet service providers, including cable operators, have lifted usage caps and suspended charges for going over data limits in response to the crisis caused by the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.