01 Apr Comcast stays ahead of the COVID-19 traffic curve
Comcast provided an update on Monday in regard to how its network is handling the increased usage and traffic related to the COVID-19 pandemic.Similar to reports from AT&T, Verizon and other service providers, Comcast said that while traffic has increased due to more people working from home, there haven’t been any network bottlenecks to date.
“We are seeing an unprecedented shift in network usage, but it’s within the capability of our network; and we continue to deliver the speeds and support the capacity our customers need while they’re working, learning, and connecting from home,” Comcast said in its update.
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Comcast, which operates the largest residential operator network in the U.S. saw its network traffic increase by 32% since March 1 due to more students and workers being home bound. In Seattle, San Francisco and Chicago, Comcast has seen traffic increase by as much as 60%.
On March 19, Verizon said web traffic increased by just under 20% in the early stage of the coronavirus outbreak. AT&T’s core network traffic, which includes our business, home broadband and wireless usage, was up 24% Monday compared to the same day last month. Windstream said on Monday that its data traffic had increased by 30%.
As more people work from home, they’re connecting to their work VPNs. Comcast said VPN traffic was up 40%, while Verizon reported last week that its VPN traffic increased 9% week-over-week from 34%, and was up 52% over a typical day.
RELATED: Verizon sees almost 20% increase in web traffic in one week due to COVID-19
Service providers have seen network traffic spike as the coronavirus makes its way across the U.S., and as more cities, states and counties implement more shelter-at-home or quarantine policies. Comcast said it has seen traffic increases in early COVID-19 markets such as Seattle and San Francisco start to plateau.
Comcast also noted that downstream peak usage time for its network is now starting between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. instead of the previous start of 9 p.m. Comcast said the upstream peak was moving from 9 p.m. to between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. in most cities.
Comcast also said that VoIP and video conferencing was up 212% while gaming downloads were up 50% generally and 80% during new releases time frames.