The country’s second largest cable provider has seen both downstream and upstream traffic jump in recent weeks as many of us stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. Charter says downstream activity is up almost 20 percent since late February, while upstream traffic is up even higher — 32 percent.
“In many households daytime internet traffic has doubled, even tripled from pre-pandemic levels; however, peak demand continues to be during the primetime TV-viewing hours, 8 to 9 pm,” Stephanie Mitchko-Beale, Charter’s executive vice president and chief technology officer, said in a Q&A on the company’s site.
The increases, Charter says, fall in line with what other providers have recently reported. Indeed, we’ve previously reported that Comcast’s data shows a 32 percent increase in its traffic since March 1st and both companies have noted sharp spikes in upstream data as more people work remotely and leverage video conferencing during the day to stay connected.
Mitchko-Beale also noted shifts in specific uses and behaviors tied to the current stay-at-home lifestyle, such as video game downloads doubling in the past month, and more mobile phone subscribers using at-home WiFi instead of cellular networks.
“What that means is our wired and WiFi network is being heavily used by laptops, mobile phones and tablets from people working from home and learning online in addition to connected TVs, devices and gaming consoles,” she said.
Despite the increased demand, the company says it’s up to the task of serving its roughly 30 million customers, which also falls in line with the confidence other providers have been expressing during the pandemic.
We’ll continue to monitor how various providers are performing through this situation and we’ll keep you all up-to-date. In the meantime, how have your internet habits changed of late? Have you downloaded more games to pass the time? Are you racking up rollover cellular data by relying on WiFi whenever possible? Let us know in the comments below.
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