Mar 31, 2020 - Technology

Comcast says the internet is holding up fine

Ina Fried, author of Login

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Comcast said on Monday that while demand has increased significantly, so far its network can handle the traffic boost without a noticeable decline in speed or reliability.

Why it matters: There has been much concern over how well the internet would hold up as most of America is working and schooling from home. So far, broadband and wireless providers say they aren't seeing signs of trouble.

What they're saying: "The speeds are holding up well," Comcast's lead tech executive Tony Werner said on a conference call with journalists Monday. "There (are) not any trends that make me worry in the least."

  • Part of the reason is that Comcast tries to build capacity 12-18 months ahead of where it anticipates demand will be (and usage per customer tends to go up about 45% per year).

By the numbers:

  • Peak traffic is up 32% nationwide, but up as much as 60% in some areas, including Seattle and San Francisco. And while peak download times remain in the evening as people stream video, uploads are now busiest during the working day.
  • Video conferencing and voice-over-internet calling are up 212% since March 1.
  • Streaming and web video usage are up 38%.
  • Comcast's fledgling cellular business has seen a 10% decline in cellular data use and a 24% increase in mobile data carried over WiFi networks.

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