A funny, yet somehow sensitive and appropriate to the moment, intro goes here.
Today's Login is 1,371 words, a 5-minute read, depending on the speed of your home internet connection.
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
With the in-person economy in the U.S. essentially shut down, the internet has never been more critical. The key question now is how well the network can handle the unprecedented demand.
Why it matters: Europe's networks have already come under strain, and if cloud services and internet service providers here falter, "shelter in place" could get a lot rougher.
Driving the news:
The big picture:
Where it stands: Based on network performance so far, Americans don't have to worry about Europe's broadband issues arising here, FCC commissioner Brendan Carr told Axios.
A number of internet service providers echoed Carr's optimism. Comcast chief business development officer Sam Schwartz said his company has seen an increase in video conferencing, video streaming and VPN usage as people try to work and learn from home.
Fun fact: Wireless voice traffic is up 25% at Verizon. AT&T, meanwhile, said wireless voice traffic on Friday was up 40% compared to a typical Friday, while voice calls over WiFi networks have doubled.
Yes, but: Some are concerned about how well the networks will hold up as more Americans stay home. FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel would like to see detailed daily reporting from the broadband service providers, as they offer during natural disasters and other emergencies.
Our thought bubble: As hard as things are, just think how much better off we are now than if this crisis happened two decades ago, before Amazon Prime, streaming video and video conferencing — and before the networks delivering all these services had been built up to the speed and capacity they require.
Photo: "Axios on HBO"
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told "Axios on HBO" that he is not focused on cutting costs in the face of the coronavirus crisis, but instead aiming to meet "new demand" for Microsoft Teams and other Office applications as more employees work from home.
Why it matters: Tech companies like Microsoft are taking on central new roles in keeping government, business and education up and running as offices shut down to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
What's happening: Microsoft warned in February that earnings would fall short of expectations due to the virus, but that related to the supply of PCs coming out of China, not the broader impact of the pandemic.
Meanwhile: While the spike in demand has led to some challenges — Microsoft Teams had an outage in Europe last week — Nadella said Microsoft is a "very diversified business" that’s more insulated from economic shocks than some peers.
"I think we are so much better equipped today. But clearly the spikes we are seeing are pretty unprecedented, right? This was not a growth that we had looked at and planned in any spreadsheet or any model we had even a month ago."
The big picture: With a huge concentration of employees in Washington state — and a presence in China — Microsoft was hit early and acted early, encouraging its employees to work from home and promising to pay hourly workers even if their services were not needed as full-time employees telecommute.
Where it stands: Nadella said he is still tapping Bill Gates' expertise, even as the Microsoft co-founder announced earlier this month he would step down from the company's board.
Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Uber is asking the U.S. government to include independent contractors in its economic stimulus plans, according to a letter CEO Dara Khosrowshahi is sending President Trump this morning, as Axios' Dan Primack reported earlier today. The company is not asking for a bailout or loans.
Why it matters: Many of the proposals floated for a relief bill that Congress is assembling have included new protections and benefits for employees, but that category excludes millions of "gig economy" drivers and delivery people.
State of play: Khosrowshahi spoke on Friday with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has proposed "unemployment insurance on steroids," whereby laid-off employees would receive their entire salaries. As of Sunday afternoon, the outreach appears to have been effective:
Dan has more, including the text of Khosrowshahi's letter, here.
The past couple of days have seen a wave of partnerships between government and private tech companies (or individuals) to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva and I report.
Why it matters: The federal and state governments need private-sector help to navigate the crisis but can offer key resources and information that private actors otherwise couldn't access.
Driving the news:
The bottom line: "We know they are overwhelmed, and we have great people to help them," Pahlka told Axios.
Here's the surprisingly intriguing story on how a key piece of sports theme music came to be.