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Verizon Broadband Coronavirus Data Usage Shows Greatest Uptick in Gaming, No Change in Social Media Habits

David Jelke



Photo by Mike Mozart from July 2014 used with permission

As more and more customers move to working and studying from home, data usage habits are changing, according to a Verizon network report on Tuesday.

The latest week-over-week numbers during peak hour usage showed many people are turning to gaming as a way to pass the time, with the technology leader seeing a 75% increase over its networks. Video streaming increased by more than 12 percent and overall web traffic by just under 20 percent.

Surprisingly, social media remained flat.

Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks have so far been able to meet the shifting demands of customers and continue to perform well. In small pockets where there has been a significant increase in usage, Verizon engineers have quickly added capacity to meet customer demand.

Here’s a snapshot of usage, week over week:

“As we see more and more individuals work from home and students engage in online learning, it is a natural byproduct that we would see an increase in web traffic and access to VPN. And as more entertainment options are cancelled in communities across the US, an increase in video traffic and online gaming is not surprising,” said Kyle Malady, chief technology ffficer for Verizon. “We expect these peak hour percentages to fluctuate, so our engineers are continuing to closely monitor network usage patterns 24 x 7 and stand ready to adjust resources as changing demands arise."

“We’re in an unprecedented situation,” said Malady. “We continually evaluate peak data usage times and build our networks to stay ahead of that demand. While it is not clear yet how having millions of additional people working from home will impact usage patterns, we remain ready to address changes in demand, if needed.”


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