Coronavirus Stretching Internet To The Limit-Are We In Danger Of A Breakdown?

by Amitabh Joshi 2 months ago Views 1404
Coronavirus Stretching Internet To The Limit-Are w
With the coronavirus pandemic locking down India, the internet has become indispensable in social communication and work from home operations of thousands of companies.

India has the world’s second-largest internet consumer base and the question now is this — will COVID-19 break the internet?

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From close to 260 million users in 2015, there were roughly 451 million users in 2019 (as on March 31), according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India. A majority of these were on mobile devices.

The Cellular Operators Association of India has now requested OTT platforms to reduce bandwidth. It is sensing the danger. Pressure in sectors like digital payments, healthcare, education and media has increased exponentially. The real problem will arise with mobile net users in the country.

Over in Europe, OTT platforms have reduced the bandwidth and speed of the internet.

In a statement, the European Commission said that “as a result of social distancing measures put in place across Europe to fight the Coronavirus pandemic, the demand for Internet capacity has increased, be it for teleworking, e-learning or entertainment purposes. This could put networks under strain at a moment when they need to be operational at the best possible level”.

In order to prevent congestion and to ensure the open Internet, Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton, called on the responsibility of streaming services, operators and users.

The World Economic Forum estimates internet usage is up 50% in several parts of the world. Video conference platforms like Zoom have seen demand skyrocketing. Mobile broadband has seen a dip across Asia in January even as the coronavirus pandemic was in its infancy. 

It is a testing time. The world has not seen fragility of this kind, perhaps for the first time since the Spanish Flu outbreak in the early 20th century.

But these are modern times. While the internet has capacity, a sudden spike as being presently seen may threaten the web. Will coronavirus break the internet? It will be a world at loss and a question which sends shivers down the spine.

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