Amidst COVID-19 lockdown, fixed broadband, mobile internet speeds decline in India

Last Updated 09 April 2020, 10:58 IST

Due to the coronavirus outbreak in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a three-week nationwide lockdown from March 25 to April 14. With this in effect, all commercial activities, corporate companies, and schools have been shut down.

However, certain private companies and government employees are obliged to work from home to complete projects that need urgent attention. Also, school and college students have been asked to join online classes to complete the syllabus for the academic year.

All of them are dependent on fixed-line broadband connections and mobiles for access to the internet. This apparently has caused huge stress on the telecommunications network.

As per the latest Ookla's Speedtest Global Index report, the mean download speeds on fixed broadband have decreased from 39.65 Mbps in February to 35.98 Mbps in March. The mean fixed broadband speed in India has been declining since the beginning of 2020 - from 41.48 Mbps in January to 35.98 Mbps in March, a drop by 5.5 Mbps.

Similarly, there is also a slight dip in mean mobile download speed, from 11.83 Mbps in February to 10.15 Mbps in March 2020.

With this, India is now ranked 130th for mobile, two spots down compared to February 2020. India also dropped two spots on fixed broadband and is now ranked 71st globally in that category.

"When networks are under usage strain like they are in this unprecedented time of lockdown in India due to COVID-19, it is natural that they experience some level of slowdown. It is important to note that while the internet itself should handle elevated usage, there may be impacts to speed as people continue to move their daily activities increasingly online. While the core of the internet remains stable, some ISP networks may struggle to keep up," Doug Suttles, CEO of Ookla said in a statement.

The report comes two weeks after Over-The-Top (OTT) players such as Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+Hotstar, ALTBalaji, and others announced to decrease the HD streaming to SD in India for a month.

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(Published 09 April 2020, 10:32 IST)

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