UPDATE 4-28: How enterprise networking is changing with a work-at-home workforce

Network World updates the latest COVID-19-related networking news

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As the coronavirus spreads, public and private companies as well as government entities are requiring employees to work from home, putting unforeseen strain on all manner of networking technologies and causing bandwidth and security concerns.  What follows is a round-up of news and traffic updates that Network World will update as needed to help keep up with the ever-changing situation.  Check back frequently!

UPDATE 4.27

According to the April 22 Verizon Network Report, overall data volume across its networks has increased 19% compared to pre-COVID levels. While data usage remains elevated, the changes in how people are using the network has stabilized, the company stated.   

In the United States, there has been a notable decline in people’s movements during the course of the global pandemic. Mobile handoffs  the times when a data session moves from one cell site to another as users walk or drive around – have reduced by 27% nationally compared to typicalpre-COVID levels. And, measured by mobile handoffs, the U.S. has seen a decrease in movements since March 1. Verizon said that the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions appear to have the most people in the nation staying at home. Verizon stated it expects usage to continue at sustained higher levels, even as movements begin to shift in the coming weeks and months as stay-in-place restrictions begin to lift . “We believe all trends point to sustained network usage at this higher level for the foreseeable future,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer for Verizon.  

In its fifth report tracking internet speeds across the top 200 most populous U.S. cities, Broadbandnow reported networks were slowly adjusting to the new demand placed on them. But as of April 22 despite these adjustments, internet speeds in some cases slowed to a crawl. Over the past week, 67 cities (33.5% of the top 200) experienced median upload speed decreases of 20% or greater below range of previous weeks in 2020. Through April 15, the number was 61, or 30.5%. In turn, 51 cities (25.5%) have recorded download speed dips of 20% or greater, compared to last week’s 52.

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