Indians got better internet speed last week as load reduced, but peak speeds are still low
However, Indians experienced the slowest internet speeds in at least two years in March when the country entered the lockdown
For the week ending April 27, fixed download speeds in India was 35.84 Mbps and mobile download speeds was at 10.35 Mbps. Internet speeds were faster last week but it was still below the peak speeds seen in March, according to data from global internet tracker Ookla,
"Mobile download speed in India increased when comparing the week of April 20 to the week prior, while download speed over fixed broadband remained relatively flat during the same period," Ookla saisd in a note (the week of April 20 refers to the week beginning April 20 and ending on April 27).
Fixed internet speeds had touched 39.75 Mbps for the week ending March 16, and have now come down by 9.8% as compared to that. Mobile download speeds had touched 11.78 Mbps in the same week and fell after the lockdown took effect. They are down by 12.1% to 10.35 Mbps.
This effect is similar to what was seen in other parts of the world as well when countries entered Covid-19 lockdown. The overall number of people using the internet and for how long, rose sharply with them working from home, video conferences, schooling from home and entertainment.
Also Read: Internet speeds fall to lowest in 2 years
Internet speeds are an important marker for economic activity in a country. Most economic indicators are available monthly or quarterly, but internet speeds indicators can be observed with greater frequency to understand the extent of a lockdown and whether it is being eased or tightened. Analysts and commentators used it widely to study China which enforced a large-scale lockdown before the rest of the world followed suit.
India's internet speeds touched a low for the week ending March 30 and this was shortly after the government announced its first lockdown. Fixed internet speeds had touched a low of 32.88 Mbps and mobile internet speeds had fallen to 8.57 Mbps.
Global internet speeds also show slight improvement as some parts of the world have begun to ease the lockdown, thereby reducing internet traffic.
"Mobile download speed in the world increased when comparing the week of April 20 to the week prior, while download speed over fixed broadband remained relatively flat during the same period," according to the Ookla statement.
China has seen a rebound in internet speeds recently. It is up 19-21% compared to its January numbers.
Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime etc have reduced the amount of data they consume in an attempt to lower internet congestion. Internet speeds would otherwise have been worse-affected if they had not done this.