The coronavirus pandemic has forced people around the world to stay in their homes, leading to a surge in internet data consumption. This is also prevalent in India, where the government has enforced a lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The country’s affordable plans have not only made the internet more accessible to more people but also means that hundreds of millions of users are hooked on to their devices, waiting out the lockdown. This has resulted in the country’s internet infrastructure taking a hit.
Ookla’s Speedtest Global Index data suggests that there is a sharp decline in both mobile data speeds and fixed broadband download speeds. This index compares country-wise internet speed data from around the world every month. The data is recorded when millions of users use Okla’s speed test to check the performance of their internet connection.
According to the data, Indian mobile networks have seen an average decline in speed from 11.83 Mbps in February to 10.15 Mbps in March. The data also suggests that the fixed broadband speeds have been consistently down since January 2020. Fixed broadband speeds are also on down by 5.5 Mbps, going from 41.48 Mbps in January to 35.98 Mbps in March.
Doug Suttles, CEO of Ookla said, “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.”India currently ranks 130 for mobile data and 71 in fixed broadband speeds. The United Arab Emirates ranks first in terms of mobile broadband speed with 83.52 Mbps, while Singapore holds the top spot for fixed broadband internet