Is the Internet Slowing Down?

UPDATE: We're following up with an updated link from Broadband now.

No, it just feels like it if you’re working from home during this period, while the kids are online taking classes, while your spouse is watching a movie.

“The backbone internet is probably fairly well provisioned to handle all this traffic,” says Dr. Chris Bronk, a computer and information professor at the University of Houston, confirming what most computer experts are saying. The internet is fine, and it can handle the spike in usage.

There are plenty of other places, though, that can hang up speeds, and that might be what you’re feeling or seeing.

“What a lot of people are going to notice at home is that their internet connections are not keeping up with the demand of the whole family,” says Bronk. A test by BroadbandNow, a company that tracks speeds, reports Houston is one of four major US city that is seeing cracks, but minor and not expected to impact much. Bronk says most households are feeling the pinch because everyone in the house is online at the same time, many using platforms that employ a lot of bandwidth, like video games and movies. “You’re going to have to prioritize usage, which means job activity comes first, along with educational activity, and entertainment comes second.”

AT&T reports their services are holding up, and say they are waving cap fees during the crisis.

Comcast is opening wifi hotspots to non-subscribers and waiving some fees. They say peak usage has been well within their capability.

Charter is offering free wifi and also says they’re keeping up with demand.

Verizon says traffic is up 20% but they are keeping up.

If you’d like to check your internet speed, google “check internet speed.” There are several free safe services.

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