India saw a noticeable decline in fixed broadband speeds for the month of March 2020, showed the latest numbers from Ookla, the company behind the Speedtest app. The decline in fixed broadband speeds comes as India saw its lockdown begin on March 25 because of the COVID-19 impact. It should be noted many cities and districts had gone into a lockdown a few days before, including Delhi, Mumbai, etc.
According to Ookla, fixed broadband mean download speed’s declined from 39.65 Mbps in February to 35.98Mbps in March. India’s ranking dropped from 69 to 71, and its upload speeds also suffered a decline to 33.72 Mbps on average. Fixed broadband is where India tends to perform better compared to mobile broadband.
“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,” Doug Suttles, CEO of Ookla said in a press statement. The decline in network speeds has been seen globally as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, especially since mid-March when more and more countries began to move towards a lockdown, with people working from home and schools being shut.
This has also resulted in more people working from home, and even schools and colleges have moved to an online model for classes, thus increasing pressure on the networks. In mid-March, streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, Hotstar and others announced they would reduce the default streaming resolution in order to reduce some of the load on the burdened ISPs.
“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,” he added.
In mobile, download speeds dropped by 1.68 Mbps during the same time period. India’s ranking was down to 130, which was a drop of two positions, while average download speeds stood at 10.15 Mbps for the month of March in mobile broadband. In February, the number stood at 11.83 Mbps.
Ookla’s data showed that in India the mean fixed broadband speed has been declining since the beginning of 2020. In January, this was at 41.48 Mbps, which has dropped to 35.98 Mbps in March, and is a drop of nearly 5.5 Mbps. Globally, UAE leads for mobile broadband speeds with a mean download of 83.52 Mbps. Singapore leads in the fixed broadband and saw speeds with a mean download of 197.26 Mbps
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