FCC: Networks Usage Surges 35%, Providers Meeting Demand

(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—As network usage has seen high increases over the last few weeks because of stay-at-home policies related to the coronavirus pandemic, network providers—including broadband and telephone services on fixed and cellular networks—told FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on a conference call that are meeting these new demands.

Reported network usage has increased 20-35% for fixed networks and 10-20% for cellular networks in recent weeks, with surges in the suburbs, exurbs and residential areas and during daytime hours. The expectation from the providers is that they will be able to keep up with these demands.

“It appears that our nation’s communications networks are holding up very well amid the increase in traffic and change in usage patterns,” said Pai. “That’s thanks in part to networks being designed to handle ever-higher peak traffic loads in part to a market-based regulatory framework that has promoted infrastructure investment and deployment. That said, we will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Pai praised trade associations that have been reporting nationwide data on their websites, including NCTA.

He also thanked broadband and telephone services that took his Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

“I also want to thank communication workers who are on the front lines for their efforts in helping Americans get connected, stay connected and troubleshoot any problems during these challenging times,” Pai said.