Traffic Spotlight: Hurricane Sandy
With many people on the East coast in the US sent home from work or school yesterday in preparation for Hurricane Sandy, I thought I would examine how Internet usage may have been impacted.
Unlike the data we typically publish, which focuses on national coverage, the data below was collected from a singular US city on the east coast of the United States that was directly in Sandy’s path.
Yesterday, in this city, Internet usage between 9am and 5pm as a whole saw an increase of 114% over the equivalent period on a typical Monday in October. Traffic levels were elevated throughout the entire day, but returned to normal as subscribers began to go to bed around 11pm…sadly causing many to miss David Letterman’s amazing audience free Late Show.
No single application was responsible for the surge; usage patterns were, for the most part, similar to what is observed on weekday evenings.
That being said, movies were certainly a popular way for Internet users to ride out the storm – we observed Netflix traffic volume increased by more than 150% during the same 9am to 5pm period…a figure they confirmed just as I was writing this blog.
Communications applications such as Skype (up 122%) also saw a significant increase, with a large spike occurring around 5pm. While it is unclear about what the exact cause of this spike could be, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was from subscribers in the Sandy impacted city having conversations with those in other cities as they got home from work.
Here in Waterloo, Ontario we were lucky and only experienced the outer edge of Sandy. For those impacted directly by the storm, all of us here at Sandvine hope you made it through the storm safely, and hope the clean up and recovery is speedy.