With everyone working from home this past month, there's been a surge in Internet usage on both fixed lines and mobile. Naturally, this has taken an adverse toll on mean download speeds on both services, something that is also reflected in Ookla's latest global Internet speed report for the month of March. According to it, India's mean download speed for fixed broadband dipped to 35.98Mbps, from 39.65Mbps in February. Meanwhile, the mean mobile download speed also dipped to 10.15Mbps, from 11.83Mbps. The decrease in speed was termed as “natural” by the CEO of Ookla, considering the current state of lockdown across the entire country.
Ookla's Speedtest Global Index report has been published, which shows the Internet speed ranking for a long list of countries for both fixed and mobile broadband. The UAE is leading the charts, as it got bumped up to the number one position in March, with a mean download speed of 83.52Mbps for mobile. When it comes to fixed broadband, Singapore is leading the pack with a mean download speed of 197.26Mbps.
India dropped a few positions down in the ranks in March, now ranking at number 130 for mobile and 71 for fixed broadband. Ookla also states that India's mean fixed broadband speed has been declining since the beginning of 2020 — from 41.48Mbps in January to 35.98Mbps in March, which is a drop by 5.5Mbps.
Doug Suttles, CEO of Ookla, has assured that while the core of the Internet remains stable, some ISPs are finding it tough to keep up with the demand. "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,” he added.
In February, Ookla reported a slight increase in fixed-line broadband speeds. Some service providers such as ACT Fibernet are removing data caps and providing higher speeds to ease the work-from-home situation till the end of April. Meanwhile, video streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix and many more social app have reduced the quality of their video streams in order to help save bandwidth.
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