Internet traffic in Europe continues to stabilize and even – decrease

More national regulatory authorities (NRAs) report of stabilization and even a decrease of internet traffic from the peak that was reached after the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. In light of the traffic situation starting to stabilize, BEREC will reduce the frequency of these reports to once per week and will at the same time look at broadening the scope to also include other relevant measures being taken.

The updated BEREC summary report on internet capacity during the COVID-19 crisis includes the most recent data provided to BEREC by its constituent NRAs as of 28 April 2020.

In general, traffic on fixed and mobile networks has increased during the Covid-19 crisis, but
no major congestion issues have occurred. For more than five weeks, a growing number of
NRAs (AL, AT, BE, CY, DE, EE, EL, ES, FI, FR, HR, HU, IE, IT, LT, LU, LV, MT, NL, PL and
SK) have been reporting a stabilisation in overall traffic. In particular, one NRA (LT) has
explicitly confirmed that internet traffic remains stable with good quality of service. A stable
situation has also been explicitly confirmed by another two NRAs (MT and SI).
However, one NRA (BG) has explicitly reported a slight increase in fixed and mobile data
compared to the previous week due to Easter (17-20 April 2020). Although another NRA (IT)
has confirmed a stabilisation of fixed data traffic, it has observed a slight decrease in mobile
data traffic during the period 13-19 April 2020 compared to the week 7-12 April 2020.
For more than one week, more and more NRAs (AT, BG, EL, PL, RO, SI) have been detecting
a decrease in overall internet traffic from the peak that was reached after the beginning of the
Covid-19 crisis. This trend suggests that there are three phases in the evolution of traffic during
the crisis: sharp increase, stabilisation and a decrease from the peak. Consequently, overall
internet traffic is beginning to revert to average levels more typical of the period before the
start of the Covid-19 crisis.
Over the last fortnight, six NRAs (AT, DK, NL, PL, RO, SI) have explicitly reported an increase
of traffic in the IXPs (Internet Exchange Points) since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis. Last
week, one NRA (NL) reported a stabilisation of traffic in the national IXP, whereas another
NRA (PT) has now reported a slight decrease in interconnection traffic.

It also gives information on actions taken by regulators and operators. For example, the Portuguese NRA informs about a significant increase of the tests performed by end-users to check the speed of their internet access. Further, the Lithuanian regulatory authority reports, that one mobile operator provided information about a temporary breach of network integrity in its network due to a server failure.

This is already the 10th BEREC summary report submitted to the European Commission. The next status update is due next week on Friday 8 May, 2020.


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