Comcast: COVID-19 Network Update

We know that connectivity matters right now more than ever, and people across the country are relying on us to keep them connected to work, school and their families as they navigate these uncertain times. Our technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. For more information on what we are doing to help keep everyone connected, click here.

NETWORK USAGE

We engineer the network for peak capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns. We regularly invest in our network and have thousands of engineers nationally and locally who work to add capacity where it’s needed.

“Primetime” on our network (the busiest time of day) looks dramatically different today as the nation settles into new patterns. Since March 1, our peak traffic is up 32% overall and up 60% in some areas, but still within the overall capacity of our network. Downstream peak appears to be moving from 9 PM to between 7 PM – 8 PM, while upstream peak is moving from 9 PM to between 8 AM and 6 PM in most cities.

Our network traffic is beginning to plateau in early COVID-19 markets. Network traffic increases in the first cities that issued stay-at-home orders such as Seattle and San Francisco are beginning to plateau.

Work from home is driving new application usage growth. Weekday usage is up, driven primarily by VoIP, Video Conferencing, and VPN as more people move to a work and learn from home environment.

  • VoIP and Video Conferencing is up 212%
  • VPN traffic is up 40%

Entertainment, streaming, and gaming continue to dominate. Evening and weekend usage is up with customers significantly increasing the amount of time spent watching television and gaming; peak downstream traffic continues to be in the evenings and weekends nationally, on average.

  • Gaming downloads are up 50% generally and 80% during new releases
  • There is a 38% increase in streaming and web video consumption
  • On television, we are seeing similar patterns:
    • Linear video consumption increased 4 hours to 64 hours per week
    • Video OnDemand hitting record highs, up 25% YOY
    • There has been a nearly 50% increase in Voice Remote requests for “Free Movies”
    • We have seen Voice Remote queries top 50 million some days

WIFI INCREASES

As the world works from home, WiFi is the wireless workhorse keeping us all connected.

  • On Xfinity Mobile, we see a 10% decline in LTE Data usage and a 24% increase in mobile data usage over WiFi

RELIABILITY

Our network is performing well. We are micro-monitoring our network including running 700k+ speed tests most days. We continuously test, monitor, and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our network engineers across the country are working around the clock to add capacity where it’s needed.

Our ongoing, proactive network investment to add fiber and capacity has put us in a good position to manage the increases that we are experiencing today. While the COVID-19 experience is new and unprecedented, the internet ecosystem is flexible and performing the way it was designed.

PRIVACY AND SECURITY

Privacy, security, and safety online have never been more important. As more people use the Internet to stay connected, it’s more important than ever for our customers to stay vigilant. Here is our commitment to privacy and security.

We help protect our customers with multiple layers of security that automatically detect and block hundreds of thousands of cyber events every second and a team of security experts who are working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.