Internet usage has more than DOUBLED since the start of the pandemic

Internet usage has more than DOUBLED since the start of the pandemic – with Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on December 12 about booster vaccines causing the biggest peak, report reveals

  • Zen Internet revealed that internet usage has increased 113% since March 2020
  • Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on December 12 caused the biggest peak
  • This was followed by the commitments at COP26 and the Capitol Riots in the US 

With much of 2020 spent stuck at home in lockdowns, it should come as no surprise that many bored Brits turned to the internet amid the pandemic.

New data by Zen Internet has revealed that internet usage has increased 113 per cent since the first lockdown in March 2020.

In particular, the biggest peak in internet usage on Zen’s network was in December 2021, which was 27 per cent higher than the peak in 2020, which was also in December.

With much of 2020 spent stuck at home in lockdowns, it should come as no surprise that many bored Brits turned to the internet amid the pandemic

Top news moments of 2021 

Zen’s data suggests that news events were responsible for many of the peaks in internet usage since March 2020.

The peak in 2021 coincided with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation on December 12 about booster vaccines.

This was closely followed by the final commitments at COP26 on November 13 (23 per cent higher traffic than average), and the Capitol Riots in the US on January 6 (11 per cent higher traffic than average).

Meanwhile, online entertainment was also linked to spikes in internet usage, according to Zen.

Sporting events like the UEFA Euros in the summer saw internet usage surge, while the launch of popular games such as Halo Infinite were also linked to spikes.

And, somewhat unsurprisingly, the finale of Line of Duty led to a spike of 15 per cent compared to average.

Paul Stobart, CEO at Zen Internet, comments: ‘As we reach the end of the year, it is instructive to review where peaks and troughs in internet traffic have taken place through what has been another turbulent 12 months for consumers. 

‘What is apparent is that demand for reliable connectivity in the UK has not only remained high but has continued to grow beyond 2020’s unprecedented levels.

‘With the internet being a fundamental enabler of work and play, we don’t expect this demand to drop anytime soon. 

‘Looking to 2022 and beyond, there will be an increasing demand for reliable and resilient broadband connectivity.’

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