With Australia having taken the first steps out of lockdown, and COVID-19 is being more controlled domestically, the question now looms – will there be a return to normalcy, or are there things that will now have changed permanently?
How has internet use changed? And where’s it going?
There will be a lot to analyze and take away from Australia’s internet experience, but given how critical it has proven to be to get people through the last couple of months, both in terms of work and staving off boredom while stuck at home, there are some observations that we can make immediately.
Internet speed may put pressure on the network
What media platforms are people consuming?
Elsewhere, with more people turning to the internet to get them through COVID-19 isolation, we are seeing greater acceleration with regards to existing trends with the consumption of media. Free-to-air television and Foxtel, for example, have struggled in recent months. Sports was previously a cornerstone of networks’ audiences, and the suspension of sporting events led to people looking elsewhere for their entertainment.
Future internet infrastructure
We’re going to see some scrambling across the world to build better capacity into internet infrastructure. The speeds are fine for all but the most demanding users, even in “slower” countries like Australia, but networks struggle with congestion and latency.
And while we might expect internet use to normalize somewhat in the months ahead, the reality is that many of the technology laggards on to these digital platforms are now realizing the benefits of adopting them, and the bulk will likely maintain subscriptions and start to discover new ways to use the internet.
What does this mean for Australia?
The bulk of the changes that COVID-19 has had on how we use and consume via the internet has to do with home use. If anything, business environments will be put under less strain going forward as a larger number of professionals continue to work from home.
However, people’s expectations of what they’ll get from their home internet services are also shifting. Now there will be the need for home internet services to handle the demands of both the home office and for recreational purposes … and, more than likely, those will be used simultaneously. That will place an unprecedented demand on our infrastructure, particularly with regards to uploads, which will need to be resolved in the years ahead.
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