Coronavirus: Telecom Italia says internet traffic up 70%+, mostly online games like Fortnite, Call of Duty

The death toll in Italy's coronavirus outbreak today passed 1,000.

Schools throughout Italy are completely shut down, which is reportedly driving a surge in internet traffic as bored kids forced to stay indoors turn to online games.

From Bloomberg News:

With schools, shops and restaurants closed in an attempt to limit Europe's worst coronavirus outbreak, the amount of data passing through Telecom Italia SpA's national network has surged by more than two-thirds in the past two weeks, the company said.

A lot of that extra activity is due to online games such as 'Fortnite' and 'Call of Duty,' which can involve multiple players and take up more bandwidth than the business programs and conference call apps used by adults working from home.

Gaming traffic can spike even higher when the games are refreshed and millions of kids download the latest 25-gigabyte update at once.

"We reported an increase of more than 70% of Internet traffic over our landline network, with a big contribution from online gaming such as Fortnite," Telecom Italia Chief Executive Officer Luigi Gubitosi said Wednesday on a call with analysts.

"All the big players in the video conferencing market have asked for bandwidth upgrades in the last 10 days and some are asking for a fivefold increase," said the VP of Sweden's Telia Carrier, which is also cited in the article as seeing a big uptick in internet use due to the pandemic.

"If no one is able to fly, they will need a huge amount of additional bandwidth."

Read more:
Housebound Italian Kids Strain Network With Fortnite Marathon
[reporting by Daniele Lepido and Niclas Rolander, March 12, 2020]