Italy issued a mandatory lockdown for all citizens earlier this week due to the coronavirus, with only grocery stores and pharmacies remaining open. Adults work from home or not at all and schools have been shut down to slow the spread of the virus. For those without symptoms, the isolation is boring. But many people who are stuck at home are turning to online gaming to distract themselves.
Telecom Italia, an international internet provider, has reported an over 70-percent increase in internet traffic thanks to bored and isolated gamers.
In an article from Bloomberg, the internet provider reported a surge in landline bandwidth traffic. Telecom Italia CEO Luigi Gubitosi said online gaming was a major contributor to the 70-percent increase in traffic, citing multiplayer online games like Fortnite and Call of Duty. He added that traffic can increase as households download games and updates at the same time.
Online gaming isn’t the only cause of the surge, though. Streaming services like Netflix are also seeing a rise in usage. Telia Carrier, a Swedish provider with one of the world’s biggest intercontinental fiber networks, said the “big players in the video conferencing market” are asking for an increase in bandwidth and massive upgrades.
Fortnite is a free-to-play game on most platforms, enabling new players to pick it up in their isolation. Other games may see a surge in traffic too if the social isolation continues.