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Internet usage spikes during superstorm Sandy

Hurricane Sandy approaches the East coast of the United States
Hurricane Sandy approaches the East coast of the United States
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Internet usage on the East coast of the United States spiked 114% on Monday as many workers and school-goers were confined to their homes during superstorm Sandy.

Sandvine, a company that works with internet service providers to improve customer experience, collected data from a singular, but unnamed, city on the East coast directly in Sandy’s path between 9am – 5pm EDT.

Internet usage surges during Hurricane Sandy
Internet usage surges during Hurricane Sandy

Internet usage increased 114% when compared to a similar period on a typical Monday during October. The increase was sustained throughout the day.

Usage patterns were said to be “similar to what is observed on weekday evenings”, with internet communication services and media consumption among the most popular activities.

Netflix witnessed a traffic volume increase of 150%, while Skype witnessed a service usage increase of 122%, with a notable spike around 5pm.

While these aforementioned high-bandwidth services are likely responsible for the majority of traffic surge, internet conversation around the topic was also huge. Facebook’s Journalism Program Manager Vadim Lavrusik posted the top 10 shared terms on Facebook in the United States yesterday morning. They speak for themselves;

  1. we are ok
  2. power – lost power, have power, no power
  3. damage
  4. hope everyone is ok
  5. trees
  6. made it
  7. safe
  8. thankful
  9. fine
  10. affected

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Darren McCarra
Darren McCarra is co-editor of The Sociable. He has a keen interest in photography, all things mobile, and writing about technology and social media. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.