As the pandemic shut down business and travel activity in the U.S. economy, it caused a dramatic increase in one industry sector: online activities.  The Comcast organization recently released a report showing that peak Internet traffic rose 32% over pre-pandemic levels, and over 50% in March 2020.

You might think that this was due to Zoom calls replacing in-person conversations among families and between businesses and customers, but in fact, videoconferencing traffic accounted for less than 5% of overall network usage.  Video streaming (movies and entertainment) accounted for 71% of all downstream traffic—with growth rates ranging from 20-40 percent.  Video gaming (10% of total traffic, with up to 80% growth in 2020) and web browsing (8%) were other areas where people spent their quarantine time.

The report found that 62% of employed Americans were working from home during the pandemic, and 93% of households with school-age children engaged in some sort of distance learning.

This article was written by an independent writer for Brewster Financial Planning LLC and is not intended as individualized legal or investment advice.