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Coronavirus: Google says it can handle the explosion of Internet traffic during containment

The coronavirus outbreak is testing the networks. As a result of containment measures taken by many countries, there has been an explosion of Internet traffic worldwide. Google is confident that its servers will be able to handle this exceptional situation without encountering any problems.

Coronavirus: Google says it can handle the explosion of Internet traffic during containment

In order to stem the spread of Covid-19, more than 3.4 billion people, or 43% of human beings, are confined to their homes. The Internet is becoming more and more popular, whether it's for watching movies and TV shows, streaming, social networking or teleworking. Unsurprisingly, the health crisis has led to an explosion in Internet traffic worldwide. The average amount of bandwidth available on the European and American Internet has even decreased significantly since the introduction of containment measures in Europe, India and North America.

Google's servers are designed to handle traffic spikes, the firm says.

For its part, Google assures that it is fully capable of managing the explosion of Internet traffic around the world. "As the coronavirus pandemic spreads and more and more people work or learn at home, it is natural to wonder if the Google Network can handle the load. The short answer is yes," says Urs Hölzle, Google's vice president of infrastructure, in a blog post.

The Mountain View firm assures that its servers have been developed to handle peaks in Internet traffic of this kind. "The same systems we built to handle spikes such as Cyber Monday's online shopping spree or World Cup finals broadcasts support the increase in traffic as people turn to Google to search for information or connect with friends and family," the manager said. For Google, the situation is therefore not new from a technical point of view.

Nevertheless, Google concedes that it has noticed an increase in the use of Google Hangouts, its video calling service, and YouTube. To avoid saturating Internet networks, Google has decided to restrict the quality of YouTube videos around the world. For 30 days, the display of videos will be limited to 480p. "We continue to work with governments and telecom operators around the world to minimise the pressure on the system," concludes Urs Hölzle.
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