By Samantha Day • 26 March 2020 • 22:32
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PEOPLE around the world are showing their support for healthcare workers fighting Covid-19, and in some places, the demonstration is so widespread that it’s causing noticeable shifts in internet traffic.
Internet usage is surging globally as an unprecedented number of people are staying home to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. YouTube and Netflix, which collectively account for half of all internet traffic globally, have both taken steps to reduce streaming quality to help ease the strain on internet infrastructure.
But the surging traffic has, in some countries, dipped once a day as people leave their screens to lean out their windows to cheer health workers.
In Spain, internet provider Telefónica has noticed a brief decline in internet usage every night at 8pm, when people cheer health workers from their balconies. The trend was first reported by The New York Times, and a Telefónica spokesperson have confirmed.
“We have seen this pattern here in Spain, where the 8pm applause has become a nightly institution,” the spokesperson confirmed.
The trend started as a Twitter campaign to show appreciation to doctors and hospital staff working overtime to fight coronavirus.
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