2020 was a tricky 12 months for people — and for networks. As day by day lives have been interrupted and folks stayed house quite than journey or collect for work, college or leisure, there was an accompanying flip-flop in community site visitors patterns: Much more reliance on a distributed community of at-home connections than these at companies, colleges or massive venues which can be constructed to deal with large site visitors. Voice traffic surged, significantly in the early days as folks tried to remain in contact with one another, and Virtual Private Network traffic skyrocketed as employees logged in from house.

“There was main concern final 12 months that the web would possibly fail beneath the stress of elevated use as COVID-19 drove unparalleled waves of distant work and education,” Ookla notes in a blog post analyzing the efficiency of networks over the course of final 12 months. The corporate goes on so as to add, “We’re impressed, on the entire, with how properly the web held as much as the large scale of elevated use through the previous 12 months.”

Internationally, networks continued their path towards quicker and quicker speeds on each wired and wi-fi networks in 2020, regardless of the pandemic. That’s to not say there weren’t any impacts to particular person customers and operators, or that networks escaped unscathed or unchanged. However country-level knowledge from Ookla pace checks over the course of the 12 months in G20 nations reveals that whereas community speeds improved over the course of the 12 months, most nations noticed distinct drops in pace throughout both cellular or mounted broadband networks (or each) in some unspecified time in the future within the 12 months.

The primary and largest community slowdowns got here within the preliminary wave of lockdowns within the spring — in February, March or April relying on the nation. A smaller dip in pace got here for some nations within the late summer season, throughout June/July/August. The U.S. didn’t see a lot of a high-level influence to cellular networks, however wired networks recorded a median dip within the spring and a plateau within the fall.

Ookla famous that the elevated deployment of 5G is pushing community speeds increased internationally, and it carried out its evaluation based mostly on median community speeds, which it stated are much less prone to be skewed by significantly quick 5G pace checks.

On a worldwide foundation, median obtain speeds throughout each wired and wireline networks have improved in lots of G20 nations between January 2020 and December 2020. A few of these enhancements have been fairly dramatic. China noticed cellular speeds improve greater than 75% through the 12 months, whereas Germany noticed a 62.8% improve, and cellular community speeds in the USA have been 56.9% in comparison with January 2020. South Korea noticed a 55.5% pace enchancment and Saudi Arabia’s median obtain speeds jumped 48%. On the opposite finish of the spectrum, Turkey noticed a 0.7% lower in median obtain pace over cellular throughout the identical interval, Ookla reported.

Learn Ookla’s evaluation here.