COVID-19 VS. The Internet


COVID-19 VS. The Internet

As billions around the globe continue to work and learn from home, it’s time to ask the question; “How is the internet holding up?”. For the first time in history, people are relying on the internet to stay connected, stay healthy, continue working and stay entertained. The coronavirus pandemic knocked out many of our freedoms, our livelihoods and our power to perform as we knew it. Still, it did not control or destroy our ability to connect online.

In full force with virtually no warning, we turned to the world wide web to support our businesses, our children and ourselves like never before. Between virtual meeting and streaming platforms, social media, news and gaming, the internet saw a massive surge of up to 76% in daily internet usage. We pushed the internet to the max, making it work harder than ever.

“As the essential internet continues to support us through this fight, BDx is declaring it “The Undefeated Champion of the World.”

Round 1- Disaster Strikes

The modern internet was designed to withstand disasters. Its flexibility and the resilient infrastructure that supports it was built to survive. Over the years, the over-building of capacity has been integral to its survival today.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world, the internet went pound for pound with the novel virus, fighting to stay alive. With each blow, the internet fought back to keep the world together, virtually. It hasn’t been a pretty fight by any means; reports show slower speeds, outages, and cable and fiber issues. Internationally, we saw the highest outages during the week of April 20th -26th. But, regardless of the setbacks, the internet is still running and is no longer important; it is vital.

“What we have learned so far is that overall, the internet will not break, and while there is room for improvement, the innovation and investments made thus far will keep it standing tall.”

Round 2- Asia Stays Connected

With headquarters in Hong Kong and locations spanning the APAC region, BDx experienced first-hand the effects of COVID-19 on the internet. Specifically, in Hong Kong, where we saw the most significant initial spikes in traffic. Regardless, Hong Kong’s fixed download speed is up overall and remains second in the world.

Throughout the region, the “digital divide” has prevented millions of people from accessing internet driven devices. However, in Singapore, where BDx recently expanded, internet penetration is over 80%, achieving a 90% broadband penetration is part of its Intelligent Nation master plan for an ultra-high-speed, pervasive network.

In Japan, the launch of the anticipated 5G network has been dominated by COVID-19. But, the next-gen technology is set to increase communication speeds to up to 10 times faster and will promote digitization, enhance video conferencing, virtual education, and telehealth. Moreover, many in Japan see the pandemic and the Tokyo Olympic Games cancelation as an opportunity to transform digitally.

At the heart of the outbreak in China, the industrial internet was used to enable co-governance for modern culture. In the City of Nanjing, where BDx is set to launch a data center in June along the Yangtze River Delta, the internet accelerated the ability for doctors to collaborate over great distances, delivering real-time discussions and results.

Round 3- Saved by The DATA CENTER

As the bout continues, the main event features the top contender of this match, the data center. There is no doubt that for the internet to function, the resulting data drives a need for increased capacity and storage. The recent uptick in internet traffic has created higher demand and an emphasis on security and reliability for data centers. It is the job of the data center to ensure fast and stable connectivity, especially when it comes to supporting the need for critical connections in healthcare. Worldwide, data centers were recently deemed essential and have played a critical role in the global fight against COVID-19.

At BDx, our data centers issued a rapid response plan to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of our employees and clients. Remotely, with our BDx Smart Hands service, clients were able to view their physical services and adjust as needed. Our frontline team of experts provided full operational support for clients and deployed secure cloud migration strategies, practically overnight.

Streaming, IoT devices, data storage, cloud computing, text messaging, twitter and more all rely on the internet, which is powered by the data center. The fight would have ended in the first round if it were not for data centers.

Round 4- Innovation for the TKO- (Technical Knockout)

AI is here and here to stay. Artificial Intelligence is one of the driving forces that is keeping us connected. Its ability to detect equipment issues and identify challenges remotely before escalating has helped the internet’s performance drastically. Deployments of new AI across worldwide markets are balancing traffic loads across sectors. Therefore, avoiding the overload of specific cells and enhancing the user experience.

It is safe to say that the net was prepared for COVID-19, at least better than it was ten years ago. The internet would have never weathered the coronavirus during good ‘AOL days. Innovations over time prepared the web for catastrophe, and those advances became its vaccine. From HTTP based adaptive bitrate streaming protocols, zero-trust networking, cloud and CDN, we are staying connected while staying socially distant during an unimaginable time that we hope never to experience again.


To learn more about BDx and the State of Asia, join our Executive Roundtable, A Look into Asia: Paving the Path Ahead. This virtual event is being held on May 19th, and BDx leaders will discuss the global market and how companies like ours are helping the industry move forward: paving the path ahead.