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Internet use in Spain shows a dip every day at 8 p.m. — when everyone collectively signs off to cheer on health workers

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 8 p.m., when people cheer health workers from their balconies, CTO Enrique Blanco told The New York Times.

“Suddenly at 8 p.m. it goes down, then it goes back up,” Mr. Blanco said. “It’s a beautiful thing.”

The trend started as a Twitter campaign to show appreciation to doctors and hospital staff working overtime to fight coronavirus. It has become a newfound tradition in countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America, according to CNN.

—Camrus Johnson (@CamrusJ) March 24, 2020

Despite the sharp rise in internet use across the globe, providers have said they’re equipped to handle the high level of traffic. Tom Leighton, CEO of web infrastructure provider Akamai, told Business Insider last week that its services are “running normally.”

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