PETALING JAYA: Internet traffic has surged by 23.5% for fixed and mobile broadband services nationwide, leading to slower speed in the country.

The spike in bandwidth demand was due to increased use of video conferencing, learning and shopping over the internet.

According to the Opensignal report, Malaysia’s 4G download speeds dropped from 13.4Mbps on average in early February to an average of 8.8Mbps last week from 23 to 29 March.

“Adherence to the Movement Control Order (MCO) by remaining indoors at all times saw 23.5% higher Internet traffic nationwide during the first week of the MCO, while the second week of the MCO saw a further increase of 8.6%,” the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said in a statement.

“Greater data consumption could create congestion causing speeds to fall. This has affected the user experience whereby longer loading time is observed particularly while consuming bandwidth-intensive content such as streaming services on High Definition (HD).

MCMC said telecommunications and internet service providers (ISP) are currently “working around the clock” in adding bandwidth capacity to ensure continued delivery of essential services during the MCO period.

“The telecommunications industry is working on improving network performance during this time through an additional investment of RM400 million for infrastructure and network upgrades, as announced in the Pakej Rangsangan Ekonomi Prihatin Rakyat (Prihatin) recently.” it said.

MCMC said it would work “hand-in-hand” with service providers to monitor the network performance and to facilitate any challenges on the ground faced by service providers in performing their job to deploy additional infrastructure and maintain the sites including approvals from the authorities.