Does the Internet ever sleep?

Sleeping Internet

New York City is the city that never sleeps, and a new study from the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering shows it’s home to plenty of active Internet connections around the clock. But there are plenty of places around the globe where the Internet actually does sleep at night.

While the United States and parts of southern Africa and Western Europe display pretty much constant Internet connectivity, countries such as Armenia, Georgia, and Belarus follow a diurnal usage pattern that sees Internet usage peak as the day progresses and then taper off at night.

As interesting as that might be, it’s far more fun to look at the data visually, as evidenced by the  animated GIF above that shows how patterns of Internet usage change while the night sweeps across the map. For reference, pinkish/reddish blocks indicate higher Internet usage, while blue blocks represent lower than average activity.

Daytime usage seems to be correlated with countries with lower gross domestic product. That’s not surprising, given that countries with stronger economies are often home to broadband Internet connections that are always on. Likewise, countries and regions that attempt to conserve more electricity by turning off equipment at the end of the day may also display daylight usage patterns.

At least the Internet’s lack of sleep doesn’t seem to be having the same ill effects as it does on people, although long nights of browsing Wikipedia, playing online games, and watching cat videos on YouTube has likely contributed to plenty of drooping eyelids the next morning.

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