Broadband Speeds Down Due to Virus; Amazon Pauses Sellers’ Loan Repayments; Apple May Delay iPhone 12 Models; Top 10 Binged Netflix Shows

Broadband speeds are down everywhere in the US due to the coronavirus, and people spending more time at home. Zdnet.com reports that it’s slower by 40% in 3 cities…Austin, TX, Winston Salem, NC, and Oxnard CA! It is slower to some degree in 88 of 200 cities analyzed by BroadbandNow, and ISP comparison service. Austin’s last week speeds were 46 Mbps, Winston Salem was averaging 41 Mbps, and Oxnard was at 44 Mbps. We previously reported that Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime have reduced streaming quality to try to handle increased loads. Mobile downloads speeds are also slower according to Ookla’s Speedtest.net.

Amazon has temporarily suspended the requirement that sellers in its marketplace repay loans the online giant had made to them. According to reuters.com, Amazon is pausing repayments as of today, and through April 30th. The loans won’t accrue interest either. Amazon Lending has offered merchant loans ranging from $1000 to $750,000 to fund inventory acquisition, and expansion of product lines…and to advertise on Amazon. The loans normally range in term from 3 months to 12 months, and carry interest of 6% to 19.9%.

With the disruptions in the supply chain and factory closings in Asia due to the coronavirus, Apple is looking at delaying the rollout of its iPhone 12 models…perhaps by months. 9to5mac.com says that, besides supply issues, Apple is expecting demand to be down for a period of time as the virus hits jobs, and reduces spending and consumer confidence. A final decision will be made in May, but we may not see 5G iPhones until 2021 now.

More people working from home has meant streaming is way up. Although bosses may think it’s just employees screwing off during the workday (and no doubt there is some of that going on), a lot of the uptick in viewing can be attributed to people gaining time from not commuting. Here in the Bay Area, working from home can easily free up a couple hours a day, and for some workers, it’s more like 3 hours of windshield or mass transit time. Those hours are now being reclaimed as free time, and people are binging more than ever. Bgr.com has given us the Binge Report! For the week of March 16 through the 22nd, here you are:

1 Elite- Netflix
2 Friends- NBC
3 Grey’s Anatomy- ABC
4 Riverdale- CW
5 On My Block- Netflix
6 Greenhouse Academy- Netflix
7 Brooklyn Nine-Nine- NBC
8 Vikings- History
9 The Walking Dead- AMC
10 The 100- CW



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