Venezuela Internet/Power Access

RIWI Insight of the Week

Update April 5, 2019: RIWI tracking indicates that Internet outbound traffic in Venezuela is now at about 52 percent of peak operating levels.

Amid the political, social, and economic crisis, an outage in Venezuela’s largest power plant has left millions of Venezuelans without power since Thursday, March 7th. It is difficult to gather reliable, up-to-date data about precisely how much power there is, where the power is or isn’t coming back, and how quickly it will be restored. RIWI’s real-time data on Web outbound traffic from Venezuela suggests that the country continues to suffer from a major disruption, with a small improvement on March 11 and 12.

RIWI has data on outbound traffic of Web activity from Venezuela on an hourly basis since March 6. The March 6 data provides a baseline for what normal Internet outbound traffic in the country looks like, so we can get a sense of how quickly such traffic is coming back. This provides a possible proxy for power availability in real-time.

The data show normal daily Internet outbound traffic before March 7, with daytime surges and nighttime calm periods. There is then an abrupt drop in Internet outbound traffic on March 7th, in line with the outage. Internet outbound traffic did not completely stop after March 7th, according to these data, suggesting the blackout has been partial. We see surges in daytime activity some days after March 7, and by March 12 the Internet outbound traffic is at a quarter of its pre-blackout activity.

To continue reading RIWI’s work on Internet recovery in Venezuela, click here.