Katrina Plummets Internet Usage

Similar to the gas pipelines being shutoff thanks to Katrina, Internet usage from the gulf region where the hurricane hit has plummeted. ComScore Networks, a global information provider and consultancy for consumer behavior insight, reports that internet usage has fallen “below reportable levels” from nearly 900,000 people on a usual night on the gulf coast including New Orleans and Biloxi-Gulfport.

Of course, with limited electricity and phone lines, Internet connectivity is hard to come by in the region hit hardest by Katrina. Amazingly, several employees from DirectNIC are updating a compelling blog renamed The Survival of New Orleans Blog which is now a chronicle of some ITers surviving in New Orleans including having to dodge looters and now water bottles!

The Red Cross website’s traffic rank on Alexa currently is in the top 200 sites on the Internet at 198 up from their three month average of 14,800. Also, gas price related web sites such as Atlanta Gas Prices have jumped in Alexa rank to 3,128 from a three month average of 249,542.

According to this AP article, AT&T reports a 10% increase in long distance calls as well as a dramatic increase in satellite phones.