Measuring the Internet during Novel Coronavirus to Evaluate Quarantine (RAPID-MINCEQ)

Project Description

Measuring the Internet during Novel Coronavirus to Evaluate Quarantine (RAPID-MINCEQ) is a project to measure changes in Internet use during the COVID-19 outbreak of 2020.

Until availability of early detection and a vaccine for COVID-19, the world is employing social distancing, work-from-home, and study-from-home to limit COVID’s spread. Implementation of these policies varies across the U.S. and globally due to local circumstances. A common consequence is a huge shift in Internet use, with schools and workplaces emptying and home Internet use increasing. The goal of this project is to observe this shift, globally, through changes in Internet address usage, allowing observation of early reactions to COVID and, one hopes, a future shift back.

This project plans to develop two complementary methods of assessing Internet use by measuring address activity and how it changes relative to historical trends. The project will directly measure Internet address use globally based on continuous, ongoing measurements of more than 4 million IPv4 networks. The project will also directly measure Internet address use in network traffic at a regional Internet exchange point where multiple Internet providers interconnect. The first approach provides a global picture, while the second provides a more detailed but regional picture; together they will help evaluate measurement accuracy.

The broader impact of this project is an improved global picture of how different parts of the world react to COVID-19, as seen through their use of the Internet. The project will make our datasets available at no cost to researchers, and plans to visualize our data in a publicly available website.


MINCEQ is supported by NSF/CISE as an NSF RAPID award in reponse to COVID-19 as award nsf-2028279. (Note that some NSF paperwork identifies this project as “MINSEQ”.)



  • John Heidemann 2020. A First Look at Measuring the Internet during Novel Coronavirus to Evaluate Quarantine (MINCEQ). Invited talk at Digital Technologies for COVID-19 Webinar Series hosted by USC Viterbi School of Engineering. [PDF] Details

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