Historic levels of wireless data used at political conventions

By: Karen Smith
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Historic levels of wireless data used at political conventions

Two conventions. Two candidates. Two distinct platforms. One thing in common: convention-goers used an unprecedented amount of wireless data!

Whether Republican or Democrat, there was a lot of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter use at this year’s RNC and DNC.

To prepare the network for the 100,000+ attendees, Verizon made significant upgrades in both Cleveland and Philadelphia. And the preparation paid off for customers – the Verizon network delivered strong performance during both conventions. See article: Uncontested reliability: Verizon’s network ready for 2016 political conventions.

Democratic National Convention by the numbers

In Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Arena alone, during the four-day Democratic National Convention, social media topped the ballot of most-used applications, followed by video and Web-surfing. Convention-goers at the arena used a total of more than 9.3 Terabytes (TBs) of data.

From July 25-28, the average nightly social media volume at the arena was double that of the national average. Facebook posts were up 50 percent over a typical night and Twitter was at nearly five-times the usual volume.

  • Day 4: Highest day of usage at 2.65 TBs as the convention concluded.
  • Day 3: Usage climbed nearly 20 percent from Day 1 to 2.40 TBs in the Wells Fargo Arena.
  • Day 2: The Hillary Clinton nomination announcement spurred a 77 percent increase in data usage at 7 pm over when the doors opened to the arena at 4 pm. Total data usage was 2.27 TBs, equivalent to streaming the “House of Cards” series 148 times.
  • Day 1: 2 TBs of data were used in the Wells Fargo Arena, the equivalent to streaming the entire “Game of Thrones” series in HD 109 times, or posting 33,000 high-resolution photos on Verizon’s network.

Historic levels of wireless data used at political conventions

Republican National Convention by the numbers

Over the four convention days, July 18-21, more than 28.5 TBs of data were used on the Verizon network spanning the downtown Cleveland area and the Quicken Loans Arena. That amount of data usage is the equivalent of streaming video for 3,560 days straight or more than 9.7 years! 

More than 7 TBs of data were used during each of the convention’s final three days, with single day usage on par with Super Bowl 50 on Verizon’s network. See article: History was made – and shared – during Super Bowl 50. For Cleveland, usage was similar to the city’s celebration of the basketball championship on June 22, when more than 7.2 TBs were used on the same sites in the downtown area.

  • Day 4, July 21: Usage was 7.3 TBs with a peak during Donald Trump’s speech.
  • Day 3, July 20: Usage was 7.3 TBs.
  • Day 2, July 19: Usage was 7.1 TBs, with peaks when the session kicked off and when Donald Trump clinched the nomination.
  • Day 1, July 18: Usage was 6.7 TBs, with a peak when Melania Trump took the stage.

And even after the last balloon drop, residents and visitors to Cleveland and Philadelphia will continue to benefit from a very presidential network thanks to the permanent upgrades made in the convention host cities.

Karen Smith is a corporate communications manager for network and customer experience. She writes about Verizon’s network improvements, third-party testing and the LTE in Rural America (LRA) program.