Data61 to take a stab at gleaning insight from NBN traffic data

The company responsible for the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the CSIRO announced on Tuesday that the data arm of the latter, Data61, will examine the former’s traffic data.

The initial project, which is to be a baseline for future measurements of digital maturity and resilience, will examine aggregated and de-identified NBN traffic data to look into how connectivity was used during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The project will assess how businesses and households across different regions, industries, and occupations moved their activities online as COVID-19 hit, and how this activity evolved as the pandemic, and associated restrictions, tracked over subsequent months,” the pair said.

“This could highlight the relative success of industries in adopting technology, adapting to an evolving work environment, and provide a perspective on productivity under COVID-19.”

Potential projects to follow were flagged as relating to energy, privacy and cybersecurity, the use of automation in agriculture, and digital health.

See also: Team Australia: CSIRO’s multimillion-dollar post-coronavirus plan

“The world is an increasingly connected place, and so much of our research in areas ranging from robotics to healthcare is now predicated on being able to share and compute data via broadband networks,” CSIRO chief Dr Larry Marshall said.

“This collaborative agreement facilitates the generation of new insights into how we are adopting digital technologies, to help solve meaningful issues and shape the future in many areas of society. Working with NBN Co, together we can deliver a unique national outcome.”

In last week’s federal Budget, the CSIRO received AU$459 million over four years to address the impacts of COVID-19, and to continue with its “essential scientific research”.

At the same time, the government allocated AU$2 billion for additional research and development tax incentives, once again saying the move was to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

“Research and development,

An interesting look at South African website traffic during the lockdown

Narratiive released its September 2020 statistics, which showed that News24, IOL, and BusinessTech are the largest news publications in South Africa.

Narratiive is the official traffic measurement partner of the IAB South Africa and provides accurate traffic and demographics statistics for South Africa’s top online publishers.

Last month, News24 attracted a readership of 11.4 million unique browsers, followed by IOL with 6.2 million, and BusinessTech with 5.7 million.

The top 10 is completed by TimesLive, Gumtree, EWN, The South African, Citizen, Daily Maverick, and Vodacom.

It should be noted that only websites which are part of the IAB South Africa and run Narratiive code are included in this comparison.

This means that other large websites like the banks, Takealot, and Bidorbuy are not listed.

The table below lists the readership figures for South Africa’s largest online publications, based on the September 2020 Narratiive report.

Top Online Publications in South Africa
Website Unique Browsers Page Views
news24.com 11,427,703 82,954,772
iol.co.za 6,227,819 28,469,802
BusinessTech.co.za 5,687,989 19,986,654
timeslive.co.za 5,615,460 24,247,572
gumtree.co.za 4,398,972 84,963,218
ewn.co.za 3,651,642 16,162,663
thesouthafrican.com 3,527,961 10,223,660
citizen.co.za 3,318,612 11,668,842
dailymaverick.co.za 2,828,899 11,400,534
vodacom.co.za 2,708,161 14,457,904

How the lockdown affected traffic

South African online news publications were on the forefront of covering the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown.

This clearly showed in the readership figures as South Africans flocked to online publications for the latest developments.

There was a big spike in traffic for most publications during the lockdown, which peaked in June and remains at very high levels.

The monthly readership figures for South Africa’s top business publications provide a good overview of this trend.

BusinessTech more than doubled its usual readership during the lockdown, while Business Insider, Business Live, and Moneyweb showed equally strong performances.

The chart below shows how the readership of the country’s top online business publications

Florida extends voter registration deadline after “unprecedented” traffic slowed website

Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee extended the state’s voter registration deadline to Tuesday evening after heavy traffic on Monday night caused its online registration system to crash. 

The new deadline for Florida voters to register is now Tuesday, October 6, at 7 p.m. ET.

Lee said in a statement that she met with Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday morning to discuss “the difficulties we encountered last night due to unprecedented volume and traffic to our website.”

“We are working with local Supervisors of Elections and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to ensure that all eligible registrants have the ability submit a voter registration application by 7:00 p.m. this evening,” Lee said.

According to Lee, the state’s voter registration website was accessed by an “unprecedented” 1.1 million requests per hour, raising concerns about election interference.

“We will work with our state and federal law-enforcement partners to ensure this was not a deliberate act against the voting process,” Lee said. “If you are NOT registering to vote, we ask that you do your part for your fellow Floridians and please do not try to access RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov during this time and drive up traffic to the site.”

Lee also ordered county supervisors’ offices, departments of motor vehicles offices and tax collectors’ offices to remain open until 7 p.m. today to accept voter registration applications. Applications will also be accepted if they are postmarked Tuesday.

Florida is a critical swing state, and considered an important state for President Trump’s reelection prospects. CBS News’ Battleground Tracker polling and analysis currently suggests Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden holds a slim lead over Mr. Trump in Florida.

LaCrai Mitchell contributed to this report.

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