Can The Internet Handle All Of Us Working From Home?

Working From Home

Is the Internet Capable of Handling So Many Users?

Or Can Too Many Users Affect Internet Capabilities?

Picture an average American household. A dad who works as a business analyst for a large corporation. A mom who is a full-time lawyer in a high-powered legal firm. Two kids, both in college, only coming home for the holidays. It seems normal enough. Now imagine a deadly pandemic. Mom is forced to work from home, making conference calls and sharing files. So is dad. The kids come home, but it isn’t a holiday. They still have to attend online classes. Downloads, streams, and shares abound. And it’s happening in every home. That means literally everyone is one the internet. Will it survive?

Internet in the Time of COVID19

The situation outlined above is not imaginary. The COVID pandemic has it, and it has hit hard. Americans all over the country have confined themselves to their homes. Millions find themselves out of work and filing for unemployment benefits. Telecommunications subscribers have announced temporary relief efforts like the Spectrum Internet Assist program. But with people forced to stay at home or risk infection, anyone who can is working remotely from home. 

Universities and schools have temporarily shut down, sending students back home. With the pandemic showing no signs of slowing down, students are forced to take online classes and rely on the internet for their education. But the question is, can the internet handle all this traffic?

Most of us know what network congestion is. We all know what happens when too many users hit the internet at once. In normal times, internet rush hour results in higher latencies and slower speeds. But these aren’t normal times. What we have is an unprecedented global pandemic. Can the internet handle it? This blog explores:

  1. The Internet Situation at a Glance 

  2. What Internet Providers Are Doing

  3. Checking Your Internet Connection 

  4. Enhancing Your Internet Experience

Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at these areas below. 

The Internet Situation at a Glance 

Right now we have recreational users, workers, and students all using their residential internet networks. With the increased traffic load, all eyes are on internet providers. People are wondering whether their provider can maintain consistent and stable services. But the fact of the matter is that we don’t know what the impact of so many users will be. “We just don’t know how the infrastructure will fare” – Tom Wheeler, former FCC Chairman.

Look at it this way. You might have considered the bandwidth that comes with your connection sufficient for you and your partner’s needs. But with the kids at home, who need to take video classes and will be watching stuff online, it suddenly may not be enough anymore. 

What Internet Providers Are Doing 

Leading providers like Charter Spectrum, AT&T, Xfinity, Verizon, and Cox state that they have complete confidence in the strength of their network infrastructure. They say they are ready to meet increased internet demand. In addition, many providers have offered assistance programs to low-income households and students as well as remote workers. Some providers have even announced plans to increase network bandwidth to maintain a smooth internet experience despite heavy traffic. 

Checking Your Internet Connection 

Providers say they’re ready to tackle increased network traffic. But many customers are already beginning to experience the effects. Have you been experiencing slow network speeds or latency issues over the past few weeks? To check if you’re feeling the digital effects of COVID19, an internet speed test may be in order. This can help you check your current speeds accurately and compared them to your plan’s advertised speeds.Don’t expect to get the full advertised speeds every time, because there are more users on residential connections than normal.

Enhancing Your Internet Experience

The COVID19 pandemic does not mean you have to compromise on your internet experience. If faster speeds are what you need, there are two solutions to your problem. The first one involves setting up a mesh Wi-Fi network in your home. Mesh networks are essentially a web of Wi-Fi signals instead of a single point. This ensures adequate coverage in all corners of your home, which can help with slow speeds caused by interference or weak signals. 

The second solution is a bit pricier, but also more impactful. If your speed test shows you that you’re getting the right speeds, then it means there are too many users in your home. If your current plan just isn’t cutting it anymore, then simply upgrade to a better one with more bandwidth and speed. Speak to your provider and upgrade your plan to make sure everyone has interrupted and lag-free internet access. 

The COVID19 pandemic is a trying time for all of us. More than ever now is the time to work together and stop the virus from spreading further and claiming more lives. Social distancing practices are having an impact on keeping the spread lower all over the world. That means you should also limit your outdoor activities to essential chores only. Take advantage of convenient services like Spectrum Bill Pay to take care of bills and payments from the safety of your home. Stay home, stay safe!

 

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