THE SUDDEN SHIFT TO WORK-AT-HOME HAS CREATED OPPORUNITY AS WELL AS RISK
The Covid-19 pandemic has created a rapid shift to distributed working, distributed schooling and intensive use of in-home entertainment. This traffic surge has strained networks, yes, but it has also done something that decades of advertising have not – brought the critical importance and value of broadband access to the forefront. It has also revealed a common weak link: WiFi performance and coverage. This is both a threat and an opportunity.
WiFi has been both a boon and a problem for CSPs. On the plus side it simplifies installation. On the minus side poor WiFi performance and limited coverage degrades performance and raises trouble costs. In the end it also hurts customers’ perceptions of their CSP and their broadband service. Similarly, it depresses potential revenues by suppressing demand for enhanced services. CSPs have worsened this problem through “tight coupling” that ties them to old WiFi technology and their customers to these obsolete routers. In almost no cases is modern mesh technology supported by CSP delivered WiFi.