If there’s one thing “office workers” might miss about actually going to the office, it’s a truly robust internet connection. A lightning fast broadband connection at any given office can run circles around our home internet, where connectivity can be sluggish and Wi-Fi can be spotty.
The reason for this is simple: It’s crowded out there. When you experience a choppy internet connection while working from home, it’s likely because multiple households in your general area are all going online for the same reasons. You have kids at home in virtual classrooms, a grumpy teenager playing Call of Duty in the basement, your sister looking up a recipe for banana bread, along with you and every other person on your block attempting to open a Google document or sign into a video conference during a remote access situation.
That’s a lot of action for a local internet service provider!
All of this noise could lead to a problem connecting to cloud technology. And when your communications system is cloud based, like VoIP, this is an unacceptable problem. In any business, educational institution, or nonprofit organization, downtime costs money. The less time your team members spend connected, the less time they are actually working. If a team member loses connection for an hour, guess what? There’s a cost for that!
But here’s the thing: This is not a problem that’s limited only to those who are trying to communicate via their home connection. Brick-and-mortar businesses have also been known to run into this issue. Oftentimes, these are organizations situated in densely populated suburban areas, where there are plenty of other people in the same general area trying to log on simultaneously. The point is, slow and spotty coverage has the potential to affect everyone who’s trying to communicate via the cloud.
What’s The Main Reason For A Bad Connection?
When we’re talking about an at-home internet connection or office setup that’s anything less than stellar, the main culprit is typically bandwidth. What is bandwidth? In simple terms, it's the maximum amount of data transmitted over an internet connection in a given amount of time. Often mistaken for internet speed, it’s actually the sheer volume of information your internet handles while you’re working. This load is multiplied exponentially depending on how many individuals around you are looking to connect.
The cable TV companies provide a “pipe” of bandwidth into each neighborhood or downtown area of SHARED space for those customers. This is connected through “nodes” that then distribute across the telephone poles (or underground wires) to the homes and businesses.
The problem comes from the fact that too many subscribers demanding higher usage can overburden these Internet pipes. Dedicated fiber internet is different because the subscriber area is guaranteed to get the promised bandwidth speeds (equal upload and download) and there is no sharing with others. When customer demand increases dramatically (like in a pandemic!), getting the cable companies to “split the node” (add more nodes and pipes) is like pulling teeth (because it may cost them extra money they prefer not to spend!).
If you’ve ever had to multitask taking care of the kids while simultaneously staying on top of work, you likely understand how bandwidth can get stretched thin and why that’s detrimental to individual tasks. The prospect of having to share bandwidth with others is often what causes organizations to halt any discussion of remote access. And it’s understandable. An unreliable internet connection can be a deal breaker, as it’s a roadblock to smooth communications with colleagues, clients, and customers.
How To Find A Solution
A lack of bandwidth and a spotty connection is not something you can just live with. So, what can you do? First things first, reach out to us. We can run tests to find out the specific times of the day and days of the week when your connection is at its best and its worst. We do this by pinging your location and measuring many variables. The results of this diagnostic checkup—which we can show you in charts and graphs—tell a story about how much bandwidth your system needs and how much is available during work hours.
What we’re measuring is something called “latency,” which is the time it takes for data to transmit from your computer to a server, and back again. This is called a “ping rate.” When you send an email, for example, a signal is sent through your internet router to a server, where it’s then processed and then forwarded to another server, until it’s finally beamed to a satellite and funneled through a few more servers until that signal (remember the signal?) hits the recipient’s router and then, their inbox.
And to us, it’s instantaneous. Isn’t technology incredible?
But phone calls and videos cannot take such a circuitous route as emails do. They are much more sensitive, and will become unusable without proper care and attention by the carrier and the equipment involved.
You can also find out some information directly from the cable company—if you don’t mind waiting on hold and bouncing around from agent to agent. Some providers also have so-called “Speed Tests” (such tests can be found at www.speedtest.net and www.fast.com) that you can conduct yourself to measure the robustness of your computer’s performance. But if you find out your bandwidth is indeed the issue, what can you do besides just complain to your cable and internet provider?
The Solution Within The Solution
It’s hard to know what a problem is without a thorough view from above. To that end, we offer free monitoring for two weeks. This can tell us definitively whether or not the bandwidth problem lies with your internet provider. Maybe they are not doing enough to equip communities with the tools necessary to ensure everyone has a fair shake at getting work done—whether that’s in the office or at the home office. If enough people complain, perhaps the internet service companies will do a better job of actually providing internet service. You’ve heard of the old adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Well, in this case, the “grease” is more bandwidth and the “squeaky wheel” is consumers complaining to carriers!Connect With CCi Voice To Learn The Best Possible Solution To Your Home & Office Connectivity Concerns