There are many aspects of working from home that will prove challenging over the months ahead. One challenge, which may be overlooked in the disarray, is Internet performance degradation. This will be so significant that working from home will be very difficult.
Broadband, superfast broadband and all variants, ill-sold as “fibre”, are contended services.
What does that mean?
Internet Providers enable your local Exchange with an Internet service. That Internet service is then shared across the local catchment that the Exchange serves. The more subscribers the service has, the more degraded the service is to its users.
People’s homes add further contention to the service. WiFi is shared with the family for online entertainment; surfing, accessing the cloud, downloading music, gaming, streaming TV and video. Schools are engaging in remote classroom sessions and kids need to be online to stay in touch with their friends.
All this activity is going to choke your homes, choke the local Exchanges and grind the Internet to a halt. For some, it will be impossible to work from home. Many home-workers will also have their business extensions translated to a VoIP extension so regular office call-handling can continue without interruption when their offices are closed. VoIP has zero tolerance when it comes to congestion and users will experience broken, crackly voice and call drops – all bad for business!
You can combat this by limiting non-critical Internet traffic during business hours to minimise congestion. Our kids live online so this is a real challenge. Downloading videos and family entertainment through the night will help. Don’t stream radio from the Internet, use a regular radio and the traditional airwaves. Everything you do to free your Internet connection from unnecessary traffic will help you.
Businesses pay a much higher price for their Internet connections. They buy Ethernet circuits. Ethernet circuits are full-fibre Internet connections that aren’t shared. They are dedicated connections with speed guarantees and business-grade service levels.
Isolation in a sparsely populated workplace may well be more practical for many organisations trying to ensure their operations continue to function.
Wishing you all good luck and good health.