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COVID-19 Impact on Internet Performance

Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) oversubscribe their bandwidth and networks as typical inbound and outbound traffic are bursty and often don’t sustain high levels on a continuous basis. Fortunately, most of the larger National Providers have had sufficient time to prepare for the impact of COVID-19 and plan for the possibility of business workloads shifting to the home. Regardless of this capacity planning, Internet traffic patterns are about to change drastically based on schools across the country opting for virtual learning and business work from home migrations. Thrive recommends that everyone be prepared to possibly experience some diminished performance as a result. These networks were simply not designed for everyone to consume all their bandwidth 24×7.

One step towards mitigation is to utilize your 4G & 5G unlimited data plans on your mobile devices and set up your phone as a hotspot. This will provide an additional layer of security for business traffic if your home isn’t properly equipped with a business-level firewall or you don’t have SSL VPN capabilities. The cellular option for your kids is also a great idea for streaming Netflix and online video learning sessions, assuming they also have unlimited plans.

Another step is to analyze your equipment. If you’ve had the same router for more than three years, now may be a good time to upgrade. Newer routers offer multi-band wireless networks. With newer, multi-band routers you can also segment your wireless network into two networks: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, making “one personal and one business” or segment as “private and guest”.

Finally, many service providers are assisting clients with temporary upgrades of their bandwidth without long-term contracts. Even if your provider requires a long-term contract, there are likely good deals out there for substantial increases in bandwidth based on a multi-year term pending the network capacity coming into your house is available on their networks in the area.

If you would like more information or have questions on network capacity, feel free to contact us today.