Following the rapid rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, people in the United States and across the globe are staying home and quarantining in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. With large swaths of the population confined to their homes, fiber broadband will play a more important role than ever in keeping us working, learning, and entertained. Fiber broadband delivers the speed and reliability that socially distancing Americans need to stay online during this mass quarantine. Below are a few considerations for the need of fiber for home connectivity during this time:
Working from Home
The vast majority of offices are now closed in an effort to eliminate direct contact between employees. This means that millions of American workers are conducting their jobs from their own homes. Virtual video conferences using services like Zoom, BlueJeans or Skype offer the face-to-face interactions that many need to collaborate. Needless to say, employees calling into these video conferences need top-notch connectivity in order to continue business as usual. Research suggests that teleconferencing with colleagues takes up 12 MBPS of bandwidth. And that’s not to mention surging upstream demand for uploading the video and audio data required for a Zoom call or other video conference. Upstream activity is particularly bandwidth-intensive and only fiber broadband is suited for these purposes. At-home fiber broadband is vital to staying connected as working from home becomes the new normal for many.
Social distancing means that there is plenty of downtime to spend streaming TV shows, music, movies and video games. Per a study from Bloomberg, time spent streaming video over the weekend of March 13-15 increased by 20% across the United States. Streaming TV and movies on a connected TV can take up to 25 Mbps of bandwidth. As the use of these streaming services spike across the world, some areas are already feeling the effects, with Youtube and Netflix reducing streaming quality in Europe to keep the internet from collapsing.
Additionally, the Daily Mail reported that online gaming saw a large spike as users across the globe self-quarantine. To prevent game-ending buffering, video games require low latency — a hallmark characteristic of fiber broadband. Fiber broadband is the best, most reliable form of connectivity for streaming movies, TV shows, video games, and beyond for the duration of the quarantine.
With concerts and shows across the world canceled, musicians, comedians and other performers are hosting their own “live” shows on Facebook, Instagram, Periscope, and other platforms. For instance, the Backstreet Boys posted a rendition of “I Want It That Way” recorded from each of their respective abodes for all of the 90’s babies currently in quarantine. Depending on their popularity, thousands of viewers will be tuning into the shows from their homes. In this situation, at-home fiber broadband will be of utmost importance to keep these concerts streaming without any buffering or delay. Other wireless infrastructure like copper simply does not have the reliability or bandwidth that fiber networks do.
We are all doing our part to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic by staying home and, as a result, fiber is working overtime to ensure that we are all able to continue living our lives.