The ongoing pandemic has impacted daily life in the United States in a number of ways, some predictable and others surprising.
On the predictable side, when tens of thousands of employees were asked to work from home, broadband internet connectivity saw a huge surge in use and nearly 80 percent of broadband users upgraded their service to get better speeds.
Unfortunately, the increased demand put a tremendous strain on the broadband providers, many of whom are still, to this day, struggling to respond. As a result, there has been a growing migration away from broadband service, as more than 12 million former broadband customers have canceled their service. They’re opting instead to turn their cellphones into WiFi hotspots and make use of their Cellular data plan.
While that is an effective solution for some, there are a few potential pitfalls to be mindful of. For starters, while high speed connectivity is certainly possible, most cell plans have much tighter data limits than broadband providers do, and if you stream video on a regular basis, you’re likely to run into those caps very quickly if you adopt this strategy.
Closely related to this issue is the fact that while it is possible to upgrade your cellular data plan, it’s usually much more expensive than upgrading your broadband plan.
In addition to that, the issue may not be with your provider, or at least not solely with your provider. If you haven’t yet upgraded your home network to one of the popular mesh network systems, then doing so could see an overall boost in speed, depending on the particulars of your home network and how you use it.
According to research conducted by Parks Associates, more than half of all broadband customers are currently reporting problems of one sort or another with their service. The most common of which is the monthly cost, but other top contenders include slow service speeds, unreliability, poor customer service, and other technical and billing-related issues.
On the other hand, with a growing number of people leaving the broadband ecosystem, this may wind up being a self-correcting problem. If you decide to tough it out, you may find that performance improves over time. Either way, it is an interesting and unexpected development that’s worth watching.