Technology Broadband use surged more than 30% during pandemic, industry group says
FCC Chair Rosenworcel launches broadband mapping task force
The head of the new task force warns it could take until next year to fix the FCC's flawed maps.The new "Broadband Data Task Force" will work to make sure that data, which is supposed to show where broadband exists and doesn't exist in the US, is more precise. The agency has been heavily criticized for years for inaccuracies in the data that often overstates broadband coverage. The task force, which is composed of existing FCC staff, will be led by Jean Kiddoo, who chaired the agency's Incentive Auction Task Force.
Broadband use surged 30% to 40% during the in the US, and even reached 60% in some areas, an industry group has concluded. Although the internet shouldered the load without much problem, you might consider upgrading your own network equipment to avoid issues.
The broadband use increase began as people started working from home in March 2020, when authorities began issuing orders to stay home to slow the COVID-19 spread. The change also meant many more of us relied on our internet connections forand social activity like .
Bloody Sunday plans, defining pandemics, teacher dilemmas: News from around our 50 states
How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
Thereleased data this week that it gathered from internet service providers, broadband analytics firms, and networking companies that help deliver data. We all consumed more downstream data -- the flow from the internet to the home -- but upstream use grew faster. That's an important consideration given that most cable and DSL services offer much higher downstream capacity.
All those videoconferences for work meetings and likely were involved in the upstream data traffic. "Some networks saw more than 300% increase in the amount of videoconferencing traffic from February to October 2020," the report said.
In the UK, some families must choose between internet access and food
The digital divide is a massive global problem. Even in wealthy countries, families are forced to make compromises to ensure their children have the required internet connection for remote learning.Michelle (who prefers gender-neutral pronouns and whose name has been changed to protect their privacy), together with their partner and 13-year-old daughter, has been homeless since February of last year. They live in temporary accommodation, with Michelle supporting the family financially by working as a cleaner.
Though the internet itself held up well overall, there are problems. "" with broadband access to online services, the report said, and some households suffered with older equipment that couldn't handle heavy traffic or the increase in networked devices in the home.
If you're having problems at home, you should consider an Ethernet cable connection to your network router,with multiple network access points, upgrading your PC or phone, or paying for a faster internet connection if it's available.
"It is apparent that performance issues inside of home networks related to inadequate customer supplied user devices and Wi-Fi have become real problems," the report said.
With $100B internet plan, Biden commits to bring down ‘overpriced’ broadband bills .
Biden is committed to working with Congress to reduce internet prices, the White House said, likely setting up tensions with the telecom industry.“While the President recognizes that individual subsidies to cover internet costs may be needed in the short term, he believes continually providing subsidies to cover the cost of overpriced internet service is not the right long-term solution for consumers or taxpayers,” according to a White House fact sheet.