COVID-19 Update: The Cable Industry’s Ongoing Response
As the COVID-19 crisis intensifies across the U.S. and around the globe, developments are changing rapidly as data and analysis about the spread of the virus continue to be released.
Over 72 million homes and businesses across America subscribe to broadband delivered by cable providers. With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, these connections are more important than ever, including home Wi-Fi networks, as our nation adapts to the realities of “social distancing” and many of our daily activities have moved online.
To help meet these challenges, network providers are working around the clock to maintain robust service and ensure that consumers stay connected. Engineers and technicians continuously monitor demands placed on the networks. And when isolated issues arise, network providers have processes and tools in place to ensure that they are addressed quickly. The good news is that these broadband networks are performing well in the face of COVID-19, despite significant surges in online activity.
To better explain how changing consumer demand is affecting network usage and performance, NCTA members and other providers are joining together to report key metrics during the pandemic (reported below) that will better inform the public regarding usage trends and network performance. The industry has also made available tips for maximizing the performance of home Wi-Fi networks. Companies currently reporting include: Altice, CableOne, Charter, Comcast, Cox, GCI, Mediacom, Midco and Sjoberg's.
Networks are engineered to provide superior performance throughout the day, so measuring demand during times of peak usage is useful in making sure that consumers experience robust connections when traffic is heavy as well as when traffic is light. The data below reflects observed increases by NCTA member companies and others – both upstream and downstream – during the highest points of network utilization. The metrics compare the current week’s peak data increase to the peak data increase experienced before COVID-19 took hold on March 1.