We are in different times. Words like Zoom, Teams and Slack have new meaning for many people. Working and studying from home is driving new technology demands once reserved for business and enterprise applications.
Couple that with video streaming fueled by both an already-underway cord cutting trend. Add stay-at-home lifestyles, and home networks are virtually under siege.
After all, while Netflix, YouTube and Hulu are nothing new, having the entire family using them while home for an extended time is. Often, users will be on multiple screens at once. Streaming on a TV, while also consuming content on a mobile device is common now, even for a single viewer.
It’s not just trend and virus driven. The proliferation of pristine, 4K HDR content means not only video quality once the realm of fantasy, but steeper bandwidth requirements, too.
There’s one more factor. We’re increasingly wanting to keep tabs on our homes in the event we are away now, too. Was that package left on your doorstep?
On one hand, security cameras have never been better. You can tell which fly species was on the thief’s left shoulder. On the other, that kind of video quality gobbles up network bandwidth.
Basically, we’ve found ourselves in the perfect, network-attacking storm. More users, more often, more 4K content, and more people using demanding applications such as those for education and collaboration; are all converging now.
Reliance on tech and associated stakes have never been higher. After all, if your video teleconference or meeting won’t connect or no one can understand the participants, it can cost you.
Your kids’ education is at stake too. Moving the education experience from campus to home was done with lighting speed in many places.
Virtual classrooms and instruction will not replace school classrooms, but may permanently change the education experience. In some locations, they’re even talking about eliminating “snow day” school cancellations because of the pandemic-driven distance learning advances.
All of this demands networks and Internet connections that are not only fast, but glitch-free and low-latency. Latency is the time between when your computer asks for something on the network, and it starts happening. Latency is a bane for video gamers, and the cause of on-line death and disaster as the controller button presses don’t quite happen in time to save you.
If you’re downloading a file, latency is no big deal. Who cares if it takes 1/1000 of a second or a full second to start your download, really? However, if you’re in a Zoom room or on a VTC and some participants have a second or 2 delay, while others don’t,.. imagine the confusion.
They are just 2 more parts of your network equation.