Competition: We’re BUILT for This
Broadband and Voice Network Performance During COVID-19 Crisis
Competitive networks play a critical role in the internet ecosystem. INCOMPAS represents streaming, social media, internet, software and cloud companies (EDGE providers). We also represent a variety of broadband NETWORK BUILDERS – including local fiber builders (last mile), regional fiber builders (middle mile), wireless networks and voice providers.
Our small ISPs bring competition and specialized network services. Networks built by our local and regional broadband builders deploy new gigabit speed fiber lines that serve residential customers; small, medium and large businesses; as well as government agencies, schools and hospitals.
No network is an island. They are interconnected to other networks to provide seamless communications. And a number of INCOMPAS members use the Bridge 2 Broadband to connect their customers. Building stronger fiber backbones supports cell towers, boosts other ISPs services, and enables faster streaming and cloud content via local content delivery networks (CDNs) and data centers.
The coronavirus crisis has significantly impacted American lives and made the need for fast, affordable broadband services more critical than ever.
With increasing and shifting network demand, INCOMPAS sampled its members and has prepared the following information and resources on competitive network performance during the last 30 days.
Competitive LOCAL FIBER (Last Mile)
Our fiber networks are extremely robust, designed to deliver Gigabit speed service. Customers who have upgraded to competitive fiber services are benefiting from additional bandwidth.
- Residential Fiber Customers: We have seen a 25% increase in network bandwidth usage during the day compared to usage prior to COVID-19 disruptions. New fiber services can easily support this increase.
- Business Fiber Customers: We have seen a drop in usage from the business marketplace due to the businesses who have closed due to the pandemic.
Competitive REGIONAL FIBER (Middle Mile, Multistate)
Regional competitive fiber networks are middle mile providers. They also provide faster speeds, affordability and specialized services to schools/universities, small and mid-sized business, large enterprises, libraries, government agencies, cell towers, first responders and healthcare institutions, as well as wholesale to other ISPs.
Our members in this category have seen a 35% to 40% drop in bandwidth usage over the last few weeks since the pandemic began. This is not a surprising result given that more consumers are abiding by the stay-at-home directives so broadband usage is shifting to the ISPs serving residences.
Many competitive providers offer voice services to small, medium and large businesses with multiple locations and national footprints, such as Home Depot, Walmart and others.
Voice call volume has dropped 10% to 25% during the COVID-19 crisis. We believe this illustrates the reliance on voice services at work, and the transition to increased mobile voice usage while many are working from home.
STREAMING, INTERNET Usage (EDGE providers)
Streaming and internet traffic have increased during pandemic. More Americans are working from home via Zoom and other video conferencing tools, moving to online groceries delivered through Amazon, getting health news via Twitter, connecting with loved ones over Facebook, or staying home with Netflix.
Internet networks, like Facebook, are seeing record levels of demand, but through smart engineering, they are built for the increase traffic and demand.
For more charts and information on popular internet sites, please read this round up from The New York Times.