Quarantine lessons: Business applications require symmetrical Broadband even at home

Fierce Telecom reports…

With millions of employees now working from home due to COVID-19, asymmetric broadband offerings are a chokepoint for some business applications.

Shrihari Pandit, the CEO of Stealth Communications, said in a recent interview with FierceTelecom that in addition to slower upstream speeds on DSL or cable broadband services, work from home (WFH) efforts have also been hampered by multiple users in a household using a single broadband connection for gaming, video streaming, video conferencing and remote learning.

“We’re seeing businesses making more employees work from home. So that’s been a major trend in our customer base,” said Pandit, whose company provides fiber-based connectivity in the New York Cit metro area. “What we’ve seen is some difficulty in terms of making that successful. When they work from home, they try to run all their work applications.

“What the corporate IT departments are finding as they start troubleshooting is that home connections are mostly asymmetric and that’s creating a strain, because a lot of these business applications require symmetrical connectivity.”

In my house that means that my Zoom interview upload to YouTube for work is sputtering along as my kid binges The Office on her laptop while checking her homework on her phone. There are only two of us, so it’s manageable. That’s not the case for many families. And I suspect the need for symmetrical broadband or at least a huge increase in upload speeds will not change soon.

I know that the Minnesota Broadband Task Force has talked about looking at current MN broadband speed goals (which as 25 Mbps down and 3 up by 2022 and 100 Mbps down and 20 up by 2026). The first order of business may be to look at symmetry.

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