Internet networks across the globe are showing strain. If this burden turns into periodic disruptions, leaders might want to look at alternatives for how they communicate with employees.
Roger Entner, an analyst with Recon Analytics, said the biggest bandwidth hogs will be (this shouldn’t come as a surprise) popular video and social-media services like Netflix, YouTube, FaceTime, and Skype:
“Video is already 70% of all network traffic. The moment you add in videoconferencing to all the shows the kids are watching because schools are closed, it could be a problem if everyone is trying to get on at the same time.”
Virtual town halls, CEO videos, team videoconferences, and other high-bandwidth communication tactics may simply not work reliably during the coronavirus pandemic.
People will hit congestion”
Last week, US internet and cloud intelligence firm ThousandEyes noted an alarming rise in Internet Service Provider (ISP) outages, in spite of the fact that cloud network providers look highly resilient thus far. European regulators have already asked Netflix and YouTube to stream only standard-definition video to help create more resilience.
ThousandEyes reported that the number of ISP outages has entered a “concerning upward trajectory” since the beginning of March, as shown on their real-time outages map, which serves as a basic visualization of global internet health. Some ISPs have recorded a 50% rise in traffic.
Lisa Pierce, a network expert with Gartner, was recently quoted in a March 27 article by The Wall Street Journal:
“The weak link in the chain, where the system could get overloaded, is going to be the home broadband network. People will hit congestion, just like a highway, where the speed goes from 60 miles an hour to 20.”
“Augmenting on the cellular level”
Since traffic will be congested, leaders may choose to augment their communications approach by using platforms that transmit communiques over cellular connections, bypassing the Internet altogether. It may sound old school, but cellular connections are more reliable than Internet-based data transmission. Phones have a much better shot at making communication possible 24/7.
Plus, if leaders and their support staff use the right technology, they can get accurate metrics on communication transmission and consumption. And they can conduct simple polls to determine who is and isn’t retaining key information.
Considering the Internet will likely cause disruptions with so many recent spikes in usage, leaders should start looking for a cellular communication augmentation and contingency — a strategy that could save a lot of time and energy during this crisis.