February 1, 2018 by Pam Ferguson

New Research Shows Consumer Wi-Fi is a Double-edged Sword


In my last blog post, I let you know about a new whitepaper that Parks Associates developed for Calix on the state of the Connected Home. In this post, I want to take a look at some of the key findings in the report on the state of consumer Wi-Fi.

Not surprisingly, the white paper finds that the use of broadband services in North America is at an all-time high. 117 million households on the continent now enjoy broadband connectivity, and 76 percent of these are using Wi-Fi as their primary method of connecting to their home network.

This is hardly surprising either since most of us view our Wi-Fi connection as indispensable. As the white paper notes, on average we connect nine different devices to our home Wi-Fi networks. And, while we're connected, we perform a wide variety of activities using these devices—like communicating with friends and family, sharing photos and videos, streaming movies and music, and interacting on social media.

More and more, we also rely on Wi-Fi to connect a rapidly growing list of smart home devices to manage various aspects of our homes, such as smart locks, thermostats and security systems. As noted in the white paper, 26 percent of U.S. households with a broadband connection own at least one smart home device today, with sales of smart home units of all kinds expected to grow to about 442 million by 2020.

Given the growing importance of Wi-Fi in our connected homes, one notable finding highlighted in the white paper is the significant percentage of households that experience ongoing challenges with Wi-Fi connectivity and performance. 

For example, the research highlighted in the white paper shows that 37 percent of broadband households report that their Wi-Fi seems slow, 20 percent report Wi-Fi coverage problems in the past year, and 19 percent report that their Wi-Fi network stops working almost weekly. 

So for all of its many benefits, home Wi-Fi is a double-edged sword. It's the foundation of the connected home, and we rely on it in so many areas of our lives, but for many of us, it represents a significant source of frustration and disappointment.

For that reason, the white paper suggests that helping subscribers with their Wi-Fi issues presents “another opportunity where service providers can address consumer demands for ease of use.”

Get your copy of the whitepaper!

To learn more about the state of consumer Wi-Fi and the opportunity this presents for CSPs to stake their claim in the connected home, download your free copy of the white paper today.