April 14, 2020 by Bridget Watkins

‘The One’ Where You’re Not Just Working from Home


Have you seen the one where everyone is at home and there are battles over bandwidth? Who gets to zoom, stream, or game first? Or when all of those things are happening at once in multiple locations throughout the house? This is no reality TV show. It is the reality for many homes over the past month as Internet traffic increases in our new “everyone at home” environment.

So, what does the data* tell us is happening?

  1. Overall work from home activity continues to increase. Our data shows a 37 percent increase in work from home traffic for residential subscribers since March 17. As a side note, streaming traffic is up 35 percent and gaming traffic is up 41 percent.
  2. In February, 32.1 percent of homes demonstrated work from home traffic, but in the last month this rose to 42.2 percent.
  3. Wi-Fi experiences are having a difficult time keeping up with demand of all the new devices being connected simultaneously to the home network. As a result, we’ve seen an explosion in traffic for those looking at Wi-Fi 6 solutions at blastwifi.com, up 1650 percent in the past two weeks.
  4. Even more importantly overall usage is growing rapidly as we work from home, school from home, and stay at home. In fact, usage is up 37 percent since February, steadily growing week over week. And this growth is in BOTH upstream and downstream traffic. 

What does this mean for subscribers?

For subscribers without sufficient download AND upload capacity, this can mean extreme frustration. They can experience buffering, video freezing, inability to participate in online meetings or classes, and poor quality across the board. This is frequently demonstrated in the number of times they are maxing out their available bandwidth, also known as Service Limit Hits. So, what’s been happening the last few weeks as more areas implemented stay at home orders? Logically, more people are maxing out their current service. 


So, what can you do?

You should use data to make decisions. Fortunately, there are great options to help subscribers improve their experience. The two most impactful actions you can take immediately are:

  1. Use data to identify those who are having service limits hits. Then offer them an upgrade or automatically upgrade them to the next tier for a period of time. Watch to make sure this is enough for them. You might need to move them up more than one tier.
  2. Offer your subscribers the latest Wi-Fi experience with Wi-Fi 6. Make sure their home network can handle traffic coming from more devices all at once, without dropping anything.

A robust service delivery and an exceptional experience within the home, makes working from home, schooling from home, and everyone at home manageable.  

Don’t forget, Calix is here to help. Be sure to check out the replay of our March webinar to hear how WCTEL is addressing some of these changing subscriber needs. Check out our COVID-19 Resources page and be sure to register for our April webinar “Today’s new reality: 3 things service providers can do for their subscribers.”  We are here to help, reach out any time. 


*Data is aggregated from Calix Marketing Cloud.