|How Much Is Enough? The big guys are always advertising faster speeds, better ping time, or bigger packages as if the average American household is running some sort of covert operation from their homes.
Since 2007, the average internet connection speed has gone from around 4 Mbps to 19 Mbps. Those numbers may seem small if your customers are bombarded with advertisements for gig speeds. But the data says otherwise. We know it’s often difficult to convince your customers of this, so we did some research to back you up.
In a recent blog we published on our site we shared these findings: “As we all know, Mbps stands for “megabits per second” and typically refers to the total volume of data that you can either download or upload at any given second. If a customer is trying to go beyond their bandwidth means, they’ll notice delays in page loading, frequent buffering stops on videos, etc… So they often think they need as many Mbps as they can possibly get. But in reality, having more isn’t always the answer. Why? Because each webpage or app only contains a limited amount of data that needs to be transferred at any single moment.
Let’s take a look at Netflix, arguably one of the most popular streaming services, and what a good portion of your customers are most likely using your internet services for. Netflix recommends that to enjoy their shows and movies, you should have from 3 to 15mbps. That’s right, you only need 15 Mbps of bandwidth to be able to enjoy UHD Netflix streaming. The largest bandwidth hogs of the internet are games and even those rarely run more than 20mbps.
So if a customer is home watching Netflix while Billy is playing games on his iPad and Sarah is scrolling through Instagram do they really need 200 Mbps or even more to do it all?
No, a 25 Mbps plan would most likely be sufficient. And don’t even get us started on ping time…”
Of course, Washington Broadband is looking to the future by overbuilding wireless in more densely populated areas with cable and even fiber to the home. We are also constantly applying new technologies in wireless and improving feeds to our towers.
But the reality is we grow with the real usage of the Internet, not to the government only representing false special interest claims that you need fiber today. Even in areas where we build fiber, almost nobody asks for gigabit service. Do you really need a race car to drive down a city street? That’s what asking for gigabit when you only use a fraction of the speed equates to. Wireless is a viable transport of Internet that will last for years keeping up with our customers needs. We’re still very proud of that part of our network!