Internet speeds drop as more people work from home

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(KTXL) — While working from home, if you have been on video conference calls and noticed the quality is not that great it is likely because a lot of your neighbors are doing the same thing — and that poor quality may be the new normal.

“Since last week, speeds have dropped about 10%, even though usage is up 100%, according to some statistics,” said Don Vilfer, the owner of Digital Evidence Ventures in Roseville.

Vilfer said, for now, internet service providers’ networks are holding up in the U.S. But elsewhere there have been massive changes.

“So in Europe, Netflix, Apple, they’ve cut back the resolution of their streaming services to standard definition or HD. You can’t stream 4k in a lot of European countries. So that might be next here,” Vilfer explained.

So far, CNET is reporting broadband companies in the U.S. have claimed their networks can handle the extra traffic.

But experts are skeptical. One Federal Communications commissioner even called for her agency to report daily on the state of communications networks in the U.S., similar to what is done after natural disasters.

“The more monitoring that is done during a time like this the better,” Vilfer said.

Meanwhile, Vilfer said to improve quality around the house, remove devices off the Wi-Fi that are not in use or plug your laptop into an ethernet cable, as even the fastest Wi-Fi is still slower than a hardline.

There are also Wi-Fi repeaters that can extend the network around your home. But Vilfer warns working from home means you may not have the same network security you would at your office.

“Your security is only as good as how you’re connecting,” he explained. “So make sure you’re not on an open Wi-Fi.”

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