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Many people will be thinking about the speed of their home Wi-Fi but far more significant is the speed of access to the Internet.

Broadband  connectivity may be subject to contention: where several homes are competing for the same bandwidth to reach the telephone exchange and beyond. This will vary according to other people in your street using high speed broadband. Contention rates are often lower with business broadband packages.

In addition, many broadband technologies (at least in the UK) are designed for faster download than upload. That’s fine when streaming video from YourTube, Netflix, etc. but not so good when taking part in two-way conversations.

The actual bandwidth can be measured with various websites/apps (such as https://speedtest.net or https://samknows.com/) and it may be necessary to consider what others in the household are using the Internet for when you’re trying to deliver an important presentation…

Bandwidth is not the only factor: audio and video conferencing is particularly sensitive to latency and jitter. These are less of a concern for web browsing.

Businesses should pay attention to the following:

  • There is going to be an assumption that everyone has broadband but what if they don’t? Who will pay for the installation of a broadband service for staff to work from home?
  • Consider whether you can supply a mobile wireless router that uses 4G (separate from their mobile phone and often called a MiFi device) for workers with limited or no connectivity.
  • Check your mobile contract – if employees use their mobile for tethering will you end up with unexpected and expensive bills for data outside your plan?

There’s more information in these links:

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