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ISE Columnist Sharon Vollman, Editorial Director

Falling Into Winter Bliss?

Oct. 1, 2017
The most wonderful thing about late October is how it encourages us to get cozy and enjoy the simple pleasures of winter drawing near. For some, there’s nothing quite like […]

The most wonderful thing about late October is how it encourages us to get cozy and enjoy the simple pleasures of winter drawing near. For some, there’s nothing quite like being wrapped in an old sweater, sitting near the fire, and savoring the aroma of hearty soup simmering on the stove.

With more time indoors, we envision the simple pleasures of spending time with our loved ones, on our devices in opposite rooms of the house, immersed in our own Internet worlds. Ah, the bliss! (???) There’s nothing that says family togetherness like one sibling telling another to stop hogging the bandwidth.

What’s the answer? (My old school self says take the devices and put them in a drawer for a good portion of the day.) My editor self says that our home-bandwidth budgets are going to be increasingly challenged this winter.

Why? Because not only are we on our devices during most of our waking hours, but the time we spend watching YouTube on a television has doubled year over year. Online video has come to the living room — and bedroom, den, playroom, and anywhere else TV screens are found. So, we aren’t abandoning our TV screens. Rather, we’re adding to what we watch on them.

All of this causes packet drops when we’re watching our beloved NFL team in real time, impacts latency for gamers, and makes our favorite Spotify channels sound like they have the hiccups.

This can turn cozy Kumbaya moments with our families into angst-filled, sibling rivalries gone mad. It can make mothers and fathers turn against each other when the NFL channel competes with a binge-session of Grace and Frankie.

But, there’s a solution. It’s as easy as increasing your home networks’ bandwidth speed. A simple call to your local provider should do the trick. Boost your home network up to the highest Internet speed in the country. A whopping 28.1 megabits per second should make your time indoors more blissful. (The average speed across the US is actually 18.7 Mbps. Blazing fast, right?)

That’s if you live in the District of Columbia, Delaware, or Massachusetts. (These 3 states have the fastest speeds in the country: 28.1 Mbps. Really?)

For those of us at the bottom of the list, it’s not as pretty. Even in the 3rd quarter of 2017, the states of Idaho, New Mexico, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Colorado, are still stuck BELOW 18.7 Mbps.

I don’t mean to be negative, but ouch! In my humble house of 2 empty-nesters, 2 televisions, 4 devices, and an Ecobee thermostat, that 18.7 Mbps could be challenging. For others with kids and REAL bandwidth bandits, those sluggish speeds could plunge them into one very cold, dark Internet-challenged winter.


About the Author

Sharon Vollman | Editor-in-Chief, ISE Magazine

Sharon Vollman is Editor-in-Chief of ISE Magazine. She oversees the strategic direction and content for ISE Magazine. She also leads the educational content development for ISE EXPO. Vollman has created educational partnerships with the major communications and entertainment providers including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Cincinnati Bell. She has covered the telecom industry since 1996. Prior to that, she worked in advertising with Ogilvy & Mather and CME. Vollman has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Iowa.