Do You Have Enough Bandwidth for Back-to-School?

August 31, 2021

Skt News Article August 2021 Featured Image Back To School Bandwidth

It’s that season – the sunset of the summer. Last-minute vacations are just a memory with autumn and cooler temperatures (hopefully) on their way. The back-to-school bustle is on – kids, parents, and teachers are all trying to get back into a routine.

Afternoons and evenings are peak times for high bandwidth use. While students are working on homework, someone else is streaming a TV show, playing a video game, or watching YouTube. To keep everyone connected and students zipping through each task and on to the next efficiently, families need plenty of bandwidth. So, the question is, do you have “GET MORE BANDWIDTH” on your back-to-school to-do list? If not, you might want to put it at the top. This fun video shows exactly why.

Skt Lp Video Image Bandwidth

What is Bandwidth?

According to a Deloitte report, the pandemic has bolstered the use of gadgets in an average U.S. household to 25 connected devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, streaming devices, smart TVs, smart home devices, gaming consoles, and security systems.

“When we talk to customers about their bandwidth needs, we have a checklist that we go through to determine the type and number of devices used in the home,” SKT Customer Service Manager Jill McMillan said. “Often, there are internet-connected devices that may not be top of mind for a customer, but they’re using up bandwidth. You also have to consider that you may not be actively using a device, but it is still connected and using bandwidth. If you have a low speed package, that’s going to add up quickly and cause buffering and other problems.”

Some households with one or two users can get by on 25 Mbps, but they may need to be aware of their online activities and connected devices, Jill says. A 25 Mbps connection can work well for light social media, email or video streaming, but multiple connected devices will quickly use up available bandwidth. Even a device sitting idle can pull bandwidth. If a faster speed isn’t available, a solution can be to disconnect devices from the network if they’re not in use. For gaming or heavy use of video and streaming shows and movies, especially 4k, you’ll need at least 50-100 Mbps. Streaming a single 4K movie will eat up more than 25 Mbps.

In addition to streaming and gaming, remote work and education are huge drivers of bandwidth use. A single student or remote worker could use 25 Mbps between video calling or streaming other video, internet-based phone systems, web browsing, file upload/download, and more.

As you can see – from schoolwork to streaming to gaming – a household can quickly max out their bandwidth, particularly in the evenings when everyone is at home. Additional speed (bandwidth) may be needed to enhance performance during these times, especially when homework depends upon a good connection.

According to Nielsen, an average household can expect bandwidth needs to grow by 50% year over year. If you still have the same internet speed that you had a few years ago, chances are you’re maxing out and experiencing issues, at least during high traffic times.

SKT recommends doing an annual review of your devices, usage, and Wi-Fi network. To help make a more educated decision, SKT’s Managed Wi-Fi routers offer reporting to determine your household’s actual use. Call SKT for a free review with one of our customer service representatives at 888.758.8976 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or request one online here. We’re here to make sure your family has the right internet package to support all your online activities – especially as this new school year begins.