U.S. FCC Releases Home Network Tips in Time of Coronavirus

At a time when many Americans are working from home, the Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a helpful guide on optimizing networking system performance at home.

Released at the end of March, the FCC’s Consumer Guide offers the following suggestions to help consumers ensure uninterrupted access to the Internet:

  • Check your plan—Many people find that their existing broadband speed limits in their subscription do not account for their current usage. Upgrading your limits may be a solution.
  • Test your speed—You should also test your broadband speed in various locations around your home with any of the widely available speed test apps. If your tested speeds are slower than expected, check with your service provider for troubleshooting tips. In some cases, a router upgrade may also be required.
  • Assess in-home connectivity—Most wireless routers have two or more Wi-Fi signals, one in the 2.4 GHz band and one in the 5 GHz band. Where possible, switch devices on which you depend for work or school to the 5 GHz network. Also, make sure your router is in a central location, or consider adding Wi-Fi range extenders or mesh network routers to your system.
  • Create an Internet schedule—To minimize broadband access interruptions during critical times, consider setting daily household schedules for Internet use. For example, scheduling access to graphic-intensive cloud-based games to less busy times of the day may help to alleviate performance latency during work- or school-related uses.
  • Explore other options—You may be able to offload some demand for broadband access by keeping your cellphones on cellular service when at home, instead of defaulting to your home Wi-Fi network.

Read the FCC’s Consumer Guide on home networking tips.

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