By Amir Kotler CEO of Veego, Inc.
We all received the bad news about having to go into isolation for an extended amount of time as the Coronavirus runs its course. Many of us spent, and continue to spend, a lot of time with our laptops, smartphones and the ubiquitous internet. I work remotely quite a bit so this wasn’t exactly a 24/7 punishment, but I did miss the chance to go out and socialize. Moving forward, many of us will still be spending several more weeks at home given the current state of affairs.
Like so many of my fellow Corona “isolationists”, in addition to getting some work done, I might also watch a movie, play some games, browse a bit or catch up on my online reading. That seems to be the routine for many of my “co-isolationists” as well.
I spend a lot of time monitoring internet usage. I study the statistics very carefully. In the last week, no doubt due to COVID-19, internet usage has spiked upward, and the bandwidth used for streaming (as a result of movies, YouTube and the like) has increased even more. This upward spike seems to be, well, let’s call it for what it is: a pandemic! People don’t want to mingle much these days. Even “non-isolationists” are trying to remain healthy by staying home more hours and spending time on the internet, sometimes nearly all day.
More users put more strain on the internet service-delivery system. As a result, many internet service providers (ISPs) are reporting mammoth demand increases along with service and support problems. With so many more users staying home and working on the internet, suddenly, unanticipated service congestion is occurring near domiciles with many more last-mile problems in the service-delivery chain.
Even when the internet service arrives at residences without trouble, users still suffer from related issues within the home. For example, with so many more users staying home and working on the internet, ISPs are reporting a substantial amount of WiFi interference between neighbors who live in close proximity to one another.
Even tiny coverage issues are becoming new support obstacles. Persons (like me) who are in isolation often go off to quarantine in a remote part of the home where the WiFi hasn’t been used before. They are discovering, to their dismay, that their WiFi coverage is intermittent—intervals of good coverage are followed by interludes of time when they cannot get an internet connection at all.
For all of these reasons and more, users are turning to their ISPs for help. The number of daily support calls is skyrocketing, putting pressure on ISP customer care systems.
What about when a user needs an extender for better WiFi coverage, or a router replacement, or a technician visit for any other “normal” reason? How can “isolationists” accept technicians into their homes? What technician wants to be dispatched to a home with a Coronavirus isolationist like me? What employer wants to send technicians to such homes only to come back infected?
A Circle of Light in a Time of Gloom
Fortunately, with new detection and remediation technologies available to ISPs, they are armed with advanced capabilities to help deal with many of these Corona-induced problems. Here’s what such solutions are helping to achieve:
- Automatically detects abnormalities in internet service and reports them to users and customer service representatives (CSRs)
- Tells the user if an extender will solve a coverage problem
- Locates the source of each problem (service cloud? last mile? router? WiFi? device?)
- Analyzes the root cause of each problem and indicates if it belongs to the ISP or is external
- Auto-repairs many between-home and in-home WiFi interference issues and other problems
- Keeps a history of problematic events for later analysis
What the ISP beneficiaries of this technology love is that it deflects so many support calls, reduces technician visits, eliminates unnecessary router replacements and recommends real solutions that solve user problems — especially in these trying times.
Coronavirus reminds us that we don’t live in a perfect world, but, in the internet-service domain, technology innovation continues to solve what can be some of the most important challenges we face.
About the Author
Amir Kotler is a CEO of both start-ups and established enterprises with multiple assets and holdings. He currently holds the post of CEO for Veego, Inc., a technology leader focused on bringing artificial intelligence and other breakthrough technologies to the automatic detection, analysis and resolution of smart-home device problems. Amir holds an MBA in Marketing from the University of Manchester.