**Story from GoldenWest**
Except instead of planes coming and going from an airport, packets of data continuously enter and leave the network. Engineers monitor and direct traffic by ensuring all data moves through the network quickly and accurately without backlogs or collisions.
“It’s a lot like air traffic control,” said Golden West Director of Engineering and Operations Nick Rogness. “The thing is, there’s usually a traditional pattern of planes (data) coming and leaving. That pattern is changing, and the traffic is increasing.”
In fact, internet usage on Golden West’s network has increased between 25 and 30% since COVID-19 arrived in the area. Golden West takes its responsibility of connecting its customers seriously, and its network is up for the challenge.
“The network has been fundamentally solid,” Rogness said. “We have enough capacity to support our customers through this.”
Quality Broadband Network & People
The investment Golden West has made in its quality broadband network over the last decade allowed the company to meet the sudden and significant increased demand, said Golden West CEO/General Manager Denny Law.
“Our customers are seeing the benefit of that investment today,” Law said. “I know that the quality of the service our customers are receiving stacks up to anywhere. Period.”
Beyond capacity, Golden West also has the right people in place to keep the network running.
That team recently quickly and successfully upgraded the network to handle the increase bandwidth (data) usage. The updates were the equivalent of opening additional runways to better accommodate needs by location.
Usage Continues to Increase
Golden West continues to track usage, which keeps rising as the number of people working and learning from home continues to grow.
“We are working today to ensure the network doesn’t become congested in the future,” explains Rogness. “We have seen traffic levels like this before, during Cyber Monday for example, but never sustained for a prolonged time like it has been over the last few weeks.”
If customers are experiencing slower internet speeds, other factors could be to blame.
Inside your home, for example, multiple users on multiple devices connecting at the same time may push the threshold of your subscribed speed. Consider a speed upgrade or spread out usage.
Internet Is Being Taxed Globally
And just like planes that enter or leave an airport and airspace, Golden West has no control over the data before it arrives or after it leaves our network.
“The global state of the internet is being taxed,” Rogness emphasized. “You’re seeing this across the news.”
Streaming services like Netflix and YouTube have seen an increase in video consumption and have even turned down the resolution they deliver in the European Union and other countries to standard definition. Zoom usage was skyrocketing even before the pandemic.
“Without a doubt, the number one thing people are going to have an issue with is content availability on the global internet,” Rogness said. “If things seem slow, it’s likely because everybody is watching Netflix (or YouTube or using Zoom).”
The Golden West Internet Help Desk is ready to assist customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year at 1-855-888-7777.