Cisco research shows that a significant number of workers globally are having remote work efforts and their mix is impacted by poor broadband connectivity.
Latest company Broadband Index, released last month, surveyed 60,000 workers in 30 countries to learn more about their home broadband access, quality and usage. The findings show that people today value Internet access more than ever before and feel that global access to a fast, reliable connection is key to economic and social growth. .
Promoting work-from-home shifts
Business models that combine office and remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic largely rely on an internet connection that employees have access to. According to Cisco, while 84% of respondents actively use broadband at home for 4 or more hours a day, 75% of workers said broadband services need to improve significantly to support digital current number of employees.
Internet connectivity has also become more strained, especially as white-collar workers have been confined to their homes for the past two years. Of those surveyed by Cisco, 60% live in households where more than three people use the Internet at the same time.
With 48% of the world’s workforce currently relying on the Internet at home to work or run their own business, 43% of respondents plan to upgrade their services in the next 12 months to handle the additional demands being placed on their broadband connection.
Although mandatory work-from-home orders have been lifted in many places, a large proportion of workers remain at home for most of the workweek. Many people have embraced this trend holistically, while a significant percentage of those facing forced return to the office said they would instead of finding a new job than losing the opportunity to work from home.
Jonathan Davidson, executive vice president and general manager, large-scale infrastructure group at Cisco, says that reliable, high-quality, secure Internet is critical, especially if the models do the combination wants to be successful.
“[Cisco is] working closely with our global service provider clients to transform the economics of the internet and help them re-imagine internet infrastructure to make it better and more accessible to connects more people and businesses that rely on it,” he said.
Addressing the digital gap?
While bandwidth is important for people who work remotely, having an Internet connection of any quality is a luxury in some parts of the world. Guy Diedrich, senior vice president and global director of innovation at Cisco, notes that more than 40% of the world is still unconnected.
“Failing to connect those 3.4 billion people over the next 10 years risks widening the digital divide even further,” says Diedrich. “As business leaders and technologists, we must help the rising tide of the digital age lift all ships.”
Infrastructure, or lack of infrastructure, plays an important role in restricting internet access. Rural and remote areas are still more likely to remain offline, as the cost of installing the necessary equipment can be up to five times higher than in urban areas. As communities become poorer or less educated, these costs can be exacerbated, meaning that telecommunications needs significant incentives to connect them. (However, the problem is not limited to developing countries; a Research from Reviews.org in 2021 shows that in the United States, the 10 least connected states all have large rural populations and high rates of rural poverty.)
Data from the Broadband Index further underscore concerns about the digital divide: 65% of respondents said access to affordable and reliable broadband will become an issue growth, especially as connectivity becomes increasingly important to employment and educational opportunities. Furthermore, 58% of those surveyed said they were unable to access important services such as online medical appointment booking, online education, social care and utility services during the lockdown. due to unreliable broadband connection.
Global broadband access and connectivity has also become a political topic, with governments around the world often including internet promises in their election manifestos.
In the UK, for example, the Conservatives promised to provide full fiber-optic broadband to 95% of the population in their 2015, 2017 and 2019 manifestos. In The last election in Great BritainThe Labor Party went a step further, pledging to nationalize parts of BT and provide free full fiber broadband.
According to Cisco, 75% of respondents would like to see governments accelerate plans to ensure reliable and high-speed Internet is available to all.
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