In-home visibility: Why ISPs need it and how to get it

Written by Erin Penney

As an ISP, you know what happens on your network. You know how important it is to be able to see everything that happens, and how that visibility impacts your ability to resolve issues quickly. Your team can work more efficiently, your service meets consumers’ expectations, and your business stands to benefit from positive word of mouth.

But do you have the same visibility into the networks within subscribers’ homes?

For many, this may not feel like a concern. Technically, your service ends at the door. But consumer expectations are shifting; they expect you to resolve issues with the LAN, even if it’s not your issue, and if you can’t solve the issue, they’ll find an ISP who will.

In this situation, ISPs have three options.

 

Option 1: Leave it to your subscribers.

You can always leave the in-home network up to your subscribers. After all, it’s their home, their setup, and often, their devices.

But this option can be massively problematic for ISPs. Studies have shown that even given other options, 80% of consumers prefer their ISP to manage their entire internet experience, including in-home. When 55% of consumers experience daily issues with their home WiFi, and up to 80% of consumers will churn after more than one poor experience, leaving in-home networks to subscribers puts ISPs at risk for preventable churn and potential poor reviews and word of mouth.

 

Option 2: Introduce managed hardware options.

Introducing—or doubling down on—efforts to migrate subscribers to managed customer premise equipment (CPE) can provide your ISP with some visibility into in-home issues.

Along with the issues of cost and time to deploy, which we’ll get into in a minute, a core issue with this option is that the ISP has very little control over the situation. You can’t control when devices get phased out, when subscribers add their own devices after the CPE, or even how many subscribers agree to CPE in the first place.

On top of that, studies have shown that even with a well-executed deployment strategy, only about 50% of subscribers end up on managed devices. This means that support teams only ever get visibility for half of networks, and any strategic decisions made about these devices are only informed by half of your audience.

 

Option 3: Skip the hardware, go for software.

Everyone knows that hardware has a limited lifespan—and then when you have to replace it, it’s a hassle. It’s expensive to buy and deploy, it’s time-consuming to get them into every home, and it means support agents may need to learn entirely new processes and dashboards.

Using a software solution like RouteThis to monitor subscribers’ networks gives your ISP total visibility without the stress or expense of a hardware rollout. Just by introducing the solution to your support team, you’ll be able to look into any home network without worrying about what devices may have been added to it when you weren’t looking.

It means 100% visibility, every time. It means better subscriber experiences because you can resolve their issues. It means accurate strategic decisions because you know exactly how it will impact every single subscriber. And it means total control over the visibility your team has for issue resolution.

 

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Let’s talk about what in-home visibility would mean for you.