Why is consistency in WiFi delivery so difficult?

Written by Erin Penney

Did you know that four of the top five tech issues consumers call into ISP support teams for are WiFi network issues? It’s true—and it means that the vast majority of the calls support teams need to deal with have nothing to do with infrastructure or broadband service.

Subscribers expect ISPs to support and troubleshoot their in-home networks. But for many ISPs, that’s much easier said than done.

Over the last few months, we’ve been talking a lot here at RouteThis about why current solutions don’t help meet this expectation in a reasonable way. It boils down to an industry-wide reliance on hardware, which introduces two core issues:

 

Fragmentation

Though ISPs often use customer premise equipment (CPE) to help troubleshoot problems on home networks, it created an entirely different issue: subscriber base fragmentation. Essentially, between incomplete rollouts, vendor changes, hardware changes, and consumers buying direct, it’s become impossible for ISPs to ensure that any two home environments provide consistent levels of visibility.

This completely defeats the purpose of having a control device in the home. It means that agents must learn multiple systems and processes for troubleshooting—and that unless subscribers have your most recent device, agents still won’t be able to see what’s happening on the network.

Mesh misapplications

Because ISPs recognize that they’re going to get support calls for WiFi issues, some have taken steps beyond providing routers to provide mesh system upsells for subscribers in the hopes that it helps stabilize their network.

Often, though, this ends up creating more of an issue that it resolves. If the subscriber’s original issue isn’t their network coverage or potential dead spots, mesh solutions won’t help—and applying them just creates extra variables that support teams need to work around. When the issue does require mesh, it often doesn’t get set up properly—so it creates an entirely new support ticket.

“What we’re seeing right now is a big push in the industry toward getting WiFi into the home. But every one of two mesh pieces are ending up in homes that don’t need it—and only about 60% of those devices get set up properly.”

–Jason Moore, Co-founder and CEO, RouteThis

 

How can ISPs solve these issues?

Ultimately, the key to resolving the issues of CPE fragmentation and mesh misapplications is consistency for WiFi delivery. ISP teams need an approach that can provide complete visibility, even when they need to work around subscribers’ hardware, navigate mesh systems, and make up for it if subscribers can’t answer questions about tech specs.

chat-bubbles

So let’s talk about how RouteThis can help you with that consistency.