Event recap: Exploring the hidden impact of WiFi installations
Last week, we held an exclusive online event with the Fiber Broadband Association to talk all things installation—including where today’s WiFi install process goes sideways, and how this impacts subscriber experiences.
Our panel of experts, featuring Adlane Fellah of Maravedis Research LLC, RouteThis VP of Engineering Mark Leonard, and RouteThis CEO Jason Moore, discussed why installations are problematic (and expensive!) for ISP teams and how setting up WiFi properly from the start helps ISPs deliver on subscriber expectations.
In case you weren’t able to attend, here’s a quick recap of the session—and you can watch the full recording here.
Why are WiFi installations so problematic?
As our panel discussed, there’s a concern in the industry that WiFi installations have been relatively neglected as far as their role in positive subscriber experiences is concerned. They’re certainly a priority for ISPs in terms of getting subscribers up and running—but rarely are they considered through the lens of how they impact subscribers.
This laser focus on productivity means that while ISPs are generally satisfied that subscribers will have internet access, they aren’t always so confident in the subscriber experience. As Fellah shared, recent data shows that around 55% of ISPs are only somewhat confident—or less so—that subscribers will have a great experience after a tech leaves.
Interestingly, though the numbers didn’t match exactly, polls throughout the session showed a similar uncertainty about subscriber experiences.
To add to that, it’s hit or miss whether subscribers see success with pods. Many are wary of upsells, and for those who have the appropriate number of pods for their home, only 7% of ISPs are confident they’re self-installing those pods correctly.
This leaves subscribers in a precarious position; as excited as they are about their new internet package, there’s a big likelihood they’ll run into connectivity issues instead.
"In the install, a lot of things can go very right or very wrong. If you get the installation right, you save yourself a lot of potential problems down the road. But unfortunately, there are a lot of challenges that take place inside of technician visits today."
Jason Moore, CEO, RouteThis
How this becomes expensive for ISPs
This means that by the time a new subscriber is all set up, the ISP has put up to $280 into that subscriber. But what happens when there’s an issue?
To add to this, Moore pointed out that often, ISPs will offer subscribers a discount or a month of free service to make up for a poor experience. This brings the cost of this new subscriber up to nearly $450 + whatever their discount ends up amounting to—all before you see any ROI from that subscriber.
And if they churn from that experience, then you’ve spent all that money for nothing.
How this becomes expensive for ISPs
As our panel shared, better subscriber experiences hinge on better WiFi installations. And as part of that, Moore and Leonard shared details of RouteThis Certify, a new solution introduced to help field technicians deliver flawless WiFi at install.
As Moore explained, it’s all about looking at WiFi in a new way. These issues are not going away; ISPs can choose to field the ever-increasing number of calls, or they can look into methods for preventing those calls in the first place.
“WiFi is a victim of its success,” Fellah added. “There are already so many devices connected, competing for airtime. And it’s not going to get any better; there are going to be more and more connected devices. The problem is just going to grow.”