COVID-19 has transitioned many companies to remote labor — and while that's been beneficial for many companies, it's also put their telecommunications systems under significant strain. With more companies trying to expand their telecommunications networks and balance their load, it becomes important to consult with professionals, expand, develop, and secure cabling infrastructure. Here's what you need to know about the impact of COVID-19 on networks, as well as the potential and projected changes coming in the future.
Robuck, Mike. "Cogent Sees Spike in Corporate Bandwidth Demand Due to WFH." FierceTelecom, 8 May 2020,
"Kentik Virtual Panel Series, Part 2: How Akamai, Uber and Verizon Media Are Supporting Remote Work and Digital Experience." Kentik Blog,
Network Traffic Trends in a Post-COVID World
People are now working from home, learning online, and otherwise connecting virtually. Even businesses that have some people coming in are staggering labor — people may only come in half the week or when they are scheduled for meetings. Networks are currently burdened with significantly greater traffic and activity, as individuals are now communicating almost entirely online. Things that were once face-to-face, in-person meetings are now meetings on Zoom, Skype, Google Meets, or Microsoft Teams.
Companies have been seeing anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent increases in traffic. Traffic has increased generally over the internet, including both cellular services and fiber. For many companies, they're seeing an unprecedented amount of access outside of the network itself.
This can ultimately lead to networks slowing down — and both productivity and security issues can become more significant.
But these changes also aren't temporary. Many companies have been riding out network issues because they expect that COVID will eventually be over and they'll be able to move their staff back into their brick and mortar offices.. While COVID will eventually be over, companies can't just assume that their employees are going to come back into the office. Many employees have adapted to working from home and they now prefer it. Companies are going to find employees demanding flex-time and work-from-home in the future, and the best talent is going to need these types of accommodations.
So, while network traffic trends may decrease slightly in the post-COVID world, they're also probably going to remain higher than they were before. Companies need to adapt to the idea that at least some of their employees will continue to work from home and that at least some of their employees will start to use greater levels of system resources than before.
Developing Beyond Low Voltage, Telecommunications Network Plateaus
VoIP, teleconferencing, video conferencing, VPN, large-scale webcast events — all this technology can lead to plateaus when it comes to low voltage networking. Every business essentially runs on low voltage networking and when their low voltage networking isn't sufficient, they can experience problems. But low voltage networking can be expanded, with better cabling and improved cable management.
Telephone lines, cable lines, and more can all be installed by low voltage contractors, who are experts in system load and network development. For companies that are now struggling with increasing their capacity, low voltage contractors will be able to create a system that doesn't just work right now but also into the future. This type of future-proofing is incredibly important for businesses that don't want to have to invest in their network infrastructure again and again.
Without advancement, low voltage networking can plateau. Companies may find themselves experiencing bad call quality, dropped calls, or rejected calls, because of their calling volume. Companies may find themselves struggling to use VoIP or video communications because they don't have the bandwidth available. This can be even more dramatic for those who have their data and voice connected, because overload on either the data or the voice side can affect the other side.
Low voltage, telecommunications networking is a simple, fast method of improving upon an organization's network capacity. Companies may be aware that they need improved low voltage networking if they find that they're experiencing persistent network load issues. And it isn't always just about expanding the network; sometimes it's about optimizing it. There are times when companies may find that their network is poorly optimized or organized.
Low voltage networks often expand organically. Multiple MSPs, IT contractors, or internal IT staff members may be responsible for adding to the low voltage network, which starts to become sprawling and difficult to maintain. Because of this, companies may find it difficult to fix their low voltage networks, or difficult to troubleshoot the areas that aren't operating effectively. But with a professional LVN company, network technicians will be able to trace and optimize all the lines, analyze network function, and improve upon the function.
All companies should be analyzing their networks periodically. But COVID-19 has made it more urgent. While other companies may have been assessing their network functions on an annual basis, they now need to assess it based on major, industry-wide changes. And since many companies are now changing their network functions and expanding their connectivity, it can become more difficult to find contractors who specialize in low voltage networks.
Building a Strong, Fast, and Reliable Network
There's been a significant jump in employment opportunities within the data and telecommunications industries — to keep up with demand and service. But that also means that companies are growing very aggressively and businesses need to be especially conscientious about the investments that they make.
Companies need to take a look at the future of their technology before they can build a strong, fast, and reliable network. Because the demands they have during COVID-19 may either be permanent or not, depending on how the company is intending to invest in remote work.
Keeping up with connectivity, new technology, and new development processes are key — such as fiber optics and new, direct upgrades. By upgrading a low voltage network, a company is able to future-proof its technology and will be able to meet its needs even in the future. If companies instead employ stopgap solutions, they may find that they need to upgrade their systems again in the future, which will ultimately be far more expensive than upgrading it all at once.
At the same time, companies need to ask themselves whether they are truly dedicating themselves to change. If the companies are going to be bringing people back into the offices, they may not need to upgrade their networks as substantially as if they are going to be remaining remote. But if they are going to be remaining remote, they should consider their own long-term growth. It's possible that they will need to expand their remote labor in the future, so simply meeting the needs of today will not ultimately work.
COVID-19 has radically changed many industries. But though COVID-19 will eventually dissipate, these changes will not. Many companies have already switched to permanent remote work and these jobs are never going to come back into the office. In the past, some companies relied on their own internal teams to develop their network systems — but now it becomes necessary for companies to consult with professionals regarding their existing network capacity and what they need in the future.
Even more important, companies should be aware that adjusting to remote work is often beneficial to them. They can reduce their overhead and their brick-and-mortar space and instead allow employees to work from home. Employees who work from home are often more productive and highly motivated. Working from home is cheaper for the company and lets the company tap into talent all over the world. But the company does need the infrastructure to support these changes, which many companies do not yet have.
By adopting new low voltage network systems now, companies will be able to improve upon their infrastructure before their infrastructure starts to interfere with productivity. Low voltage network systems can improve the performance of the internal network as well as the connectivity with remote employees.
Altogether, this improves the methods by which employees interact with the organization's network, data, and other employees. But there are challenges involved, which low voltage network contractors understand — many companies are operating on leaner budgets and need to make decisions that make sense to them financially. A low voltage network contractor can provide quotes for expanding a company's network, and show companies how they can improve their revenue through new technology.