Flattening the Digital Curve

I’m seeing concerns and complaints regarding the quality and availability of internet connections due to the Physical Isolation rules and now the impacts of weather. The truth is the infrastructure of the last mile providers isn’t developed to handle everyone on at the same time. That’s going to be different for different providers in different neighborhoods, but in general the Telco’s use formulas to keep infrastructure investments appropriate and those algorithms isn’t account for a pandemic, or 4K video.

Just as most of US have adopted safe distancing practices, are wearing masks and washing hands, there are things we can do in our Digital Lifestyle that can help everyone get through this experience together, sane and healthy.

The simplest to thing that can be done is to lower the resolution of the YouTube or chat application. How to do that will vary from Application or Webpage but it’s typically not difficult to do. While watching John Oliver at 140 p is a little rough – 240 or even 360 is just fine, and the humor just as poignant.

The same can be sure for any other instructional video. If you are having issues with dropped frames while trying to Zoom they suggest you switch to audio only which will reduce the bandwidth required significantly.