Based on analysis of live data from nearly 3,000 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) around the world, RouteThis, a global leader in remote Wi-Fi network diagnostics and troubleshooting for ISPs and smart home brands, today revealed that Internet users in North America are facing significant connectivity issues despite increases in connection speeds. Although upstream speeds have risen 51% and downstream speeds have risen 125%, pandemic-related behavioral shifts and device upgrades have increased demand on home Wi-Fi environments.

“Every new device added to a home network comes with new requirements and increases the opportunity for a poor subscriber experience,” says Jason Moore, CEO of RouteThis, “North America’s home networks host the highest median number of devices (nine), and with more than six or seven devices, it’s likely at least one will suffer from a bad connection. Today, that is a common number because people have so many smart devices ranging from doorbells to electric car charging stations in their homes.”

Up to half an ISP’s support engagements can be traced back to problems with the home Wi-Fi setup, rather than with the lines or equipment itself, so ISPs can dramatically improve customer satisfaction while reducing costs by diagnosing and resolving these problems more efficiently. RouteThis data shows that roughly 25% of diagnostic scans reveal a less congested Wi-Fi channel available, while 30% indicate an underlying problem of signal strength, even with no issues with the home Internet connection.

“One of the biggest challenges that ISPs face is supporting their customers with these types of issues on top of the diverse set of CPEs,” Moore says. “North American ISPs have by and large put fantastic CPEs into their customer homes, but challenges remain around educating customers on Wi-Fi, and this remains one of the biggest drivers of expensive support calls and unnecessary technician visits.”