Broadband Stories

Colorado Broadband Office News

In May, 2020, we launched the Broadband Stories survey to find out about Coloradans’ experience using the internet during the pandemic. We knew that reliance on broadband had become even more central to daily life as many Coloradans shifted to working, learning, and accessing critical services from home. We are continuing to collect these stories and will update results each quarter. We encourage you to take the survey each quarter so that we can learn how your experience has evolved over time.

Results: May – July 2020

During this period we received over 500 responses. Below are some of the highlights and trends from the survey.

Overall Internet Experience

Over the past three months, only 18% of respondents described their internet service as “Great, meets my needs”, while nearly 27% chose the option “My internet is terrible, it does not meet my needs at all.”

Users and Devices

Among our survey takers, 95% of homes have at least one person working or learning from home, with many homes having multiple adults and children using the internet at the same time.

With numerous adults and children working and learning from home, it’s no surprise that nearly 85% of these homes have at least four devices connected to their home network.

Key Issues

While many people said their internet was adequate for their needs, many mentioned that they upgraded or switched providers in order to get sufficient service to meet their new work and school demands. Other responses mention needing to upgrade but lacking options to upgrade or not being able to afford upgrades.

I require the higher internet speed level to accommodate my needs for work, but it is double the amount of money that I cannot afford at this time.

Numerous responses describe outages, dropped services, and router and modem issues.

There are times where I lose the internet for a few minutes to a few hours.
Most days the internet would go down between 10am-2pm and would not be available again until after 6 or 7pm. This meant that I was working 6-7 days per week to get my 40hours of work completed.
We constantly have issues with the service dropping throughout the day and even overnight. If you call [the ISP] they tell you to just reset your modem. We shouldn’t have to reset the modem multiple times a day!!

Other people simply expressed their frustration about dealing with slow speeds and overloaded networks:

…we would have to plan on upload times so that we did not impact the other’s work.
Since COVID, we have experienced a significant decrease in speeds – so much so that streaming is all but impossible.

… internet speeds can be very slow, resulting in frozen or choppy video conferencing feeds. This isn’t just an annoyance, but can often directly affect my productivity and ability to interact with coworkers and clients in an effective manner.