Today, effective digital communication is an essential part of work and life – and consumers expect always-on connectivity. Nonetheless, Wi-Fi can be an enormous source of frustration for them. In terms of customer experience, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), ISPs rank among the lowest of 47 industries, below social media and the US Postal Service.[1]

While CSPs and ISPs know they must keep up with consumer demands, maximizing the internet experience for subscribers is a challenge without the ability to diagnose and quickly identify where the problems lie.

Providers Often Bear the Blame for Poor Coverage

Many consumers don’t have the technical expertise to troubleshoot Wi-Fi issues, and ISPs end up bearing the blame for problems that are not necessarily their fault. For example, an ISP may deliver their advertised speed, but there are many other factors that can affect coverage, such as antiquated equipment, out-of-date firmware, signal congestion, and more.

Oftentimes, the real culprit is coverage, especially in larger homes because signal strength is blocked by physical structures and devices must be near the router. To remedy these issues, many consumers should use multiple Wi-Fi Access Points (APs) or mesh networks to get reliable Wi-Fi coverage and strong signal strength. What’s more, homes can experience interference from crowded Wi-Fi channels, which puts a strain on performance, but many consumers do not have the insight or ability to locate the best Wi-Fi channels.

Fortunately, ASSIA has developed intelligent solutions to give CSPs and ISPs the visibility they need to improve coverage and increase throughput for customers, which in turn increases QoS and customer retention.

Here we discuss our key findings from recent customer deployments:

The Impact of Multi-APs: Stations with Coverage Issues

ASSIA is in a unique position to study millions of consumer internet connections across the US, Canada, and Europe. In this case, ASSIA measured several lines in vendors’ networks, monitored their single APs, and determined which customers could benefit from multi-AP hardware.

The ASSIA systems proactively determined which customers would experience the greatest value; 21% of single-AP homes were identified from one vendor, and 7% were selected from another vendor. The impact of the transition from a single AP to multiple APs was astonishing. ASSIA reduced the customers’ coverage problems by 40-55% and also greatly increased the average throughput, which means faster movie streaming and web browsing for consumers.

ASSIA Uncovers the Secret Sauce to Improving Wi Fi Performance

On the other hand, the placement of multiple APs without adequate management does not fully solve coverage and throughput issues. A vital component is proper positioning and active management of stations in the home. In fact, ASSIA found that deployments of Wi-Fi extenders or multi-AP hardware without a Wi-Fi management solution often results in zero improvement – and in some cases negatively impacts Wi-Fi performance. This is where the ASSIA CloudCheck solution steps in and dynamically resolves a variety of environmental factors, such as coverage, congestion, noise, interference, and configuration.

Interference Reduction with Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) Management

Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) is a function of leveraging 5GHz Wi-Fi frequencies that are generally reserved for military and weather radar, and satellite communication. Many countries limit the number of 5GHz channels available or place usage restrictions on the channels. What’s more, regulations generally require Wi-Fi APs to detect radar or satellite communications and change channels accordingly.

ASSIA Uncovers the Secret Sauce to Improving Wi Fi Performance2

Consumers living in densely populated areas and neighborhoods with crowded channels can experience inadequate throughput and can benefit from DFS channel usage, but the spectrum requires intelligent management. ASSIA worked with one provider to intelligently manage channels, open DFS channels, and migrate over 70,000 lines with interference and congestion overlap to channels with fewer problems. As a result, the average interference dropped from 50% to below 20%; and as ASSIA increased the number of lines with DFS optimizations, the reduction of interference continued to improve.

In Conclusion

Ensuring predictable service through the reduction of dead zones, interference, and crowded channels is crucial for customer satisfaction, but many CSPs and ISPs lack the visibility and tools to optimize their services adequately and intelligently.

For providers taking responsibility for managing their subscriber’s home Wi-Fi, ASSIA’s solutions offer the visibility and control they need. CloudCheck can help providers deliver the highest QoS to residential subscribers, reduce support costs, and increase revenue. Feel free to reach out to learn more.


[1] ACSI, Benchmarks By Industry, 2021, https://www.theacsi.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=148&Itemid=213