Earl Foote Talks Rising Data Usage On KSL Investigates

Wondering why your data usage rates have sky-rocketed over the past year? Nexus IT Consultants’ Earl Foote recently appeared on KSL Investigates to provide some expert insight.

Data has become a highly valuable commodity over the course of the pandemic. Although telecom companies and ISPs largely waived data usage limits early in the pandemic, those limits have once again been imposed.

The state of the consumer data economy was the topic of a recent installment of KSL Investigates and featured our very own Earl Foote, who offered his expert opinion on factors prompting the increase.

Why Are Data Usage Rates Going Up?

There are a number of ways that consumers are using more data, but the reason in common between each method is rather simple: the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns keeping everyone at home, many activities that once took place in person have pivoted to a digital medium.

“Certainly, right now, work from home and distance learning have a big impact on that,” said Earl on KSL Investigates.

The primary factors in the increased rate of data usage include:

  • Remote Work: Countless professionals across the country have had to start working from home, relying on their personal Internet connection (and associated data usage limits) to do the work they would have done in the office. Furthermore, staff meetings and business calls that once took place in the office and on company networks now go through home Internet connections, eating up available data plans much more quickly.
  • Remote Learning: Children studying from home have also had a considerable effect on data usage, with their many hours of daily video calling in virtual classrooms using data that would otherwise have been available primarily for recreational purposes.
  • Media Streaming: With the reduction of public and outdoor activities (bars, live entertainment, sports, dining, etc.) comes an increase in the use of streaming platforms like Netflix, which further uses up available data on home Internet plans.
  • Online Gaming: More time spent inside means more time spent online — gaming is especially data-intensive.

How Can You Reign In Data Usage And Stay Within The Limit?

In order to help you stay under your data cap and avoid surcharges, Earl provided a number of helpful suggestions:

  • Track Data Usage: Log into your ISP account online and find the data usage meter. You should be able to determine which devices are using the most data, which can then be addressed with the user, whether it’s you, your spouse, or your children.
  • Use The Cheaper Option: If you have a more cost-effective or less-limited data plan on your phone, make a habit of keeping it disconnected from your Wi-Fi.
  • Reconfigure Security Systems: If you use a smart home system, you can configure it to only download and store lower quality footage, which will use less data.
  • Reconfigure Streaming Services: Similarly, you can set platforms like Netflix to stream at a lower quality — even changing from 4K to HD will cut your data usage in half.
  • Relocate Backups: Instead of storing your family photo backups online, move them to an external hard drive that you can safely store at your house.

While increased data usage will remain a reality as long as people keep working and learning from home, that doesn’t mean you can’t lower your usage a little here and there. Try these tips to bring your usage under your ISP’s current data cap.