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the future of work

The Future of Work: looking at Covid-related global broadband trends

A white paper titled ‘The Future of Work: Analyzing Global Broadband Trends’ explores research conducted by six regional FCGA chapters.


The Fibre Broadband Association and the Fibre-to-the-Home Council Global Alliance recently conducted a ‘Future of Work’ survey after the shift to remote working was brought on by COVID-19. The research looked at how experiences differ at the regional level, what broadband technology was used most by home workers, and what technology investments businesses are making to support remote employees.

Working at home had already been expanding for some time, but was sped up significantly by the pandemic. In many households, bandwidth sharing proved challenging and frustrating, as did slow loading applications and low-quality video conferencing. Remote meetings combined with online education places significant pressure on connections.

Bandwidth was reported as the biggest issue in the survey. LATAM reported the widest range of connectivity challenges, whereas Europe reported the lowest level of lack of internet connectivity (14%). Many respondents indicated that current speeds on their cable supplied internet was insufficient. The survey also showed that respondents were sometimes confused as to what technology actually supplied their connection to the internet. Some respondents thought their Wi-Fi router provided direct access to the internet and are unaware of access and backhaul technologies such as Fibre or coax/cable.

In North America, 45% of respondents indicated an increase in employee productivity. On average globally, 49% of respondents felt their productivity increased.

The report states that before the pandemic, more than 50% of respondents did not have ‘work from home policies’. By now, however, over 77% of global respondents have adopted formal policies to support remote working. In 2020, a Gartner survey showed 82% of company leaders planned to allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time.

Source: Fibre Broadband Association, July 2021

The FTTH Council Global Alliance (FCGA) is the platform for cooperation of the six regional FTTH Councils active in North America, Latin America, Middle East and north Africa, Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific. All FTTH Councils share a common goal: the acceleration of Fibre to the Home adoption. They all act as powerful and independent organisations in their respective geographies. This regional focus gives the FTTH Councils a special strength to adapt their activities to the particular market situation in their area.