Slow Internet? Use Captions

With the likes of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet becoming foundational tools of human communication in recent times, there’s been an increased strain on internet networks. 

According to data from Ookla, a company that provides internet speed testing, internet speeds worldwide only recovered from the initial COVID-19 surge in July 2020 – as internet service providers plugged the dam when it came to infrastructure. 

And there is still a significant gulf in service depending on where you live in the world. South Korea rates the fastest for fixed broadband access, the US comes in at number 11, Canada sits at 19, the UK at 47 and Australia is further down at 56. 

Why Captions Help 

When your connection is wreaking havoc with your video and audio, captions are a welcome support, allowing users to follow along by reading text on the screen instead of relying only on audio. At Ai-Media, we provide live captions for all major platforms, in any language. 

Anika Nayak is a freelance journalist and undergraduate student who says that captions provide her tremendous benefits, even when her internet is being temperamental. 

“At times during the 9am-5pm workday, the network gets very spotty as many individuals in my household and the neighborhood are using WiFi. When this happens, I cannot usually hear the person speaking on Zoom clearly nor can anyone hear me well when I unmute myself.” 

“Captions were super helpful to me because even though I couldn’t hear the person speaking very well (the audio gets cut in the middle), I could still follow the conversation by reading the subtitles.” 

Internet Usage is Booming during COVID-19 

According to research done by policy analyst Joseph Johnson, the average internet penetration rate (percentage of people who have internet access) as of January of 2021 reached 59.5 per cent. That translates to 4.13 billion people.  

The pandemic added another wrinkle. According to reporting done by Protocol, Zoom saw usage upped by 224% in the early part of 2020, and saw the user base jump to more than 200 million. That’s a lot of data to be sending and receiving.    

Nayak says she doesn’t use captioning tools all the time. Once internet traffic dies down in her household later in the day, she has to worry less about whether meeting participants can hear her, or whether she will be able to catch what they’re saying. Part of the reason she’s able to access the service is a university-provided free license for Zoom. 

Easy Fixes 

Guides abound when it comes to how to make your connection to teleconferencing tools more stable – including this handy list from Michigan State – but captioning and transcripts mean another avenue has opened when it comes to handling those lengthy staff meetings or key faculty presentations.  

Sometimes, the written word is just easier to digest – for internet service providers and users alike. 

Ai-Media is here for you! We provide live captioning services – in any language – which you can use for meetings, live events and any live stream. We also have a wide range of other services in captioning, transcription and translation. 

Get in touch with our friendly team today! 

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