When considering changes in communication patterns as a result of COVID-19, most people probably think of increased phone calls and video meetings. However, that may not be the biggest change, and not the greatest market opportunity.
According to a report from The Diffusion Group (TDG), the need for good broadband increased dramatically in April relative to the number of children in a home, as schools transitioned to online learning. 7% of US households upgraded broadband service in April, and the upgrade rate increased as families had more children in the home. For families with 3 or more children, the upgrade rate was 20.9%!
As broadband services become less of a focus for many companies, there is tremendous opportunity to take advantage of ever-growing edge infrastructure. For interactive assignments, learning activities, and other more processing-power heavy learning, edge computing has the opportunity to dramatically increase learning power. When in-person learning returns, the presence of laptops and tablets in classrooms will be as high as before, and schools will need more compute power.
Companies including edge computing platforms in their content delivery networks and investing in their IP, such as Akamai Technologies, Verizon, and Limelight Networks will have a significant advantage.
For other companies building businesses around co-location and data centers at the edge, such as Vapor IO and Equinix, schools could be a growing market opportunity.