Does the Weather Affect Cable Internet Speeds?

Cable internet can withstand most weather conditions, but weather still has an effect on your internet speeds and reliability. Wet conditions and high winds can damage cable infrastructure, slowing down or temporarily disconnecting your internet. To maintain uninterrupted service, back up your connection with a fixed wireless failover that kicks in when your cable internet fails.

How does cable internet work?

There are two types of internet connections: wired and wireless. Wired connections use a vast network of cables to connect subscribers to the internet, while wireless connections use radio waves to transmit data between subscribers and cellular towers. Cable internet is a wired internet option that connects subscribers using the same coaxial cables as cable television.

The cable network also includes other physical touchpoints besides cables, such as:

  • The cable headend, which is the master facility for the entire cable network
  • Cable hubs, which are smaller, regional telecommunications facilities
  • Exchange nodes, which are processing links that serve local communities

Why does wet weather slow down cable internet?

Water can disrupt your internet signal and reduce your download and upload speeds. While coaxial cables typically have waterproof casings and connectors, water can seep into damaged or poorly installed cables. A number of common events can cause cable damage, such as:

  • Animal bites from rodents or even sharks (if the cables are underwater)
  • Construction, earthquakes, and ground heaves that damage buried cables
  • High winds and traffic accidents that tear down suspended cables

If the damage is severe, these events can cause a complete internet outage. If the damage doesn’t cause an outage, it can go undetected – but your internet speeds will still suffer. If your cable internet speeds always drop during storms, you’re probably relying on damaged cables.

Why do storms cause cable internet outages?

Extreme weather can also cause cable internet outages. Every physical touchpoint is vulnerable to high winds and electrical storms, not just the cables that run between these points. For example, lightning can cause physical damage to a cable headend or hub. A damaged headend or hub can cause a temporary internet outage for millions of subscribers in the network.

Stay online with a fixed wireless internet failover

An internet failover is an extra internet connection that kicks in when your cable connection goes down, giving you uninterrupted internet access when bad weather hits. A failover router senses when your cable is offline and immediately switches service to the backup connection.

Because wireless connections have fewer physical touchpoints, they’re usually more reliable in bad weather. As a result, many homes and businesses rely on fixed wireless internet as the failover for their cable internet connection. Fixed wireless internet keeps your Wi-Fi online by connecting to 5G or 4G LTE in a crisis. It’s like a cellphone or hotspot, but faster and stronger.

Fixed wireless internet is a great option for people who need a reliable failover for cable internet, as well as those looking for a primary internet option in an area without cable access. To discover your failover options, start a chat or call (866) 439-6630 for a free coverage check.