Considering a move for remote work? Check for broadband first

Posted at 10:26 AM, Apr 22, 2021

In cities and towns across the country, Americans are deciding to move as a world of possibilities is being opened up by our new remote work reality.

But in many parts of the country, the internet infrastructure may not support your sudden urge to pick and work from anywhere.

Vitaly Odemchuk is a tech designer based in San Francisco. His office is a small corner of the house tucked behind the laundry machine. But the pandemic has made it so this 33-year-old employee can work from home indefinitely, so Odemchuk and his wife are suddenly exploring the option of moving closer to family in Atlanta.

"It’s very exciting that I could work from anywhere. The pull for Atlanta has a lot to do with family. My family is out there," he explained.

But for Odemchuk and countless other Americans who are now working remotely, there is one key component that makes working anywhere possible: reliable, accessible, high-speed internet.

"My internet drops quite frequently even though I’ve maxed out what the service provider allows," Odemchuk explained.

Even though he lives in one of the most populated cities in the country, Odemchuk often experiences what some experts call the "digital divide" in America. Access and internet infrastructure that hasn't been built to accommodate increased demand.

As the dean of global business at Tufts University, Bhaskar Chakravorti has spent years studying America's digital divide. Chakravorti is worried that as Americans get the itch to move, they may not know what the internet is like where they're going.

"It comes down to economics; it’s expensive to get high-speed internet into neighborhoods," he said.