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Internet Bandwidth Management


To participate in a Zoom Meeting session on a computing device (computer, tablet device, or Smartphone) you will need a reliable internet connection.  Internet access off campus (at home) is provided by an ISP( internet service provider) and is sold by download and upload speed. In most cases, the advertised speeds are not achieved in the real world. In addition, bandwidth may change minute to minute because of use and environmental factors. These factors are found both inside  the home, as well as along the pathway connecting the ISP with the physical location being used for Zoom Meetings. 

Use of the below articles will provide contextual assistance for connecting UNC Asheville ITS equipment to on and off campus broadband networks to facilitate Zoom Meeting utilization. 

Broadband Connections

Zoom Meeting participants should have 2.6 Mbps of broadband access available when joining a Zoom Meeting setting.  While 3.8 Mbps is the upper limit for multi participant Zoom event bandwidth, the bandwidth used by Zoom will be optimized for the best experience based on the participant‘s’ network. It will automatically adjust for 3G, WiFi, or wired environments. 

  • Wired (Ethernet)uses a physical wire (Ethernet Cable) to connect a computing device to the Internet network provided by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) modem / router. 
    • Typically provides a faster, more secure and more reliable connection (Up to the Internet and Down to the local device).  
    • Can also serve as a backup option in the event that local Wi-Fi network service is inoperable.  
  • Wireless (WiFi): allows users to connect to an Internet network through a wireless connection to a WiFi router. The Wi-Fi router is then connected to the  ISP Modem / router for connection to the Internet.  
    • Provides greater mobility than a wired broadband connection.
    • Shares the local WiFi network with all other connected devices which often leads to reduced broadband capacity when computers, smartphones, and smart entertainment equipment (televisions) are connected simultaneously, greatly increasing the potential for disrupted Zoom Meeting video, audio or shared screen signals. 
  • HotSpots: Most Smartphones have the capability of becoming a Wi-Fi hotspot (also know as Wi-Fi tethering) which allows the smartphones internet web connection to be shared with other Wi-Fi devices. 
    • This additional broadband connectivity option may be critical if the normal broadband connection is interrupted. 
    • Hotspot utilization is as secure, it not more, as public Wi-Fi locations as the phone traffic is encrypted.
    • Users should contact their Smartphone service carrier to learn more about utilizing this option, the configuration setup, as well as if there are associated charges for hotspot use.
    • Laptops, tablets, other phones, and game consoles can utilize Hotspots.

Note:  Wireless routers and mobile device generated 'HotSpots' may cause interference with other devices or networks and degrade service for all connected devices.

To check your current broadband capacity, visit Speedtest to conduct an internet speed test that determines your broadband connection latency, upload, and download connection speeds.

Bandwidth Recommendations

Zoom Video Communications generally recommends a bi-directional connection of 2.6 Mbps (1.8Mbps upload and 1.8 Mbps download for HD video) for multi participant Zoom Meeting events.

1:1 Video Calling

Group Video Calling

Zoom Webinar Attendees

  • 600kbps (up/down) for high-quality video
  • 1.2Mbps (up/down) for 720p HD video
  • Receiving/Sending 1080p HD video requires 1.8Mbps (up/down) 
  • 50-75kbps for screen-sharing only (no video thumbnail)
  • 50-150kbps for screen-sharing with video thumbnail
  • 800 kbps/1.0Mbps (up/down) for high-quality video
  • 1.5Mbps for gallery view and/or 720p HD video
  • Receiving 1080p HD video requires 2.5Mbps (up/down), Sending requires 3.0Mbps (up/down)
  • 1:1 Video Calling - 600kbps (down) for high-quality video and 1.2Mbps (down) for HD video 
  • 50-75kbps for screen-sharing only (no video thumbnail)

  • 50-150kbps for screen-sharing with video thumbnail

Manage and Conserve Internet Bandwidth

  1. To reduce broadband consumption, hosts may use the 'original ratio' camera setting for their webcamera and disable 'touch up my appearance' and 'virtual background' functions. 
  2. Reduce the number of devices not required for use during the Zoom Meeting session that are using WiFi networks, or temporarily use an ethernet cable to connect your computer directly to the ISP modem.
  3. Participants can increase the overall available bandwidth by disabling the video camera during a Zoom meeting.  
  4. When participants use the share screen function, the amount of data being transmitted can be limited by choosing to only share a potion of their screen. Instructions for how to do this are here
  5. Use a smartphone to connect audio to your meeting. Audio for the Zoom Meeting will need to be disabled.

Impacts of Low-Quality Broadband Connection

LatencyThe delay between the packet being sent/received. A latency of 150ms or less is recommended. Higher latency values will result in noticeable delays between video/audio. 
JitterThe variation in the time between packets arriving, caused by network congestion, timing drift, or route changes. A jitter of 40ms is recommended.
Packet LossThe amount of data that fails to reach the final destination. A packet loss of 2% or less is recommended.
ResolutionThe number of pixels in each dimension that can be displayed by the video camera. Higher resolution usually means higher quality. A resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels is recommended. Applies to video only. 
Frames/SecondThe rate at which your video camera can produce unique images or frames. Zoom supports a frame rate of up to 30fps. A frame close to 30fps is recommended. Applies to video only. 

  • Latency, Jitter, and Packet Loss ISP network delays are typically a result of the commodity internet being congested and slowing the transmission of associated data (audio/video/screen-share). It is recommended that you contact your ISP vendor to assist in troubleshooting your network connection and broadband modem/router equipment. 

  • Wifi bandwidth overuse can cause disruptions when individual network segments are being overused or have more packets than they can handle. This leads to packets being delayed which increase latency, jitter, or packets being rerouted/discarded. 

  • Connection issues are typically associated with local WiFi router located within house/apartment. To improve the overall quality of the Zoom Meeting/Webinar for all participants, temporarily remove devices from router to increase the available bandwidth for all remaining equipment using the WiFi network. 

Knowledge Base Articles:

How to use a smart phone as a mobile hotspot (Here's everything you need to now about Wi-Fi tethering from your phone).  by Brian Nadel, Computerworld, July 22, 2020


Resources for assistance or followup questions and concerns.

Contact UNC Asheville's Information Technology IT Service Desk for assistance in implementing the above described services and support.  Email: or by calling 828.251.6445

Contact UNC Asheville's Center for Teaching and Learning unit for pedagogy and teaching strategies regarding this knowledge base article.  Email: or by calling 828.251.6540

Use the Zoom Video Communication system knowledge base for Zoom meeting specific support questions or concerns.

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