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Google Meet update lets your employers know if you really have a bad connection

By Liu Hongzuo - on 7 Mar 2022, 2:00pm

Google Meet update lets your employers know if you really have a bad connection

Google Meet.

Google Meet, the video conferencing app for Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), now has a new feature that lets Workspace administrators view the bandwidth quality of Google Meet calls.

Meet quality tool shows bandwidth quality on a per-participant level. Source: Google.

Administrators can now view built-in, time-stamped graphs to see sent and received bandwidth, used bandwidth, and bandwidth availability over time. Hovering or mousing over a data point would see the graph spit out exact readings, at the moment of the call, for each user. Previously, the bitrate quality is an average number across participants in a call.

Google said that this implementation would allow Workspace administrators to “easily troubleshoot or improve call quality for their users”. Admins can access the data by navigating to Apps > Google Workspace > Google Meet > Meet quality tool.

Example of a single Google Meet participant's connection quality. Source: Google.

On one hand, a bandwidth checker like this would be immensely helpful for administrators when it comes to troubleshooting connection issues, especially for remote workers who inundate admins with questions about their home Internet connection (which is likely streaming a thousand other things in the household).

However, we’re not entirely sure if such a readout is necessary or helpful for the larger part of the PMET workforce, especially since the information is meant for technical troubleshooting, and not for supervising or micromanaging workers.

While individual call qualities do matter for a smooth online meeting, employers and employees would more likely swap to a more stable network (Wi-Fi, wired Ethernet, mobile data) when required, as opposed to on-the-spot troubleshooting of bandwidth problems in the middle of an important call. 

At worst, it could be used to make erroneous assumptions about remote worker behaviours. Administrators can actually check log details like network types, network congestion, packet loss, jitter, connection delays, and even the muting or unmuting of each participant in a Google Meet call.

Source: Google (blog)

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