Telecom companies keep networks running while students, employees stay home

Providers say internet can handle additional traffic

Telecom companies said they are keeping people connected while students and employees stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus. (Pixabay.com)

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Telecom companies said they are keeping people connected while students and employees stay home to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Millions of students will soon take their lessons from the classrooms to their homes and more employees are working remotely. News 6 wanted to know if the internet can maintain a large amount of traffic.

Telecom companies said their networks can handle it.

Charter Communications said it is constantly monitoring its network and it's built to exceed capacity at peak usage, which is usually at night. A spokesperson said the company consults regularly with connectivity providers and so far across the networks, "any increase in daytime network activity has been modest, far below capacity and even still well below typical usage."

An AT&T spokesperson said it is offering its customers unlimited internet data and continue to offer internet access to for qualifying limited income households at $10 month through Access from AT&T IP Flexible Reach.

Verizon said in a statement its networks are "designed and built to meet future demand, and our fiber optic and wireless networks have been able to meet the shifting demands of customers and continue to perform well."

A Century Link spokesperson shared a blog post that states its teams can "quickly add capability, modify paths, and shape traffic to meet the changing needs of our customers.

Central Florida schools are now tasked with making sure students have access to the internet.

Seminole County schools said students who are currently eligible for and receive free or reduced Lunch can sign out a laptop if they don’t have a home computer.

Orange and Volusia County schools said it is working with providers to make sure their students can continue their lessons virtually.

Flagler and Osceola County schools said they are working to get additional hot spots for students.

The Marion and Lake County school districts said they are trying to figure out how students can learn online when some of them don't have internet access at home.

"Depending on where students live and family income they may or may not have access to internet or personal computers, so it does present a unique challenge to us and we have a team working on that as we speak to try to meet the needs of all students," Sherri Owens with Lake County schools said.

Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum broadband and WiFi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who don't have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. Charter said it is opening its WiFi hotspots across its coverage area for public use.

News 6 also contacted Duke Energy, OUC, and KUA. The power companies said they are operating normally and don’t anticipate any issues while more people work and learn from home.

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter or go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

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