During this pandemic, have you noticed the slower internet speeds? Have you had a harder time connecting to a Zoom call or through Oncourse? Maybe you have noticed the Xbox servers being down. Well, it’s not just you that is affected by this. As stay at home orders increased, the internet speeds in many cities decreased. Cities such as Houston, New York, San Diego, and San Jose have reported slower internet speeds. In New York, the download speed dropped twenty four percent and in San Jose, it dropped thirty eight percent. We all understand why. The rise in internet usage during the quarantine was totally unprecedented. Thousands more people working from home, in addition to mandatory at-home school orders, and more people on line than ever before.
To combat this, some services such as YouTube, have decided to decrease the default quality of their videos. The default video quality has gone from 1080 p to 720 p, which means less quality in the videos being watched. Internet service companies are seeing growth in use that was expected in years that is happening in weeks! To help customers with this, providers have also made some changes to help customers with these issues. Some have offered quicker speed packages at no additional cost. Others have offered free WiFi spots, which are normally an extra fee. Many have even added grade-level education programs for parents with students at home.
In addition, with the coronavirus outbreak, the FCC chairman, together with telephone and internet companies, have signed on to the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” which promises not to terminate internet service to residential or small business customers because of failure to pay for reasons connected to the crisis. It also calls on these providers to waive late fees for their customers.
All in all, the coronavirus has put a lot of stress on the ways that people use the internet, and it happened all at once, with very little notice. Companies have found some ways to combat this and are working to help find solutions for customers.