COVID-19 Pushes Rural Internet Providers to Get Creative

By Jeff Johnston

April 2020

 

Broadband operators are seeing a 20-40% increase in data traffic where a shelter in place order has been issued. This is putting undue stress on rural communication networks.

A number of rural operators have signed the FCC’s Keep America Connected Pledge and agreed to not terminate service or charge late fees to customers unable to pay due to the coronavirus. Other solutions include opening up wi-fi hotspots to any American who needs them, getting additional spectrum to wireless internet service providers and even dispatching school buses equipped as wi-fi hotspots to rural and low-income areas.

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