PHOENIX, Arizona (KCAU) – With the threat of COVID-19 spreading across the country and more positive cases being reported daily, many Americans are now working from home, taking online classes, tuning into a fitness program, or live streaming services, and Sparklight has said their network is designed to handle the high demand.
“We understand the importance of fast and reliable online connectivity under normal circumstances, but especially now when people throughout our communities are accessing work, education, entertainment, and other content from home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” Ken Johnson, senior vice president of technology services said.
The company has invested more than $600 million in technology, equipment, and infrastructure upgrades in the past three years in the cities and towns it serves in order to bring the fastest and most reliable internet to rural communities across the United States.
According to Johnson, Sparklight is engineered with significant reserve capacity to handle shifts in usage patterns.
“It is not uncommon to see traffic spikes that escalate network utilization by 30 to 40 percent in conjunction with major news stories, election cycles, large sporting events, and even major game releases or updates. Our network is designed to support these surges. At this time, the load on our network is very similar to these crests, only sustained for a longer period of time,” Johnson added.
Normal peak customer usage typically happens during the evenings and the weekends when customers are home from work or school and are often streaming or gaming on multiple devices, but Johnson said the company has noticed a slight shift in the usage patterns within the past couple of weeks.
“Now that customers are online more during those daytime hours, we’re experiencing increased usage but the impact on our network continues to be manageable. Although more customers are at home and accessing the internet during historically off-peak times, their activities are generally less data-intensive and use significantly less bandwidth than streaming and gaming. We want our customers to know that there is currently substantial capacity on our network to handle the increased online activity,” Johnson said.
The company will continue to test, monitor, and enhance its systems to support customer usage throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our engineers and technicians are staffing our network operations centers 24/7 to provide optimal network performance and reliability for our communities,” Johnson added.
For more information about customer support during the coronavirus pandemic, click here.