Back to School Internet Check-Up
Getting ready to return to school used to mean some new threads, a spiffy backpack, maybe an updated lunchbox
- and definitely school supplies. We used to get excited about a stylish notebook and a pencil case.
Nowadays when you say "notebook", it means an entirely different thing - like hundreds to thousand of dollars different - as in a Notebook Computer. It seems like each kid has a computer as part of their school supplies. This makes the annual prep for the upcoming school year a whole new level of stress for many households.
Homeschool / Online School / Attending School in Person
Are you preparing for physical school? Participating in on-line school or homeschooling? Maybe you are involved in a hybrid of the two. Whichever your family is gearing up for, one area of preparation you must consider is your internet connection.
Most folks assume the internet signal or data plan they have been using will be strong and stable enough to handle all the on-line classes, uploads / downloads, video views and zoom meetings their children may need to participate in. But seamless interaction with online sources will require a high-speed connection and reliable signal - and a company that is available to troubleshoot and address any issues -particularly if there are multiple children using the internet - and a parent working from home.
Prepare for the Back to School Internet Onslaught
With a full house, you may have several tablets / notebooks in use, cell phones and TV's, but these simultaneous drains on the internet may not be using as many resources as the online curriculum. So first, take a look at:
Your Internet Data Plan
Review any tips or tricks to improve the internet's processing of the extra workload.
The worst thing would be slow speeds and spotty connection just when everyone is depending on the internet to function smoothly.
What are the Internet Requirements for Homeschooling and Online Classes?
Dependable Internet: Having your internet go down in the middle of class is not just disruptive but truly interupts the flow of learning.
High Speed, Low Latency Internet - at least 25 Mb downloads (the highter the better). You don't want to have to wait for a download or watch a glichy, hiccuping video of a presentation.
The Highest Data Plan Available for Your Location (most internet providers will allow you to upgrade if you find the plan you are on is not sufficient). If you can secure an unlimited data plan, that is ideal.
Reliable and Reachable Service: When you call for assistance, can you reach someone you can talk to? Is the Internet Company responsive to your needs?
The Digital Divide
Homeschooling / On-line School requires an Internet Service Provider with excellent quality
signal, high speed and high data caps or no data caps. If you live in rural areas, this is challenging as fiber / cable doesn't reach beyond neighborhoods (and in neighborhoods, the cable can become overloaded providing a sub-par and infinitely exasperating experience).
"If it wasn't glaringly clear before, the pandemic has confirmed the vital importance of a broadband internet connection—one that is reliable, affordable, and in some cases, simply available," says Jonathan Schwantes, senior policy counsel in Consumers Reports' Washington, D.C., office. "Unfortunately, far too many Americans lack access or are unable to afford broadband."
There are options now, thankfully, even for the most remote locations. Satellite options, Fixed Wireless, Fiber and cable (in some parts of town). How can you determine what is available where you are? How do you figure out which option that is available where you reside will work best for your needs?
Give us a call; we are experts. We can set you up with the best Back to School Internet to meet your needs for your location. It's what we do.