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Internet networks see large surges as people work from homeSubmitted: 04/07/2020
Story By Mazie Vincent

Internet networks see large surges as people work from home
NORTHWOODS - With millions of Americans now forced to work from home to slow down the spread of the Coronavirus, the toll on the country's internet infrastructure has never been greater.

Strains on wireless networks are feared now more than ever.

"It's just been a very very busy time for us. It's kind of a love hate relationship where we love the fact that we are so busy but we hate the reasons why we are busy," said Co-Founder Paul Osterman.

Due to the safer at home order and the Coronavirus outbreak, Northwoods Connect has seen a huge spike over its wireless networks.


"To put that into a percentage, it is probably somewhere around a 40% spike just in the past couple of weeks," Osterman said.

Northwoods Connect provides services to dozens of Northwoods communities but the surge hasn't been too much for their network to handle.

"Thankfully about a year ago we invested heavily into our capacity for our network so we can handle that load. But it has been pretty busy. A lot more people are using the internet and I think more people are realizing just how crucial internet is," Osterman said.

Osterman says they have adapted a new installation set-up where technicians can fully install a new system all outside of your home.

Northwoods Connect also recently started a new program called Internet Everywhere for people who might not live in the coverage areas.

"We have a contract in place with a cellular carrier so we are allowed to use their towers," Osterman said.

Osterman added that if families are seeing slower internet speeds, be sure to check on the size of the internet pipe feeding the service.

"If they have TV's, computers, IPAD's and phones they are going to need a pretty big pipe to maintain connectivity through all of that," Osterman said.

For stronger connections Osterman also suggests plugging directly into the router if needed, making sure the router is in the center of the home or try a Wi-Fi range extender.

Northwoods Connect also just received a state grant to provide internet services in all of Forest County.

So that is one of many projects keeping the internet company increasingly busy.

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