How COVID-19 is affecting internet availability for work and school at home

As more people rely on their home internet for work, school, shopping, and socializing due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s not surprising that internet usage rates have dramatically increased, along with the amount of data to support everyone doing, well, everything. Unfortunately, one way that many internet service providers have chosen to deal with this increased usage is to reinstate data caps for their customers.

What are data caps? It’s when an internet provider limits how much data subscribers can use each month – putting a “cap” on how much they are allowed according to their plan.

When the pandemic first started, and work and school from home was instituted across the country, an initiative was launched by the Federal Communications Commission urging broadband and telephone companies to take steps to keep the country connected during the pandemic. Commitments to remove data caps by ISPs were made by nearly 800 service providers as part of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, with many taking additional steps to help expand connectivity during the pandemic.

The Keep Americans Connected Pledge expired on June 30, however, and service providers are reintroducing data caps as part of their normal billing practices.

Many activities that families are doing much more often from home – such as videoconferencing, streaming, and gaming – require large amounts of data. Even though in many places restrictions are gradually lifting, many people have realized that much of their work can still be done from home and therefore are choosing to continue to work from home. Schools here in California are taking it very slow and careful before inviting children back into the classroom and most education is still being done remotely.

This all means that families need to use higher amounts of data than ever, but unfortunately the companies that provide them with internet access have decided that it’s time to reinstate limits and penalize their customers for exceeding them.

Here at Softcom, we want our customers and our community know that we take our responsibility to help people stay connected for home, health, work, play, family and more very seriously. Softcom offers unlimited usage for all our customers – that means NO DATA CAPS. Our service plans have no data caps, no overage charges, no extra fees or hidden restrictions. COVID-19 is still a big part of our lives and it’s not going away any time soon. We’ll be here no matter what – and we’ll make sure you have the internet access your family needs to thrive during these unprecedented times.

Kristy CooperHow COVID-19 is affecting internet availability for work and school at home