Wireless Internet is Not Immune From Today's Coronavirus Scare

I thought this message from our wireless Internet provider was interesting and telling. It again illustrates how we're all tied together even in ways we might not realize.


The gist of the article is we all have to be considerate of others with our needs and usages and that goes for the Internet as well. The double impact of college kids coming home from school early and more people working from their homes puts an additional strain on wireless companies.

Dear Valued Subscribers,


We at Big Wave Wireless understand that this is an unprecedented time of uncertainty and fear. Never in our lifetimes have we experienced the cancellation of sporting events, concerts, entertainment or had to worry about whether we would be able to purchase food and toilet paper for our families due to shelves being empty. We have never had office closures and school closures of this magnitude.


We know your internet is important to you for both work and school, especially during this uncertain time when we do not know how long we will be required to work from home or whether our children will be required to begin an eLearning curriculum until this pandemic subsides. To ensure you have enough bandwidth for both working remote and the possibility of eLearning, we are temporarily suspending rate plan limits to ensure you have the bandwidth needed for both. What this means is that we are temporarily unlocking radios to be able to handle up to 100mbps to help compensate.


However, our network was designed with NORMAL load balancing algorithms meaning it can support NORMAL daily traffic and NORMAL peak hour traffic. Internet companies across the country are scrambling to accommodate the additional load on their networks, Big Wave Wireless included. By temporarily suspending rate plan limits, we are opening up our network for users to be able to work remote and/or eLearning.


Networks are designed assuming that not all subscribers and their entire households will be home at the same time consuming data on multiple devices simultaneously. Our network traffic increased exponentially this weekend as college students were sent home, people returned from Spring Break trips and households were homebound. Some of you may have noticed decreased speeds and higher latency due to the additional traffic load on our network.


We ask that you please be courteous during peak traffic hours (8am-10pm Monday through Friday) to ensure everyone has enough bandwidth to be able to work and/or complete school assignments. We ask that any large file downloads and uploads (not related to work or school), high definition and 4K streaming and online video gaming that consumes large amounts of data be conducted during off peak times. This will help balance the peak hour traffic to ensure everyone on the network has the bandwidth needed to complete their tasks. We are all in this together and we at Big Wave Wireless are doing everything we can to help our subscribers during this time.


Internet is like toilet paper. If a few people hoard all of the toilet paper then there will not be any toilet paper for anyone else. It is the same thing with the internet. If a few people are consuming large amounts of data and hammering our network, there will be less bandwidth for the rest of our subscribers. I want to assure you that we have not oversubscribed our tower or our sectors. This is not a normal time and data consumption has increased considerably.


In order for every one of our subscribers and every member of their household to have enough bandwidth at the same time for work and school, we urge you to use the bandwidth wisely. We will be actively monitoring the network for data consumption to ensure there is enough bandwidth for every subscriber simultaneously. If we see any subscribers consistently consuming large amounts of data during this time, we will contact the subscriber and ask them to please limit their consumption during peak hours. If repeated attempts to mitigate the issue are ignored, we reserve the right to either temporarily throttle their speeds or block the device until we can increase capacity and/or the pandemic ends and network demand returns to normal.


We ask for patience and understanding while we work to increase capacity to handle the additional load on our network. Please keep in mind that we currently do not offer 100mbps subscriptions and our network was not designed for everyone to have 100mbps at the same time. By temporarily suspending rate plan limits we are attempting to help load balance for subscribers who need to work from home as well as the possibility for eLearning to be implemented for our students. This does not mean that everyone will see 100mbps speeds. This means that any work or school related tasks requiring heavy data consumption can be completed on the network quickly, therefore allowing the subscriber to complete the task and resume normal data usage.


We also ask that you refrain from running speed tests at this time. Speed tests are designed to use all of your available bandwidth at one time in order to measure the speeds. This puts a burden on our network as all of that bandwidth is diverted to your device instead of being available for the rest of our subscribers.


We are temporarily suspending new installations on our busiest sectors while we work to increase capacity to handle the additional network demand caused by work and school closures.


Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented and uncertain time. You are not only our valued subscribers but you are also our friends and neighbors. We are busy working to ensure you have the data you need for both work and school until this pandemic ends.


Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Please only call support if you are having issues connecting.


Our prayers are with all of you and our community as we wait this out. Please stay safe and healthy and be kind and courteous to each other.


Sincerely,

Amye & Josh Mercer