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Remote Learning Exposes Internet Connectivity Issues

Posted on 6/23/2020 by Nicholas Jones

In a concerted effort to keep students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and universities across the nation have closed their doors and turned to distance learning. Unfortunately, this universal implementation of the remote learning model hasn’t been an easy transition for students, as well as parents and teachers. Uncertainty looms as many of these institutions are unsure when they will be able to return to a traditional education environment.

Whether through WiFi, ethernet, or a cellular signal, strong and reliable internet connectivity is essential for students to succeed while learning remotely. Unfortunately, some families have experienced connectivity issues, including loss of internet during online classes.

To gain a better understanding of how poor connectivity affects remote learning, we recently conducted a survey of over 1,000 American households. Participants were asked about problems they’re facing while remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we’ll outline our key findings.

How COVID-19 Revealed Connectivity Issues

In these unprecedented times, many students are attending classes virtually completing assignments online while parents are also working from home. Not surprisingly, wireless home networks are being overloaded with multiple users, which can cause connectivity issues.

1) Now that you and other members of your household are sheltering in place, have you noticed an uptick in internet and/or cellular connectivity issues?

  • Nearly 40% of survey respondents reported an uptick in internet and/or cellular connectivity issues while remote learning from home.

2) Do you think connectivity issues during COVID-19 and beyond will have a long-term impact on you or a family member’s education?

  • 40% of survey respondents believe there will be an impact on education due to connectivity issues during COVID-19.

Connectivity Issues While Remote Learning

Online learning can be stressful for some students who were unexpectedly forced to leave their traditional classroom settings. Recently, a New Jersey high school student expressed her anxiety and the challenges she and many of her friends are facing. “I live in an area where internet access and WiFi are hard to get and, as a result, I’m not only stressed about school but I’m often anxious that I will not be able to join and maintain access to online classes and assignments.”

While learning remotely in their homes, families have experienced a number of connectivity issues, including:

  • Loss of internet or data during an online class
  • Poor audio or video during an online class
  • Internet doesn’t work in certain rooms
  • Inability to upload learning materials
  • Too many simultaneous internet users
  • Internet only works during off-peak hours

3) Before COVID-19, did you ever have internet or cellular connectivity issues at your home, such as spotty coverage, dropped calls, slow network speeds, or lost signal?

  • More than 35% of survey respondents reported that they had internet or cellular connectivity issues at their home prior to COVID-19; for example, spotty coverage, dropped calls, slow network speeds, and lost signal. For people who already had these problems, it has become even more of a struggle now.

Finding Alternative Ways to Connect at Home

Due to the above factors, students and parents have been compelled to find alternative ways to stay connected while remote learning.

4) During COVID-19, have you ever used your phone or tablet’s cellular data instead of a WiFi/ethernet connection or used your phone’s hotspot to connect to internet at home?

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 30% of respondents have used cellular data on their phones or tablets instead of a WiFi/ethernet connection, or they used their phone’s hotspot to connect to internet at home.

Lacking an Awareness of Connectivity Solutions

With the swiftness of school closures throughout the nation, many Canadian families were unprepared for the internet connectivity issues that they now face. In addition, government orders to shelter in place may have prevented them from finding solutions that would resolve their issues.

5) Have you bought or are you considering buying products designed to help resolve internet or cellular connectivity issues?

  • Nearly 10% of our survey participants didn’t realize there was anything they could do to solve their internet or cellular connectivity issues.
  • And surprisingly, more than 82% don’t have a solution for fixing these issues.

Fortunately, there is a solution that will improve the quality and reliability of your in-home cell signal. A cell signal booster, or amplifier, can help your family stay connected as you navigate the remote learning process at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Cellular Connectivity Solution that Supports Remote Learning

Like some of our survey participants, you may not realize there is a solution for poor connectivity – a weBoost cell phone signal booster. Our boosters can help improve the quality and reliability of your cell signal in your home, regardless of the carrier or service provider.

With a booster, you’ll experience better call quality, fewer dropped calls, and faster data speeds. Depending on the size of your home and your specific needs, weBoost offers different multi-user boosters that will improve cellular connectivity in your remote learning environment:

  • Home Complete is weBoost’s most powerful in-home cell signal booster for entire home coverage.
  • Home MultiRoom improves cell signal in medium-sized homes for approximately three large rooms or up to 5,000 square feet.
  • Home Room is designed for smaller homes and apartments, providing coverage for one room, or up to 1,500 square feet.

weBoost also offers in-vehicle cell signal boosters to improve cellular connectivity in your car, truck, or SUV when you’re on the go. To learn more about our in-home and in-vehicle cell phone signal boosters, shop our complete line of weBoost products today.

Download infographic here. 

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