When shelter in place orders came down in March, the major source of internet traffic switched from cubicles and classrooms to family rooms and kitchens. Digital life rushed in to fill the gaps created by social distancing, allowing some semblance of normalcy. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) saw a 70% rise in residential internet traffic. Overnight millions of Americans had to rely on the internet more than ever. TCT’s Fiber Broadband network was able to help subscribers stay connected during the onset of COVID-19 and will continue to deliver the speeds needed to navigate the acceleration of the digital transformation of the future.

Remote-Work and Fiber to the Home:

A recent Gartner survey determined that 74% of businesses plan to make remote-work a permanent option for some of their workforce. As the trend to work from home grows a high bandwidth Fiber connection, which allows workers to connect to Cloud Applications and Virtual Private Networks, will make a big difference in a community’s economic suitability. According to Broadband Now, a website that that helps consumers find and compare ISPs, 35% of Kansans have access to Fiber to the Home and Kansas ranks 28th out of 50 states for broadband access. The good news is that TCT has 100% Fiber to the Home connectivity in our certificated service area, so our communities can offer the high bandwidth that remote-workers need.

Distance Learning and Fiber to the Home:

School Administrators, Teachers and Staff did an amazing job adapting the classroom learning platform to a distance learning platform at the onset of COVID-19. The shift to online learning brought to light the digital connectivity gap that many students face. Some students’ only option was Satellite or Fixed Wireless internet. These technologies have limited bandwidth and are often inconsistent, making learning more difficult. Fiber to the Home is much more consistent than Satellite and Fixed Wireless, and because of Fiber’s greater bandwidth capacity, Fiber can handle multiple devices at once. In March TCT increased internet speeds for subscribers in our certificated service area to at least 50M, at no additional cost, which gave students the bandwidth they needed. It is possible that moving forward a more accommodating attitude toward distance learning will bring new options to students, allowing them to attend school in a physical classroom part of the week and learn from home the remainder of the week. Fortunately, students in TCT’s certificated service area have access to the broadband they need for online learning.

The Future and Fiber to the Home:

Hopefully, we will be able to continue to resume normal activities and overcome the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there is no question that the digital transformation that took place during this time has altered the way we use the internet. TCT’s Fiber Optic network is a definite advantage for our communities, workforce, schools, healthcare facilities and businesses into the future.