Last Updated: January 3, 2022.
When the pandemic started in 2020, households had to rely on internet services more than ever.
It became a necessity for many people, especially students who had to take classes online since they couldn’t be in a classroom.
When the digital connection isn’t strong enough to support online learning, it can lead to frustration from students, parents, and teachers. It can also lead to late work and missed assignments.
In the early months of 2021 before schools started opening back up, there were about 43% of fourth and eighth-graders participated in remote learning in some way.
A little over 20% were involved in hybrid learning, which meant that they would go to the classroom on some days during the week while studying from home on the other days.
Students in higher education classes also took part in online learning with about 52% of the learning in this manner during the 2019-2020 school year.
Navigating a Bad Connection
Before determining that you have a bad internet connection, you need to determine the definition of a bad connection for your household and what’s listed as bad for your provider.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set standards for download and upload speeds of broadband services at 25 Mbps and 3 Mbps.
With these speeds, you should be able to use up to three devices in your home with ease. HD videos should be streamed on your TV streaming services, you should be able to make video calls, and you should be able to view multiple websites.
The government has looked at these speeds and has acknowledged that they are too slow for most households, especially when there are people working from home or taking online classes.
You should then look at your overall internet speed. There are free programs that can test your speed whether it’s on a computer or on a mobile device. You can type “internet speed test” into your browser to look for programs that are available.
Once the test is complete, you can see exactly where you’re at with your overall speed and take the next steps that are necessary to increase your speed for online learners.
You may also call your internet provider and inform them that you have a bad connection as they can provide basic troubleshooting. Many internet providers have great customer service that can assist their subscribers like Spectrum Internet and Dish Network.
If you notice that your wireless internet speeds are still slow, you can unplug all of the devices that you have, such as your router and modem. Leave them unplugged for about a minute to give the devices time to reboot. Connect everything once again to see if the speeds have increased.
Look over the devices that you’re using to ensure that there are no viruses on them as these can slow your speed. You also want to make sure all of the programs on the devices are updated. Remove any unwanted apps or data, as well as this can sometimes slow down your overall speed.
Check the overall internet signal throughout your home. If you notice that one room has a better connection than others, then try to set the router in a different location.
Make sure there are no walls, doors, or furnishings blocking the router as this can help broadcast the signal throughout your home.
If you still haven’t seen an increase in your internet speeds, then consider visiting a local business that offers a better signal. Starbucks and McDonald’s often offer free internet, and you don’t have to be a customer to use the service.
A public library usually offers internet services as well and typically has computers that students can use if they are needed.