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Local internet providers help families amid COVID-19

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(WSIL) -- Multiple internet companies have started initiatives to help families recieve internet access while following the stay-at-home order.

Internet service providers like Mediacom say it's essential for families to have high-speed internet while social-distancing.

"We certainly want to keep everyone connected, so we're not going to discontinue service for our residential or small business customers, however we want them to contact us," says Mediacom communications director Phyllis Peters.

Peters says Mediacom is also helping low-income families in Southern Illinois with complimentary services.

"We want to close the gap between the learning that may occur in homes where they can afford all the technology and in homes where they can't. So we offer Mediacom Connect2Compete," she said.

Local service provider, Protek, says the demand for internet has increased, drastically.

"So our install volume is up about about 200% this week. As far as number of customers calling this week, I don't have the exact numbers, but I know that the phone call volume is probably up around 400%," said ProTek owner Cameron McCurdy.

For those concerned about the internet slowing down, both companies say their networks are built to meet the demand.

"Whereas now, you're seeing close to peak traffic all day long, you know? It's 'cause a lot of people are working from home, obviously. So, that's something we can help," said McCurdy.

"We're seeing a change in the curbs for our customer internet usage. And again instead of one big spike at night, we're seeing more usage throughout the day, more of a flattening instead of one big curb," said Peters.

Both companies say they're following protection guidelines in case they need to come by your home.

"We ask that areas be cleaned that the technicians are coming in contact with, and we try to do as much outside as possible before we enter the home," said McCurdy.

If you have questions about the speed of your internet, call your local provider.

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Maya Skinner

Maya Skinner is a Multimedia Journalist at News 3 WSIL. Maya joined the team in 2019 and graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Communication with a focus in Mass Media.

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