[San Juan Silver Stage | December 2020 | Kathryn R. Burke]
Interview with Becky Mashburn, Communications and Marketing Manager at Elevate Internet & DMEA.
KRB: Due to Covid & Isolation, there will be a lot more online holiday shopping this year.
BM: Online shopping will most certainly increase this year and we’ll be ready to support all our customers growing bandwidth needs, but what we really hope is this: Before you hit up Amazon, please shop local. Spend your dollars at downtown shops, local boutiques, and corner stores. The businesses that breathe life into our communities need your support. We’re proud to be counted among these local businesses and we are doubly proud to support the internet needs of those who have chosen Elevate.
KRB: Regardless of the shoppers choice, from combo of Amazon, other online outlets, and local stores, there will be a lot more Internet traffic because of holiday shopping. Will this make a difference in your service?
BM: It won’t make a difference on our side, but having Elevate Internet will make a difference for consumers. Speed and reliability aside—two very important benefits of fiber—another reason fiber internet is better is that it doesn’t bog down during times of high use. Fiber (short for fiber optic) uses light to transmit information so traffic literally flows at the speed of light on our network. So, after work when everyone is home and families are streaming music, doing homework, streaming TV shows, or say, holiday shopping, no internet network performs better or faster than ours.
Fiber is also the only technology that offers symmetrical internet speeds. Most people don’t realize that their internet speed includes a download speed and an upload speed. Non-fiber networks, like copper cable, can’t do this and consumers may experience a 35 Mbps download with a 10 Mbps upload. In contrast, Elevate customers get the same fast speed for both.
The upload speed is especially important for activities like video chatting with family during the holidays, emailing photos or videos of the kids opening their gifts to relatives, playing online multiplayer games, and for at-home-workers uploading files to their office servers or the cloud.
KRB: How will you handle the extra load?
BM: Our network is built for maximum use and, as a new technology, can grow with bandwidth needs. Unlike most of our competitors, we don’t oversubscribe our services, rather we built a system designed for growth.
KRB: Will increased traffic decrease download/upload or access times?
BM: No, not on our end. However, consumers will need to be aware of their in-home limitations. For example, if a customer is using the wireless (Wi-Fi) network throughout their home, they may lose sight of how many devices are sharing connections to the home network. It’s worth noting that you’ll always get the fastest speeds by hardwiring into your modem/router. For example, a customer subscribed to our fastest service (1 Gig) can’t get true 1,000 Mbps speed over a wireless connection. Simply because, that speed can’t be broadcast over Wi-Fi yet. Right now, Wi-Fi speeds max out at 500 Mbps (if the device being used is capable). But, good news, both devices and Wi-Fi capabilities are getting faster every day. A good general rule of thumb is the older the device, the bigger the speed limitations.
What often happens for consumers over the holidays is they add more and more internet-connected devices to their home, but don’t opt to subscribe to a faster internet package. For Christmas, dad gets a Ring Doorbell, mom gets an Amazon Alexa, your teen a new gaming system, and your middle schooler her first tablet. Overnight, a family might double or triple their devices and bandwidth needs and they often don’t think about needing to increase their internet speed. Our 1,000 Mpbs (1 Gig) is the best option for ensuring families with device-overload don’t overload their bandwidth.
KRB: Will it affect entertainment or educational program “streaming”?
KRB: Will it “knock people off” the Internet, force them to “reboot” their modems?
KRB: What kind of “on-call” response will (or do) you have to answer questions, help people navigate the increasing complex information highway?
BM: We have 24/7/365 support which can be reached by calling our normal phone at 844-386-8744. During normal business hours, our goal is to live answer every call because we hate robo-phone systems just as much as consumers do. During non-business hours, consumers will reach an automated greeting and just need to follow a short prompt to reach live tech support.
KRB: What is the wait time for help, and is it 24/7, 7 days a week, or during certain days and times?
BM: Barring an extreme situation, for example, if a car were to crash into one of our communication buildings, tech support is readily accessible 24/7/365 with wait times typically maxing out at only a few minutes. In the event something large scale happens, like above, wait times will obviously increase due to volume.