PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Several thousand kids hopped out of their pajamas on Tuesday morning and moved to their makeshift at-home desks. But network glitches across several school districts created a rocky morning.
“There was a little bit of a snafu, some slow connections,” said parent Carmon Rinehart.
Rinehart stood in line outside Carrick High School on Tuesday afternoon to wait for a device for his one child after surviving the first morning of virtual learning.
Pittsburgh Public Schools posted a message Tuesday to Facebook after learning of internet connection issues with one of the district’s providers, calling it a “slow and unreliable connection to district-provided web resources.”
Verizon later denied this network issue, saying it did not have any wired or wireless network issues in the area on Tuesday encouraged customers to call customer service for any future issues.
On Tuesday night, PPS released a statement, saying “Verizon is an internet service provider for the district but did not cause today’s max out.”
“But then by mid-morning, things were running really smoothly, both kids had a stable video connection and were doing pretty well with all their classes,” said Rinehart.
It didn’t just happen in Pittsburgh. North Allegheny School District tweeted to parents saying it too experienced what it called a “widespread network issue.” It comes at a time when network providers work to manage the surge in online users.
We are aware of a widespread network issue that is affecting North Allegheny and many other Districts across the region. Technology Services is monitoring the outage. We will communicate again when service is restored. pic.twitter.com/c82oTrrub1
— North Allegheny School District (@NA_Schools) September 8, 2020
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller reached out to Comcast to ask what they’ve seen in terms of network usage since the start of the pandemic.
“We saw an almost 300 percent increase in video conferencing and we haven’t seen that drop off very significantly,” said Josephine Posti, senior public relations manager at Comcast.
She told KDKA that Comcast crews worked for months to ensure its network can handle both parents working from home and the little ones logging on this fall.
“Our technicians have really worked creatively during the pandemic to make sure if they’re doing any maintenance, that they’re doing it at a time that’s not disruptive,” said Posti.