UNC students grapple with internet problems during virtual learning classes

Orange County News

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s been three weeks since all undergraduate classes at UNC-Chapel Hill have gone online and some students are now grappling with internet connection problems during their virtual classes.

UNC sophomore Emma Cohn lives off-campus in Chapel Hill and she said her internet has been cutting in and out during her classes that are on Zoom.

“My synchronous classes were just a nightmare,” Cohn said. “It would lag and I was missing chunks of what the professors were saying.”

Cohn said she has heard other students living in Chapel Hill have had internet issues as well.

“For me, it was really annoying,” Cohn said. “For other people, that could actually be prohibiting them from participating in school.”

Jeff Sural, director of the Broadband Infrastructure Office in Raleigh said that since students moved off campus into Chapel Hill, the increased usage in town is slowing down the internet connection in different parts of the city.

“This is basically a traffic problem,” Sural said. “We originally built these networks for different purposes. These are like two-lane roads and now we have everyone trying to work from home. We now have the traffic demands of a six-lane highway.” 

Sural said their office is working with local internet providers on ways to possibly address these issues.

Meanwhile, Cohn said she is hoping something is done about this soon.

“It’s definitely a challenge,” Cohn said. “Moving all online means that everyone has to be able to get online.”

CBS 17 reached out to some providers to see if they had received a lot of reports of problems with internet in the area.

Spectrum, one of the providers in the area, told CBS 17 they have haven’t had any large scale issues with internet.

If anyone has any issues with internet, they are asked to contact their local internet provider.

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