Internet interruptions create hurdle for teachers, students working from home: 'It's sad'

GLENDALE -- Teachers have traded their whiteboards for Zoom conferences as they host lessons from home, but one teacher says her classes were constantly being interrupted -- by slow internet.

There's music in Beth Woodward's orchestra classroom at Glen Hills Middle School, but no students. Individual lessons are being taught over Zoom.

Beth's students are at home, but she is not. The teacher is back at school because her home internet is too slow. That makes critiquing her students -- like twins Elijah and Hazel -- challenging.

Beth Woodward

"I have no idea if they're playing the right rhythm or the right pitch cause the sound cuts in and out the video cuts in and out," said Woodward.

Woodward said she tried calling AT&T, but: "It was hours and hours on hold and I assume a lot of people are calling right now because everyone's working from home."

Contact 6 reached out to AT&T on her behalf, and the company resolved her issue within 24 hours. According to AT&T, the number of schools and businesses using online conference tools is at an all-time high and: "Overall, our network is performing well during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to see high demand."

AT&T also said its employees are working around the clock to install and maintain equipment -- adjusting traffic patterns and adding capacity to adjust internet congestion when it appears.

Teachers and students are doing their best, but even with speedy internet, Woodward can't help but feel this school year may end on a somber note.

"Sad. It's sad," Woodward said.

AT&T reached out to her within an hour of receiving her information. The company tells Contact 6 that their network is holding up, and they don't believe the current situation reflects their overall performance.