coronavirus pandemic

Mission Hills Family With Unlimited Internet Plan Warned of High Usage

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NBC 5 News

The pandemic has forced many of us to work and learn from home, undoubtedly using more internet bandwidth.

One Mission Hills family, who had an unlimited service plan and thought internet usage wasn’t a problem, was surprised when Cox Communications told them they had to limit their usage – especially now when it’s their only option.

Cox told Sanders his family needed to limit cut back on their internet usage or risk having their service throttled.

"We're just sort of at a loss,” Brian Sanders said. “What do you do if your internet goes out?"

Sanders is worried because, like many other families, his family of four relies on the internet to get through each day.

"Our oldest is a senior in high school. He has all his classes online. Our youngest is in preschool for children with special needs and he also receives therapy online from a number of different providers,” Sanders explained. “And we work full time."

Sanders said he received a warning email from Cox last Thursday that read in part, “If your upload data consumption isn't significantly reduced within the next ten days, your upstream bandwidth may be reduced or service tier options limited."

The message left Sanders perplexed.

"Do you expect me to choose which one of my kids receives schooling that day? How are we supposed to reduce our usage given the situation?" he said.

NBC 7 reached out to Cox Communications for comment about Sanders’ allegations, and a spokesperson said the Sanders family was "rare” and explained that less than 0.03% of their customers use "excessive amounts of upstream bandwidth."

In the Sanders family’s case, their “excessive” usage would negatively impact the service of other customers violating the company's acceptable use policy.

"None of us have chosen to have this usage,” Sanders said. “There's no alternative for us."

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