PLWC’s internet outage affects virtual students

Television, internet service have been restored, officials say

PLWC’s ongoing internet outage affects virtual students

PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - Paragould Light Water and Cable’s television and the internet were down for two days, which impacted virtual students in school.

Greene County Tech School District and Paragould School District had students who could not do their work from home.

Paragould’s Junior High and High Schools recently transitioned to a virtual-only curriculum.

PSD’s Technology Coordinator Vernon DuBar said the outage had been an inconvenience, but they have learned to adjust.

GCT Superintendent Gene Weeks said when the internet goes down, it makes working virtually hard.

Both schools have backup plans for internet issues, including internet mobile hotspots, which allow students access to the internet on their parking lots.

Neither school district has an internet problem because the state, not PLWC, provides their internet.

GCT 8th grader Natalie Jordan began school in-class then transitioned to virtual.

She said the internet outage made her find backup solutions herself.

“I’ve just been doing what I can on my phone, and by doing that, my teachers have said already, ‘It’s okay. Just do it when the internet gets back on.’ It’s not going to count against us or anything,” she said. “I’ve just been doing what I can and saving the rest for when it comes back on.”

PLWC released a statement detailing the outage earlier on Thursday:

At approximately 2:00 A.M. on Wednesday 11/18/2020 PLWC started to experience system outages that affected Internet and IPTV systems for a portion of our customers. It was determined that PLWC’s Dasan/Zhone Fiber to the Home equipment was having difficulty processing certain types of data traffic. Specifically Address Resolution Protocol “ARP” and Dynamic Host Control Protocol “DHCP” traffic. This traffic is overhead on all networks and is essential for internet traffic to work correctly. PLWC has remained in constant communication with Dasan/Zhone engineers and developers to determine a resolution to the issue. Multiple fixes have been implemented over the past 24 hours but as of 10:00 A.M. 11/19/2020 a working resolution has yet to be found. PLWC will continue to work diligently day and night to restore services as quickly as possible, however at this time we do not have an ETA on when this might occur. PLWC understands the need for access to the internet especially during this time, and is sorry for any inconvenience this is causing our customers. We will continue to update our customers on social media on our progress going forward.
Marcus Dowdy, Director of Broadband Services PLWC

Late Thursday, PLWC said on Twitter that the outage had been fixed.

To help students, both school districts have relaxed assignment due dates for those struggling to access the internet.

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