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Internet Outage Temporarily Disrupts Online Classes

A young girl in front of a computer for an online class.

Spectrum customers across the state woke up this Wednesday morning with no internet access. Schools teaching remotely during the pandemic reported issues with their students’ ability to sign into online classes.

Anaconda Public Schools is in the midst of its first week of fully remote classes after a coronavirus outbreak quarantined several teachers and students. Assistant Superintendent Dan Laughlin says the outage caused some issues for the district.

"So the kids, they log on at a certain time and they get going, and I’m sure there's a lot of frustrated kids and parents out there."

Laughlin says some of the district’s phones weren’t functioning as they too rely on internet services.

Helena Public Schools also reported issues with the internet outage.

Reports of outages stretched from Missoula to Billings.

Bozeman Public Schools Superintendent Bob Connors said the outage came on the district’s all remote learning day.

"But it seemed to be up by about 9:30 or 10, so we seemed to be OK at that point."

In a statement to MTPR  a spokesperson for  Charter, which owns Spectrum, said  a third-party carrier’s network caused the outage. Charter did not say how widespread the outage was and the spokesperson said service was restored around 9 a.m.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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