APRIL 2020
100% Increase in Home-office-based Internet Usage – How Are You Doing?  

Americans working at home and new e-learning programs for K-12 and college students have jumped daily internet usage more than 100%, according to the Benton Institute for Broadband and Society. In early April, 46.2 million Americans worked or studied online, compared to the pre-COVID-19 level of 22.6 million.


We’re seeing similar jumps in usage on Smithville’s high-speed network, but we’re more than holding our own. This is due in part to major network upgrades Smithville invested in over the past few years, including what the industry calls “heavy infrastructure” of high-capacity 100-gigabit core nodes that Smithville built.  Through these nodes and other network updates, Smithville can support a full spectrum from Big Data operations, call centers and IOT-centric industries to small businesses operating out of a home office, even during periods of high demand like what we’re seeing in the COVID-19 crisis.


Looking for help with a home office or other COVID-19 issues? Click on the button below for updates and tips.



Business Cloud Services, Video and More

Are you aware of all of the business services Smithville offers? If you haven’t seen it already, check out the all-new commercial website at Smithville Business.com.


In addition to our high-capacity internet service, your Smithville team can provide you with great video production support, new security services, and more. The Phase I of our new business website profiles our strong array of business services, and more info about our extended large-scale enterprise offerings is coming soon.

New fire protection support for commercial businesses and organizations 
Speaking of new services, Smithville now offers a full range of fire protection services, including fire monitoring for advanced suppression systems, sprinkler systems and smoke detectors for small to medium-sized businesses. Smithville can tailor new security commitments to strategically fit customer needs, including serving a customer’s required fire inspection needs that meet state-mandated requirements.

Cybersecurity in Times of Crisis

With the major jump in home office/remote internet usage and other security issues, cyberattacks, COVID-19 phishes, new forms of ransomware and other cybersecurity issues have emerged. The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) issued an alert about virtual private networks and other security concern. Read the alert here. CISA encourages employees working from home to diligently maintain operating system and application software updates and patches.


CISA also warns of increased phishes, where e-mails fraudulently use company logos and language (like banks and credit cards) to deceive users into entering critically sensitive data. CISA warns of e-mails that begin with generic greetings, such as “Dear Valued Customer” and poor grammar and sentence structures, which don’t represent professional communication and can serve as a warning sign of a phish. Read more here.


It may sound obvious, but many home offices still use dangerously simple passwords like “Password123.” The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a quick read on promoting home cybersecurity here.


As the crisis continues, some companies like videoconferencing leader ZOOM have experienced serious cyber breaches. Check out these updates on ZOOM and other issues.


Concerned about specific issues? Smithville support is always available 24/7 (both online FAQs and live support technicians by phone at 866-470-2583) and you can always contact your Smithville account representative.

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