Hood Canal Communications Responds to COVID-19 With Internet Speed Increases, Temporary Closures

All customers will receive access to high-speed broadband internet for six weeks while offices are closed to the public.

To meet the Internet needs of work-from-home individuals and students during the COVID-19 pandemic, Hood Canal Communications (HCC) has increased its minimum internet speed to 25 Megabits per second (Mbps) for six weeks, at no charge to customers.

“We hope that this will offer some relief to our customers who are stuck at home during this pandemic,” said HCCs’ General Manager Mike Oblizalo.

Using the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) guidelines, HCC estimates that families of up to four people will be able to use email, browse the web, video conference and stream simultaneously.

HCC is able to offer this unprecedented broadband access thanks to a major upgrade to its network facilities last year. In 2019, the company expanded its internet backbone, adding two geographically diverse fiber-optic cable connections, each capable of providing 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) of throughput to the public Internet. This network upgrade marked the largest connections to be deployed in Mason County, giving the company the fastest “backbone” Internet connection currently available in the area.

In addition to increasing HCC’s minimum internet speeds, the company has also put into place several relief measures for its customers. All pay-by-phone fees will be waived, to encourage access to the feature and discourage unnecessary contact. HCC is also proud to participate in the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge and will waive late fees for the month of March.

This speed upgrade and other customer relief measures are offered as solutions to the necessary closure of HCC’s offices to the public. Following the advice of the CDC and other government officials, unnecessary contact between employees and customers will be limited until further notice. Additional measures have been put in place to mitigate potential health hazards for technicians in the field.

“Our customers’ and employees’ safety are our top priorities,” Oblizalo said. “We’re proud to offer these relief measures to ensure connectivity and stability in these uncertain times.”