News3 News Now Investigators


Truckers face bandwidth issues as more people work from home

Posted at 6:50 PM, Mar 31, 2020

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — While some of us are working from home, others like truckers are playing a vital role in keeping store shelves stocked and gas at the pumps. But, some are having a hard time communicating.

Truckers are essential, especially now. They bring supplies like toilet paper and food to shelves.

20-year trucker Keith Blandford hasn’t seen anything like this before.

“Everyone is buying up. I mean the shelves were empty. We're bringing in as fast as we can do it,” he says.

A big part of their job is communicating with bosses, family and supply chains. With so many locked inside, internet bandwidth is getting gobbled up.

It’s hit or miss for truckers like Mike Raines.

“I need to be able to see the weather and traffic and GPS,” he says.

A big part of the job is knowing where to go and getting a heads up about road conditions in the next county or state.

The 3 News Now Investigators reached out to local internet providers about the issue. Cox says it has seen an increase in traffic. Peak times went from evenings throughout the day and it says it has enough capacity to handle the sudden shifts in usage.

“We have to open. We must be open to keep goods moving,” says Werner Trucking CEO/President Derek Leathers. “We do need as much bandwidth for all companies. Because if you think about Omaha, it’s not just trucking. We're a transportation hub.”

The slowdown is mostly in the cities.

So, remember truckers are out there, bringing in that next shipment of toilet paper and food. To do your part, maybe try to limit your bandwidth. It could help them get their deliveries to stores faster and stay connected to their families.