There could be no processing of medical claims while epic battles took place in Fortnite. Nor could one even begin to survive the zombie apocalypse during business hours.
That's a unique, but hard truth the Sutton family faced when using a DSL internet provider at their home. Because of their slow connection, no one else in the home could use internet while Vickie Sutton was working from home as a medical claims processor –much less play the popular online video game.
"It was terrible,” says Greg Sutton, a resident of Buford and a member of Lynches River Electric Cooperative. “We literally had to turn everything else off. It was really hard during the time when my daughter was having to do virtual learning. She had to do a lot of her schoolwork in the evening.”
The limited internet connection required the Suttons to upgrade the data plan with their mobile carrier just to meet their everyday needs. But in the fall of 2021, the Suttons signed up for RiverNet Connect, the broadband internet service provided by Lynches River Electric Cooperative. RiverNet Connect's fiber-optic broadband provides subscribers with unlimited data at gigabit speeds that can handle streaming and downloading to multiple devices.
Sutton works out at the same gym as Lynches River Electric CEO Brian Broughton and said Broughton issued a challenge once he got connected to the new internet service.
“He told me to put it through the ringer," recounts Sutton. “So, I had every gaming system in our house on, three PlayStations. At the same time, I was streaming Netflix and had our phones on Wi-Fi.”
Sutton said the true test was how quickly they could download the update patches to their online games. These large files, which come on a weekly basis, previously took more than a day to complete, according to Sutton. In order to meet Broughton's challenge, Sutton says he attempted three different game updates simultaneously.
"So instead of a day and a half for one game, it took 11 minutes for three games, and we were all streaming,” says Sutton. “I have yet to make it buffer.”
Now, in the Sutton home, medical claims are processed and Fortnite battles are won, all at the same time if necessary.
Article by Josh B. Crotzer