Is Zoom doomed when it comes to providing video conferencing for the millions of students who are were set to attend school remotely this fall due to COVID-19?
It seems so.
As reported by consumer reporter Bob Sullivan this morning: “Videoconferencing tool Zoom experienced widespread outages on Monday, frustrating teachers and students as many school districts were trying to ramp up return-to-school remote learning. It’s yet another sign that we’re living on Covid-19 time right now. While schools spent all summer developing backup plans in case they couldn’t offer in-person learning this fall — videoconferencing was always plan B – I suspect few prepared backup plans for a Zoom failure.”
As Sullivan notes, Zoom could be the “fragile” link in school plans this fall.
“Thousands of American schools have come to rely on this private company’s servers as a lifeline to American children — in some ways, more important than books and teachers to our national education system. That set the company, and the country, up for such a failure. The outage, even if short-lived, is a reminder of just how fragile our jerry-rigged education system is. Zoom is essentially critical infrastructure right now. Many teachers and students pay nothing, or next to nothing, for it.”