Who pays for teleworkers' network connections?

The growing popularity of teleworking is giving rise to questions that had not been considered at any length before.

The town hall meeting was sponsored by the Telework Exchange, a public-private partnership that promotes the benefits of telework.

Federal employees who telework in a home office often pay for their own network connectivity, a monthly expense that could be viewed as a subsidy to their departments, speakers said at a Telework Exchange Town Hall meeting on May 2.

From the agency point of view, home office connectivity is a free service, said Peter Tseronis, chief technology officer for the Energy Department, who led a session on mobility. Now that teleworking is becoming more popular, there likely will be more discussion about such questions, he suggested.

“If I telework at home, who pays for my Internet Service Provider?” Tseronis said. “We need to start talking about issues like that.”

At the Marine Corps Recruiting Command, about 4,000 recruiters have been issued government-owned mobile devices, including tablet computers, allowing them to work primarily in their homes.

The recruiters arrange and pay for their own home Internet networks that they use for work, said Robert Brown, assistant chief of staff.

“We do not force folks to telework. But if they do, they sign an agreement that they will have network connectivity at home,” Brown said. “It has not been a problem.”

For a few specialized workers who require more bandwidth and other special features in their Internet service, the recruiting command provides them with a subsidy, he added.

Many other federal agencies have similar arrangements. Cindy Auten, Telework Exchange general manager, suggested that many teleworkers are happy to pay for home connectivity because of the many benefits of telecommuting. “We’ve seen that teleworkers are often open to sharing the cost of connectivity in exchange for the flexibility of being able to work anytime and from anywhere," Auten said.

At the same time, a significant number of agencies are supporting home Internet for teleworkers, either partially or fully. A recent survey by the exchange showed that while 64 percent of federal agencies do not subsidize home Internet for teleworkers, 35 percent do offer such subsidies to some extent. 

Nonetheless, other speakers and audience members at the town hall suggested there could be gray areas about such arrangements: Is it fair to ask workers to subsidize the costs of their own connectivity for their jobs? What if Internet goes down at home and the employee is unable to work?

“If I am without Internet at home when I am supposed to be teleworking, what is the impact on me? What if something like that should happen?” an audience member asked in a question-and-answer session at the town hall meeting.

Casey Coleman, chief information officer for the General Services Administration, said one of the advantages of teleworking is flexibility, so that if a worker is without Internet at home, coming into the office that day would be a solution, she suggested.

At the GSA’s new headquarters, where there will be 2,000 seats for 4,000 people, employees will be expected to book arrangements for shared office space. The workers will have a choice of open space in a large room with other workers, or behind closed doors in a private office. The private offices are intended for those who require more concentration and quiet for certain types of work, Coleman said.



X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.