During these trying times, we confront a global epidemic; getting online is more crucial than ever, especially for students. Accessing information, taking online classes, and conducting research may appear challenging, but we have the solution. Look at some companies that give free internet to students.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the closure of at least 124,000 schools in the United States. Schools are turning to online instruction to combat the spread of the new coronavirus.
Unfortunately, because of high costs and gaps in availability, almost 3 million students do not have access to the internet at home. As a result, a substantial number of students cannot continue their studies.
Students will connect to their virtual classes thanks to a collaboration between school districts and some of the leading internet providers.
During this crisis, internet providers are doing something unprecedented: offering students and low-income families free or subsidized internet access. For students, we’re breaking down the major actors and their resources.
What Are Service Providers?
A service provider is a company that, rather than selling a product, provides expert care or specialized services. Carriers that deal with communication or technology, such as mobile phone companies or Internet service providers, associate with the word frequently.
They rarely refer to other service-related organizations, such as banks or mechanics as service providers, although the term is appropriate. Rather than working with single sales, organizations in this industry frequently offer subscriptions to their customers.
Service providers come in a variety of shapes and sizes. These businesses usually have a specific focus and target market.
While it is not uncommon for a person to interact with over one sort of service provider, dealing with two of the same type is unusual. Few people, for example, have over one form of Internet service, such as cable and DSL, going into their home.
Internet service providers (ISPs) provide Internet access and serve as a hub for a variety of other computer-related services. While there are a variety of service types available, such as dial-up, cable modem, or DSL, the overall service is consistent across the firms.
In exchange for allowing the user access to their systems and network to send data, most ISPs charge a monthly subscription fee. Their network connects to others, giving them complete Internet access.
A network service provider (NSP) connects ISPs and business networks, allowing them to communicate with one another. As ISPs, several NSPs have expanded into household and business services, blurring the border between the two types of businesses. NSPs may also give phone companies access, allowing conventional and cellular calls to be transmitted.
Application Service Providers (ASPs) provide computer services such as program access or remote troubleshooting and maintenance. These organizations that provide software as a service usually have highly specialized software that is used for certain activities.
For as long as the subscribing company requires it, they access this software through a web interface. ASP heading covers online games, while often thought of as a business service. These games have the potential to attract millions of paying members, making them one of the most lucrative segments of the ASP market.
Internet-based information, such as web pages or downloaded files, is stored by hosting service providers. Hosts provide a platform for creating web pages, storing files, and exchanging information. This service eliminates the requirement for household and commercial customers to maintain a web server for their data.
People can communicate with one another through the phone system thanks to telecom service providers. Landlines are becoming less frequent, and most communication now takes place via satellites and comprehensive ground networks.
It’s becoming more normal to have a landline and a cell phone call on the same line as an Internet video or a cable TV broadcast.
List Of Service Providers
Let’s look at some of the Service Providers we have:
Is a Los Angeles, California-based wireless Internet and mobile virtual network operator. The company sells mobile phones, tablets, and internet gadgets for use with its IP mobile services, which include “free” data, text, and VoIP.
CEO Stephen Stokols and Steven Sesar founded it, and it was owned and run by STS Media Inc until they sold it in June 2019.
Sprint and AT&T networks in the United States, Three in the United Kingdom, Yoigo in Spain, and Telcel in Mexico are all used by FreedomPop.
Is a California-based Internet service provider in Woodland Hills. It is a subsidiary of United Online, which is a subsidiary of B. Riley Financial, an investment bank. Juno Online Services and Bluelight Internet Services are also owned by United Online.
Is a communication, network services, security, cloud solutions, voice, and managed services provider based in Monroe, Louisiana. The company is a Fortune 500 corporation and a member of the S&P 500 index.
Local and long-distance voice, broadband, MPLS, private line (including special access), Ethernet, hosting (including cloud hosting and managed hosting), data integration, video, network, public access, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), information technology, and other ancillary services are among the company’s communications services.
Lumen also supports multinational corporations in North America, Latin America, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), and Asia Pacific.
Is a nationwide non-profit organization dedicated to closing the digital divide by partnering with the technology sector, content creators, libraries, and other groups to provide all Americans with free and inexpensive technology and training.
#5. Frontier Communications Corporation
They formerly knew citizens Communications Company as Citizens Utilities Company until May 2000 and Citizens Utilities Company until July 31, 2008. It is an American telecommunications company.
Previously, the company only serviced rural and small villages, but it now also services many large metropolitan markets.
#6. AT&T Inc.
Originally the American Telephone and Telegraph Company, it is a Delaware-registered worldwide conglomerate holding company with its headquarters in Downtown Dallas, Texas.
It is the largest telecommunications corporation in the world and the largest provider of mobile phone services in the United States. With $181 billion in revenue in 2020, they rated AT&T 9th on the Fortune 500 list of the largest American firms.
AT&T has teamed up with participating K-12 schools and institutions to provide 60 days of free wireless data via school-issued 4G LTE and hotspot devices. These cellular signals are within reach of most households that do not have access to high-speed internet.
AT&T also offers access from AT&T, a low-income internet program. New participants who meet the criteria will receive two months of service for free. Those who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or who take part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), National School Lunch (NSLP), or Head Start programs are eligible.
They offer AT&T in 21 states, with California, Texas, and Florida having the most extensive coverage.
#7. Charter Communications, Inc.,
Is a telecommunications and media firm based in the United States that offers Spectrum-branded services.
It is the second-largest cable operator in the United States by subscribers, just behind Comcast, and the third-largest pay TV operator, behind Comcast and AT&T, with over 26 million consumers in 41 states.
Based on the number of residential lines, Charter is the fifth-largest telephone company.
#8. Charter Spectrum
One of the best deals is Spectrum’s offer of free broadband and Wi-Fi (up to 100Mbps) for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don’t have Spectrum service.
They do not require fees for installation and prepayment. The price is only available to new subscribers, and they apply it as a credit for the first two months of service.
Spectrum is available in 41 states, with the cities of Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Saint Louis, and San Antonio being the most densely populated.
OPTIMUM AND SUDDENLINK (ALTICE)
Both Optimum and Suddenlink, which are owned by the same parent firm, are offering new customers 60 days of free internet. The Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband option is available to households with students (K-12 and college students) who do not have home internet service.
On the East Coast, they only offer Optimum in four states: Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Suddenlink serves 20 states, most of which are in the South, including Texas, West Virginia, and Louisiana.
Cox is offering a starting bundle with 50Mbps for $20 per month. Its basic internet service plan costs $30 for 10Mbps, so this is a substantial upgrade.
Connect2Compete, the company’s low-income internet initiative, is also available. Cox is giving away two months of service for free ($10 per month after that) and boosting speeds to 50Mbps.
Families with K-12 children who are NSLP, SNAP, Tenant-Based Vouchers, Project-Based Vouchers, Section 8 Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA), or who live in Public Housing are eligible to apply.
They offer Cox in 19 states, with Arizona, California, and Virginia having the best coverage.
In California, Google is partnering with the local government to install 100 000 free Wi-Fi hotspots in rural homes for a three-month period. In addition, Google is contributing $4,000 to pupils.
Schools are Helping too
Many institutions are doing everything they can to support their students’ access to online education. Some school districts are using Wi-Fi-enabled school buses to park in various neighborhoods during the day to provide internet access to pupils.
Some school districts are cooperating with cell phone companies to supply LTE-enabled tablets and mobile hotspots to pupils.
Students who want to use the internet should check with their school district, university, and local internet provider to discover what resources are available.
Besides what has already been stated, it is important to stress that the Philadelphia School District recognizes the importance of internet connectivity for our students and families.
For protecting our children, families, teachers and staff, as well as the larger Philadelphia community, the District is committed to developing ways to fulfill our students’ educational needs while also promoting social distancing behaviors.
The Philadelphia School District is collaborating with the City of Philadelphia and Internet service providers to explore Internet connection options for our students and families.
Below is a list of current free or low-cost Internet and Wi-Fi access alternatives. They detail each Internet service provider’s offers, as well as any limits or limitations on their separate websites.
The Philadelphia School District does not endorse any service providers, solutions, or products, and provides this material for informational purposes only.
Previous Options From Commercial Providers
Comcast is offering new customers with limited means sixty (60) days of free Comcast Internet Essentials, regardless of past Comcast debt. This information is available in a variety of languages, as shown in the table to the right.
For more information and eligibility conditions, see their website. The app is accessible in seven (7) different languages. The application for Internet Essentials does not require a social security number.
PHL City IDs are among the 28 types of documentation accepted by Comcast. You can find here a complete list. https://internetessentials.com/get-help.
Comcast has free-of-charge upgraded Internet Essentials speeds from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all subscribers. This will be the Internet Essentials base speed.
Customers with Internet Essential can also get a laptop for $150.
Through May 2020, Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspots across the country will be free to anyone who needs them, even non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. Visit www.xfinity.com/wifi for a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspots.
Consumers should choose the “xfinitywifi” network name from the list of networks after connecting to a Hotspot and then open a browser. The time you can use Xfinity Wi-Fi Hotspots for free will vary, and it may be limited to a certain number of hours per day or month. For more information, please contact Comcast directly.
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Individuals who qualify will now be able to get low-cost Internet access through Verizon’s Lifeline program. There are certain restrictions. Visit their Lifeline webpage for more information on the service.
Through June 30, Verizon will waive overage and late costs for customers who may be financially affected by the COVID-19 problem.
Current Lifeline users will receive two months of free Internet and telephony service until June 30 from Verizon.
Verizon is increasing the amount of high-speed internet available to wireless customers and small businesses by 15GB.
There will be no data caps on Fios and DSL broadband Internet options for consumers and small businesses.
#3. AT&T and Cricket
Because of their inability to pay their account, AT&T will not end the service of any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customer.
AT&T will waive any data, voice, or text plan overage costs. AT&T will also forgive any late payment fines incurred by any wireless, home phone, or internet household or small business client because of the coronavirus pandemic’s economic difficulties. To get a waiver, please click here.
AT&T will continue to make its public Wi-Fi Hotspots available to anyone who requires them.
Cricket is introducing a new unlimited $15 plan with 2GB of data and unlimited talk and text for a limited time with no activation cost for new and existing Cricket customers starting March 27.
#4. T-Mobile and Metro
T-Mobile Connect is a new package that offers unlimited speech and text for $15 per month, as well as 2GB of high-speed smartphone data.
With a $15 unlimited tablet data plan (plus sales tax and installation fee), new and existing Metro customers with any voice line can also get a free 8″ tablet (through rebate redemption). Requires a new tablet service line).
For the next 60 days, T-Mobile has abolished all smartphone data limitations for ALL customers.
For the next 60 days, T-Mobile is offering consumers a 20GB hotspot/tethering service.
MetroSmart Hotspot devices will be 50% off, and the $35 per month data plan will include 20GB of data for the next 60 days, which is double the normal monthly data.
For the next 60 days, all current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers with legacy plans that do not include unlimited high-speed data will receive unlimited smartphone data.
Customers on T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile smartphone plans with Hotspot
#5. Sprint and Boost Mobile
Sprint will not end service and will waive late penalties for the next 60 days if customers cannot pay their Sprint bill because of the coronavirus.
Customers on metered data plans will receive unlimited data per month for 60 days (at least two bill cycles) at no additional charge.
The customers will receive an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no additional charge from Sprint.
Customers with mobile hotspot-capable handsets who do not currently have a mobile hotspot will now receive 20GB per month at no additional charge for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles).
Other Options for Free/Low-Cost Internet Access
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Through summer 2022, PHLConnectED is the City of Philadelphia’s effort to link low-income pre-K-12 families to free internet for digital learning.
They offer PHLConnectED to families who meet the following criteria:
Have students who take part in remote learning in locations without internet access; do not have an internet connection in their home; are only connected via mobile phone; are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity; or have students who take part in remote learning in locations without internet access.
Families with internet access are also eligible if they:
- take part in public benefit programs with income requirements, such as, Medicaid
- Have kids classified as English learners; or, have pupils receiving special education help
While the library branches are closed, Wi-Fi access will be available at all Free Library of Philadelphia locations. To use the location’s Wi-Fi, you’ll need an active library card number and PIN.
Visit the Free Library website for further information and directions on how to get free Wi-Fi at any public library branch.
Charter Spectrum has a Wi-Fi hotspot coverage map that you can search by address.
The National Free Wi-Fi map, which you can search by address, lists free Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses and restaurants. Most of the locations are in Philadelphia’s northeast and northwest areas.
The Federal Lifeline Program is one of four federal Universal Service programs that helps low-income families afford phone and Internet service. Customers who qualify can earn up to $9.25 off their monthly payment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Through phone lines, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), or specially dedicated Internet connections, an ISP enables direct access to the Internet from your home or office. Most ISPs include popular software such as a Web browser and email client.
A freenet is essentially a community-based free Internet service provider. A freenet works on the same premise as a public library, giving everyone access to the Internet regardless of their financial situation.
A firewall is a hardware and software combination that divides a Local Area Network (LAN) into two or more sections for security reasons. Users connecting from outside the LAN can only access information on the other side of the firewall, whereas local users have access to everything.
The term “netiquette” refers to the standards of conduct that should be followed when communicating through the internet. Of course, the fundamental guideline is to be courteous to others, even if you may never have to deal with them. It’s a common blunder to advertise on a newsgroup via email.
It’s believed that access to education is access to opportunity, thus the need for internet access.
Students who have access to the internet can broaden their horizons becoming more intellectually proficient. One thing is having access to the internet, free internet access, with free internet access, more students can widen their scope of knowledge.