Staying Connected at Home

If you are concerned about securing reliable internet connection in your residence, this document provides some resources to help you get started. There are several ways to access your courses for the remaining weeks of the semester.

Wifi vs. Ethernet vs. Mobile Hotspot?

Ethernet is the most reliable way to ensure a smooth connection for synchronous learning. In most homes, wifi offers sufficient bandwidth for video conferencing, but a direct connection to your modem or router will be faster and more consistent.

A mobile hotspot is useful when neither wifi nor ethernet connection are available. Mobile hotspots offer more geographic versatility in some cases, but may not provide a sufficient connection for synchronous learning.

What if my residence is not currently connected to the internet?

In order to connect to the internet via wifi or ethernet, you may need to sign up with an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many ISPs offer discounted or free access to the internet for remote learning and low-income households. These plans cost roughly $10/month and require proof of eligibility. To determine which ISPs serve a given address, consult the FCC Broadband Deployment Map. Below is a non-exhaustive list of major ISPs that have accessible or free internet plans.

AT&T

Low-Cost plan: Access from AT&T. Up to 10 Mbps.
Free plan during COVID outbreak? No.
Free public hotspots? Yes. (No map available)
Read AT&T's COVID Management & Support Document.

Charter/Spectrum

Low-Cost plan: Spectrum Internet Assist. Up to 30 Mbps.
Free plan during COVID outbreak? Yes, for 60 days in households with K-12/college students without a current Spectrum broadband subscription. Up to 100Mbps. To enroll without installation fees, customers may call 1-844-488-8395.
Free public hotspots? Yes. Check out Spectrum's map of public hotspots.
Read Charter's COVID Management & Support Document.

Comcast

Low-Cost plan: Internet Essentials from Comcast
Free plan during COVID outbreak? Yes, for 60 days for new Internet Essentials Customers. Up to 25 Mbps.
Free public hotspots? Yes. Check out Comcast's map of public XFinity hotspots.
Read Comcast's COVID Management & Support Document.

Altice USA

Low-Cost plan: Altice Advantage Internet (Optimum & Suddenlink)
Free plan during COVID outbreak? Yes, 60 days free for new households with K-12/College students. Up to 30 Mbps.
Free public hotspots? Yes. Check out Altice's map of public Optimum hotspots. (Optimum Hotspots)
Read Altice's COVID Management & Support Document.

Cox Internet

Low-Cost plan: Connect2Compete
Free plan during COVID outbreak? Yes, first month free of Connect2Compete. Up to 25 Mbps.
Free public hotspots? Check out Cox's map of public hotspots.
Read Cox's COVID Management & Support Document.

Sparklight/Cable One

Low-Cost plan: None.
Free plan during COVID outbreak? No.
Free public hotspots? No.
Read Sparklight's COVID Management & Support Document.

Starry

Low-Cost plan: Starry Connect
Free plan during COVID outbreak? Yes, all Starry Connect subscriptions are free until May. Up to 30 Mbps.
Free public hotspots? No.
Read Starry's COVID Management & Support Document.

TDS Telecom

Low-Cost plan: Yes, more information available at 1-888-287-8156.
Free plan during COVID outbreak? Yes, 60 days free for low-income individuals/families, or those with K-12/College Students. Up to 25 Mbps (probably).
Free public hotspots? Yes. (No map available)
Read TDS's COVID Management & Support Document