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Free Internet Access Resources
ISBE is currently aware of the following program offering free internet access to Illinois families to support learning during the school closures.
- AT&T is expanding “Access from AT&T,” our low-cost home internet offering to qualifying households AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program.
- They’ve expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start.
- Additionally, they are offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service.
- All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers can use unlimited internet data.
- AT&T is redirecting more resources to provide communication services and tools for first responders, health care professionals, educators and other essential customers. This additional support will help ensure these customers can continue providing critical support to the country and their communities, particularly to first responders using the FirstNet network.
- Spectrum Free Broadband: Spectrum is offering free internet to students in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Starting March 16, 2020 the company will offer free broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
- Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives:
- Comcast has opened their Home Hotspot network for all non-Comcast customers. If you rent router/WiFi equipment from Comcast, you can enable it to help out those around you in this unprecedented time of need. Comcast promotes it as secure and will not impact your own network experience. Plus, they have removed any network caps for the next two months. Considering all Illinois schools will be closing for the next few weeks, sharing your resources with your neighbors could help students out (regardless if they are our specific students). Please consider turning this option on at the following: https://www.xfinity.com/support/articles/disable-xfinity-wifi-home-hotspot
- Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
- Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
- No Disconnects or Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
- News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, we also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
- 24x7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. We engineer our network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Our engineers and technicians staff our network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. We are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.