Now that all of your courses are going to be delivered online, your home internet connection is going to be your connection to be more critical than ever.
The FCC has asked companies to work with Americans impacted by COVID-19 to help provide them with Internet access. Students and faculty may be able to access free Internet through service providers available in their area. Companies are also pledging to keep public Wi-Fi hot-spots open for any American who needs them.
Additionally, some cell phone companies are extending unlimited data plans to existing customers for no additional charge. Restaurants, coffee shops, public libraries, etc. may have available high-speed Internet that you can access from isolation in your car or from outdoor patios even if they are closed.
The purpose of this quick guide is to help USG students with the sudden transition of face-to-face classes to online via D2L, the most popular learning management system used by USG institutions.
Information on Free Public WiFi and Getting Internet at Home
The Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative has information for students and families needing to get online during the COVID-19 outbreak, including resources for free public WiFi and getting internet at home.
Also, public libraries around the state are providing public access to wifi from their parking lots. When visiting these libraries, please stay in your vehicle and observe guidelines to keep a distance of at least 6 feet away from your fellow Georgians. Also, follow local governments’ rules and directions restricting travel and outdoor activities. A map of library WiFi hotspots is available here. More library resources that are still available when the libraries are closed can be found on the Georgia Public Library Service’s Libraries Everywhere website.
Some internet providers are offering free internet services to students for up to 60 days. We encourage you to research and proceed with any provider that you wish. We will continue to pass on additional resources as we learn of them.
A good place to start on getting on line is EveryoneOn.org
AT&T is providing free WiFi hotspots and, for existing customers, waiving home internet data overage fees and $10 per month plans for low-income families
Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days for students:
Comcast Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots are open and free to use by anyone
Comcast Xfinity’s Internet Essentials program is free for two months to new customers
T-Mobile will provide unlimited smartphone data to current subscribers
For USG Students who need assistive technology to access print or online materials, Freedom Scientific is offering those in the US and Canada a Free Home License of JAWS, ZoomText, or Fusion which will expire June 30, 2020.
Learn more: Freedom Scientific