COVID-19: Get Connected

FREE OR LOW-COST INTERNET SERVICE AND OTHER RELATED RESOURCES (DEVICES AND CONTENT) THAT CAN ASSIST HUD-ASSISTED RESIDENTS DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS*

  1. National Locator Tool for Low-Cost Internet Service Offers:  www.everyoneon.org/find-offers.
  2. Provided by HUD’s nonprofit partner, EveryoneOn, the locator is easy to use.  Users simply type in their zip codes and answer a few questions to determine eligibility for low-cost offers by the major Internet Service Providers (ISPs). 
  3. The site has been updated to reflect new offers many ISPs have made to help ensure connectivity for low-income Americans during the COVID-19 outbreak.  
  4. COVID-19 Updates to Specific Low-Cost Internet Service Offers.  Featured below is a list of the major ISPs, their low-cost offers, and specific updates to their offers made in response to the Federal Communication Commission’s “Keep Americans Connected” pledge which was designed to help all Americans stay connected to the Internet during the COVID-19 crisis.  
  5. AT&T’s “Access by AT&T.”  Available in 21 states.  One family member must be eligible for SNAP. 
    1. COVID-19 response:  AT&T has committed waive data overage fees in response to Covid-19. 
    1. For more information go to:  https://gizmodo.com/at-t-waiving-data-overage-fees-for-home-internet-subscr-1842300601
  6. Charter Communications’ low-cost offer is “Spectrum Internet Assist” and is based on eligibility for the National School Lunch Program.
    1. COVID-19 response: Charter is now offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have service through Spectrum. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installations fees are waived.  There are no data caps. 
    1. For more information go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-TjZ8yN2VKMFbhaoG_FIquGgyCD4aSPS/view.
  7. Comcast’s low cost offerInternet Essentials is available to any low-income American.
    1. COVID-19 Response:  Internet Essentials will be free to new customers. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. 
    1. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
    1. 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.
    1. Data overages will no longer apply for 60 days
    1. No Disconnects or Late Fees: Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact them to let them know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Comcast care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions. 
    1. For more information and updates from Comcast related to Coronavirus, visit:  http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19/
  8. Cox Communications’ Connect2Compete is for families with school-aged children who are enrolled in low-income assistance programs.
    1. COVID-19 response:  For a limited time, the first month of service will be free, $9.95/month thereafter. 
    1. For other information and other offers go to: https://newsroom.cox.com/cox_internet_changes_to_assist_students_-_remote_workers
    1. If you already have COX internet services but aren’t near them, there are free WiFi hotspots available in many locations. Find the nearest one here: https://www.cox.com/residential/internet/learn/cox-hotspots.html
  9. The Starry Internet Company affordable service Starry Connect available in   New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Denver in affordable housing developments.
    1. COVID-19 response:  Beginning March 16th through May all Starry Connect will be free for new and existing customers.  In addition, Starry will restore service to existing customers whose service was suspended the previous month due to nonpayment. 
    1. For more information go to:  https://www.lightreading.com/services/us-isps-back-pais-keep-americans-connected-pledge-/d/d-id/758211?_mc=RSS_LR_EDT
  10. T-Mobile
    1. COVID-19 Response: While T-Mobile does not have a low-cost offer, it has announced that starting now, all current T-Mo and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited smartphone data for 60 days, excluding roaming. Most subscribers already have unlimited data, but now people who may be on an older plan with a data allotment have unlimited data.  Also, Starting soon, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will have an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data for the next 60 days.
    1. For more information go to:  https://www.tmonews.com/2020/03/t-mobile-metro-unlimited-data-mobile-hotspot-coronavirus/
  11. Other smaller or regional ISPs have offers as well:
    1. This Open Source Document lists information about special programs regional ISPs are offering in response to the crisis.
  1. The Lifeline program provides a subsidy to HUD-assisted residents for phone and/or Internet service.  Annual recertification requirements have been postponed for 60 days by the FCC.
  2. For updates to these offers:  See the Federal Communications Commission’sKeep Americans Connected” page.
  3. LOW-COST DEVICES:
  4. Computer refurbishers are a good source of low-cost devices.  To find one near you, go to the Alliance for Technology Reuse and Refurbishing
  5. PCS for People is a member, has worked with many PHAs, and offers tech support for individual customers:  https://www.pcsforpeople.org/
  6. Tech Soup:  https://www.techsoup.org/  (a membership fee is required)
  1. LEARNING CONTENT
  1. ABCMouse – online learning content for kids 3-8+ years of age.  Provided by the company Age of Learning.  District or school leaders can visit www.ageoflearning.com/schools to obtain free in-home access to ABCMouse and other programs for their students. For more information, see their media advisory.
  2. Recommendations for the whole family by Common Sense Media, a nonprofit dedicated to online safety of minors:
  3. Media recommendations for entertainment
    Age-appropriate media suggestions to keep the whole family engaged
  4. Best Music Apps and Games for Kids
  5. New Kids’ TV Shows
  6. 50 Books All Kids Should Read Before Th ey’re 12
  7. Best Family Movies
  8. Common Sense Selections highlighting the best movies and TV s hows
  9. Sibling Watch-Together TV
    1. Best Documentaries for Kids and Families
  10. Resources for at-home learning
    Tools to help parents and caregivers keep kids focused and learning at home.
  11. 17 Apps to Help Kids Stay Focused
  12. Apps That Act Like Math and Science Tutors for Homework Help
  13. Free Educational Apps, Games, and Websites
  14. Top Time-Management Apps
  15. Stress-management resources
  16. When everything feels overwhelming, check out tips for taking in rapidly changing news.
  17. De-stress together with meditation apps for kid s and families.
  18. Get the blood flowing and elevate the mood with these 25 dance games (you might need to buy a special control from Amazon).
  19. Apps, websites, and video games that inspire runn ing, jumping, and more to stay active.

For more, visit:  commonsensemedia.org or commonsense.org/education

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