As MCAD transitions to remote learning for the remainder of Spring Semester 2020, students and other members of the community may find themselves in need of a reliable Internet connection at home. This article gives a basic overview of available options, including a list of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and wireless carriers who have made special accommodations to help people stay connected amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Information about using your phone as a wireless hotspot can be found at the end of this article.
Are there programs available to help me get internet service?
Your guide to internet service during COVID-19 outbreak
Internet Service Providers
Comcast Announces Comprehensive COVID-19 Response to Help Keep Americans Connected to the Internet
The company is offering Internet Essentials as an affordable way for homes who receive public assistance to get online. The plan is available for about $10 per month. In addition, they are increasing speeds for all customers in response to emergency measures associated with the coronavirus, new customers receive two months free, and they've suspended all late fees and data limits for 60 days.
Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students at any service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees are also waived. This is only for homes that do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription.
New household with K-12 or college students who do not currently have home internet access can get free internet for 60 days.
Xtream powered by Mediacom
This ISP is upgrading its low-cost Connect2Compete internet program and offering 60 days of free service for qualifying families who subscribe before May 15.
Verizon will provide free internet to students in Los Angeles
CenturyLink COVID-19 information
CenturyLink is waiving late fees and suspending data usage limits.
Minneapolis Free Wifi Options
* Signal strength is dependent on distance from the access point and may not be adequate for video chat.
Wireless Phone Carriers
Metro by T-Mobile
Wireless Hotspots and Tethering
It is possible to use most smartphones to generate a wireless hotspot that can be used by other devices, a process also known as "WiFi tethering." A small wireless network is generated using your phone's data plan. WARNING: If you have limited mobile data, using your phone as a hotspot can lead to steep overage fees if you use too much. Please check with your phone carrier before you try this to confirm your data rates and that your plan supports tethering, and watch the amount of data you are using if you're concerned about going over.
Here are two articles explaining how to use your phone as a wireless hotspot:
Apple iOS devices: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204023
Android devices: https://support.google.com/android/answer/9059108?hl=en
We hope this information is helpful. We will update this page periodically as the situation unfolds. If you have any questions about accessing the internet or MCAD Resources from home, please search the knowledge base at https://kb.mcad.edu/ or contact us via phone at 612-874-3666 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, and stay safe!