Home Internet Access

Free Community Wi-Fi Hot-Spots

The FCC has asked the nation’s telecommunications companies to take the https://www.fcc.gov/keep-americans-connected, which includes a commitment that vendors make their community Wi-Fi Hotspots open and free to all.  These are the ones I could find; please let me know if there are others, particularly small PA providers:

               • Comcast/Xfinity - https://hotspots.wifi.xfinity.com/

               • PenTeleData/Service Electric - http://www.ptdunleashed.com/

               • Zito Media - https://www.zitomedia.net/wifi/

               • Frontier - http://www.frontierwifi.com/coverageareafrontier.aspx

               • Charter Spectrum - https://www.spectrum.com/wifi-hotspots

               • Lackawanna County Free Wi-Fi - https://www.lackawannacounty.org/index.php/wireless    

               • Atlantic Broadband - https://atlanticbb.com/my-services/my-account/wifi-hotspots


National Free Wi-Fi Map

https://www.wifimap.io/.  Many of these locations are restaurants that are now closed, but their parking lots may continue to have active service.


Library Parking Lot Wi-Fi

 The American Library Association has asked every library in the country to keep their Wi-Fi open during the shutdown so patrons can access it from their parking lots.  I know of at least one PA library that is allowing/encouraging the community to use their free Wi-Fi in the library parking lot, in the safety of their cars (see wonderful picture at http://e-ratepa.org/?page_id=32310).  As long as the Internet doesn’t extend beyond the school or library’s property boundary, I don’t think there are any E-rate rules that would prohibit it.  In fact, it’s a fantastic idea.  If you know of any schools or libraries that are making their Wi-Fi available to the public from their parking lots, please let me know (and share a picture if you can). 


Low-Cost Home Internet

 Several companies have low-cost, home-based Internet for low-income households. 

               • Comcast/Xfinity – Comcast will offer new residential, low-income customers its $9.95-per-month Internet Essentials program free for 60 days. The company is also boosting the internet service speeds in this program from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps, which qualifies the service as high-speed broadband under FCC guidelines.  Comcast will also suspend data caps for 60 days.  https://internetessentials.com/

               • Zito Media - Zito Media will provide its 20 Mbps Internet Service free of charge for two months to low income residents. 

               • AT&T – AT&T’s Access program provides $10/month home-based Internet to limited income households.  Also offering two months of free service to new Access customers who order by April 30, 2020 ($10/mo thereafter) and waiving all home internet data overage fees.   https://digitalyou.att.com/low-cost-internet/

               • Charter Spectrum (formerly Time Warner Cable) - Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. 

               • CenturyLink:   CenturyLink is suspending data usage limits for consumer customers during this time period due to COVID-19.


Federal Lifeline Program

Lifeline is one of the four federal Universal Service programs (E-rate is also one) that lowers the monthly cost of phone or internet for low-income households.  Eligible customers can receive up to $9.25 toward their bill.  https://www.lifelinesupport.org/