We recognize that not all students in Maine have access to the internet and we are working swiftly to address this. Some companies are offering free internet access options for a limited time to help promote connectivity for remote learning. Nationally, many internet companies have signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge which allows for flexibility and payment waivers, as well as free access to broadband services for a limited time.
- Charter has offered free Spectrum broadband and WiFi access for 60 days to households with K-12/college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription.
- The FCC has released a handful of partners including all Maine internet providers: AT&T, Comcast, Consolidated Communications, FirstLight, GWI, TDS Telecom, TMobile, TracFone Wireless, US Cellular, Verizon.
- Comcast: Individuals that sign up for Internet Essentials will receive two free months of Internet service. There is no term contract or credit check. Qualifications and additional details are available here: https://apply.internetessentials.com/
- AT&T: Offers the “Access Program” which provides low-cost home internet to qualifying households for $5-10 a month, no deposit or installation fee. AT&T is expanding eligibility based on incomeand to households participating in National School Lunch Program/Head Start. Qualifications and additional details are available here: https://m.att.com/shopmobile/internet/access/
For districts seeking an online platform to provide real-time instruction, several companies have offered their resources for free.
- Zoom is currently providing K-12 schools access to video conferencing for free. There is the option to provide real-time instruction and record lessons and upload them to Google Classroom or Blackboard. Learn more here.
- WebEx is currently providing its video conferencing platforms to K-12 teachers for free. Learn more here.
- RingCentral Office is currently providing its platform for free to K-12 educators for free. Learn more here.
We are communicating with local companies to more specifically identify regions and we will continue to update this information as we learn more. We encourage SAU's that wish to use internet platforms for remote learning to contact their local service providers to learn more about connectivity availability options at this time.
We are committed to supporting universal connectivity in Maine and will continue to update you as more options become available.
Press Release from Senator King (posted 3/16/20) - As Students Face Coronavirus Threat to Health and Educational Efforts, Senators King and Colleagues Push to Ensure Connectivity
Charter Expands Broadband Access (PDF) (3/18/2020)
FCC Release: Keep America Connected (PDF) (3/18/2020)