Staying Connected - Literally

March 19, 2020

Internet availability may present a challenge for some, but local companies are offering support to help people stay home and stay connected.

Swenson College of Science & Engineering recognizes that it may be difficult for many people to have access to online instruction and resources during this time.

The U of M Office of Information Technology has recommended that students check with their service providers to find out what they may be offering and they are providing Instructions for setting up a mobile WiFi hotspot 

Below is a sampling of what internet service providers were offering as of March 20, 2020. Keep in mind, we are not endorsing any of these companies or products. We're just compiling the information available on their websites to help inform everyone on what is available.

For up to the minute information, check out this page from the Office of Information Technology.

AT&T:  Suspending service termination when customers can't pay bills. Free access to public wifi hotspots. 

Verizon: Waiving late fees and suspending service termination.

Charter Communications: The telecommunications company is providing free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi internet for the next 60 days to households with K-12 students or college students who don't already have a subscription. Like Comcast and AT&T, it's also offering its Wi-Fi hot spots for free to the public.  

Comcast: The cable provider is offering free access to its Xfinity WiFi hot spots for everyone, including non-subscribers, for 60 days. The company is also taking immediate steps to help connect low-income families to the Internet at home. New Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service, which is available to all qualified low-income households. After two months time, there will be a charge of $9.95/month plus tax. But, you must apply by April 30, 2020. Visit: for more details.

Spectrum: "During this time of uncertainty due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), our customers need to stay connected more than ever. We’re committed to offering special discounts to households affected by this virus. Beginning Monday, March 16, we’ll offer two free months of internet and WiFi services to new customers in households with Pre-K to 12 or college students who need remote education. This discount will be applied as a credit for your first two months of internet services. We’ll waive any installation or pre-payment fees to help get you started."

You can qualify for this offer if you:

  • Have a student of qualifying age at your service address with remote education needs

  • Have not subscribed to their internet services within the past 30 days

Call 1-855-243-8892 or visit the Spectrum website for more info.