The following information was shared with us by our NJSBA TEC partner, E-Rate Consulting, Inc. (ERC).
Acquiring Broadband for Students at Home
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai recently issued a release referencing the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Highlights are summarized below.
Major telecommunications providers are have agreed to the following for a period of at least 60 days:
- They will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers due to an inability to pay.
- They will waive late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- They will open their Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Over a dozen companies have signed the pledge, including Comcast and Altice USA.
Comcast is offering free access to its network for 60 days. Individual households can sign up online. After the 60-day period ends, the cost will be $9.99/month. Additionally, Comcast has opened up all of its hotspots to anyone in need. Students may check to see if they are in the range of Xfinity WiFi hotspots by visiting www.xfinity.com/wifi.
For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, Altice is offering Altice Advantage Internet solution for free for 60 days to any new customer household within their footprint. Learn more.
Extension of the E-Rate Application Deadline
The Federal Communications Commission recently released a public notice extending the E-Rate application deadline to April 29, 2020. This extension will provide relief to applicants facing lengthy closings and will be reevaluated again next month as the new deadline approaches.
NJSBA Partnership with E-Rate Consulting, Inc.
The New Jersey School Boards Association has partnered with E-Rate Consulting, Inc. (ERC) to help school districts and member charter schools throughout New Jersey fully leverage the opportunities available through the Schools and Libraries Program of the Universal Service Fund, more commonly known as E-rate. Learn more about E-rate on our resources page.