COVID-19 Technology Resources
While the shift to distance learning can be exciting for students, families, and teachers, we know it can also create strain for those who lack reliable and affordable in-home internet. The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) has worked with internet providers and cell phone carriers to help ensure all families in the state can connect to the Internet at home. Now all Rhode Islanders with a smartphone cellular data plan can get UNLIMITED, FREE DATA through their phones during the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, Cox is providing two free months of in-home internet for qualifying families.
Please read below to learn more about each of the specific offers available.
COVID-19 Internet Connectivity Guide for Families
This guide offers information about what each Internet Service Provider (ISPs) and mobile carrier that services Rhode Island is doing to assist consumers in accessing the internet. It will be updated as new offers and information are made available. It was last updated on 3/30/20.
If you do not qualify for any of these options and/or are still having trouble with engaging in distance learning due to connectivity issues, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have reliable Internet at home
Great! Please continue to use it to support distance learning for the student(s) in your home. You don’t need to read any further.
I don't have reliable Internet at home, but I have a smartphone with a data plan (either monthly subscription or prepaid plan)
The state has worked with AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon to ensure UNLIMITED DATA with NO OVERAGE CHARGES for those who use their mobile data plans during the COVID-19 crisis. This applies if you have a monthly subscription or a prepaid plan. This will allow you to use your phone to access distance learning OR turn your phone into a hotspot to connect other devices (like a Chromebook or iPad) to the internet. To ensure your phone is set up to take advantage of this service, please find the relevant resources for your mobile carrier and follow the directions in this table.
Please note: These services do not apply automatically for all carriers! You must follow the directions in the table to make sure you do not accidentally get charged.
I don't have reliable Internet at home or a smartphone data plan
Both of Rhode Island’s major Internet Service Providers, Cox and Verizon, are providing free short-term internet access for qualifying families who are not current customers. Please refer to this table to learn about how to enroll in these Internet plans.
If none of the options above apply for you, you can also look to EveryoneOn’s Find Offers database to see if there are other internet options available to you.
Finally, if you still cannot access internet in-home and you have a safe way to socially distance yourself, a last-resort option is to utilize one of the many free and public wifi hotspots that have been made available through the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Those can be found on the Cox website, in this Google Document supported by Providence Public Library, or by downloading the free Wifi Finder app.
Still need WiFi assistance?
Please contact your child's building principal for more information.