COVID-19: UM System: Student internet access resources to support continued learning

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On March 20, 2020

Students received a message from the University of Missouri System’s office of Information Technology on March 20 about internet resources to keep learning:

The University of Missouri System is working to help our students secure the resources they need to continue their studies during this unprecedented time. We recognize some live in areas that do not have reliable access to internet services. To address that need, our University and many internet providers are taking steps to help maintain learning continuity. If you are or know of a student who does not have access to internet at their current residence, the following options are available.

Access internet services and mobile/community hotspots via providers

As per the Federal Communications Council agreement, providers will waive late fees, maintain service regardless of payment and open Wi-Fi hotspots. In addition, many providers are offering free Wi-Fi for 60 days as well as enabling mobile hotspots at no charge.

Altice USA: Free 60 days of Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution to any new customer household
AT&T: $10/mo plans to low-income families and free hotspots in many communities
Charter: Free 60 days of internet
Comcast: Free 60 days of internet for low-income families and free hotspots in many communities
Cox: Low-income internet tier with no annual contract
Sprint: All mobile phones will enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge
T-Mobile: Soon allowing all mobile phones to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge
Verizon: Free hotspots in many communities

Access Wi-Fi at MU Extension offices

If you are currently searching for internet access, some MU Extension offices have the capacity to provide Wi-Fi while accommodating the need for social distancing within their buildings. We ask that you call the office ahead of time to schedule your visit so we can prepare to serve you with limited contact. In some counties, local officials may close extension offices, so you may also consider offices in counties that are close to you. The county administrative assistant at your chosen location will provide you with the appropriate process for accessing the building and using Wi-Fi.

Request a mobile hotspot provided by the University

As a last resort, the University has obtained a limited number of mobile Wi-Fi hotspots from several wireless carriers. While we will provide mobile hotspots to as many students as we are able, our highest priority is to support those students with no access to the internet. If you have no way to access the internet and are in need of an internet connection to continue your learning, please fill out the request form via Qualtrics.

If you request a device, the device and associated data plan will be available at no charge to you through the end of the semester. If you have configuration or coverage problems, please contact your campus help desk.

We will contact students attending classes over the summer in late May to review their longer-term needs.

Thank you for your commitment to learning during this unprecedented time. Your continued education and the health and welfare of our University community are our highest priorities. We will provide information on additional resources as they become available.

Sincerely,

Beth Chancellor, UM System Interim Vice President for IT
Marshall Stewart. Chief Engagement Officer, UM System and Vice Chancellor for Extension and Engagement

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Posted by

On March 20, 2020. Posted in Announcements, Coronavirus