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Helping Students Stay Connected at Home

Switching to online learning can be especially challenging for students who now need to find their own internet sources and devices. These resources can help.

By Raeshondra Dike, 4th year Psychology major

IT Services is committed to providing resources and assistance to students, faculty and staff to help make the most of their home internet environment, especially during this time when we’re all doing our part by staying home.

Switching to online learning can be especially challenging for students who now need to find their own internet sources and devices. Below are a few resources to help students stay connected.

Computing Devices Available for Checkout

Are you in need of a computer that you can take home? UCLA has made more than 1000 computing devices available for checkout through the library. These devices include:

  • Apple: iPads, MacBook Airs, and MacBook Pros
  • Dell: Laptops, HP EliteBook (two-in-one laptop)
  • Lenovo ThinkPads  

For more information about equipment loans and to fill out a request form, please see CLICC Equipment Lending.  

Use Your Phone as a Hotspot

If you already have an established data plan that has adequate cellular service, you can set your phone up as a personal hotspot by calling your service provider or accessing their web portal. Contact your internet service provider (ISP) to see if this is a possiblity.

Low-Cost Internet

ISPs have set up a form of quick relief to the many students faced with the abrupt transition of having to learn at home. Many ISPs are committed to assisting students in efforts to follow CDC guidelines which require social distancing and remote productivity. 

  • Access from AT&T has been expanded to include households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. AT&T is also offering new Access customers two months free.
  • Cox is offering an internet set up of up to 15 Mbps to new Cox customers who are college students and qualify for public assistance programs.  
  • Optimum: New customers with K-12 or college students in the household can get no-cost, in-home internet for up to two months (internet up to 30 Mbps).
  • Comcast Xfinity is offering an Internet Essentials package with speeds up to 25 Mbps with the first two months free to new Xfinity customers who are eligible for public assistance programs.

Keep Americans Connected

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced the “Keep Americans Connected” Initiative. To ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity during this time, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai asked broadband and telephone service providers to take this pledge which ensures that due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on American Society, companies will:

  1. Not terminate service to any residential or small business unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the pandemic;
  2. Waive any late fees to these customers;
  3. Open their Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them

So far, 650 companies and associations have taken the pledge. Notable mentions are Spectrum, AT&T, and Verizon.   

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