Students Offered Free/Flexible Web Service From Providers; UNCW Launches “Keep Learning” Website for Students

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Students Find Support from Companies Offering Free and Flexible Internet Services Amid Coronavirus Concerns; UNCW Launches Keep Learning Website As Part of Shift to Online Instruction
As a part of the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge, several internet providers will waive late fees, open hotspots to the public and refrain from cutting off services to those who can’t pay, in an effort to assist students and instructors whose classes are shifting online. UNCW instruction will resume on March 23, 2020, via online and alternate means, in response to guidance from the UNC System that students depart campus or remain off-campus until further notice.
The Student Government Association, in collaboration with the Center for Teaching Excellence, DEel, and Information Technology Services, has helped develop a website called Keep Learning to help UNCW students navigate the shift to online instruction. The site will feature technology resources and tools as well as a way for students to submit questions about learning online. SGA is also helping UNCW identify students who don’t have sufficient technology resources or laptops for use off campus; students can contact SGA via email to explore support resources available.
“The Student Government Association is committed to representing and advocating for the needs of our students. As we work through these uncharted waters, SGA is committed to assisting our fellow Seahawks and ensuring that you are heard,” said Nicholas “Nick” Pianovich ’20, SGA President.
See the information below about the services offered by various internet providers.
Comcast is offering free WiFi for two months to low-income families. The company also opened its Xfinity WiFi “Free for Everyone,” which grants people access to their Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country.
Charter is offering two months of free internet for K-12 and/or college students who are not already subscribed to Spectrum broadband. The company is also opening its WiFi hotspots for the public. Installation fees are waived for new student households. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
AT&T is offering unlimited internet data for their consumer home internet wireline (which uses cables or data lines to connect service) and Fixed Wireless Internet customers. For low-income households, internet access is $10 a month. Additionally, universities, schools and business can connect through conference calls via Cisco Webex Meetings for three months free. Their WiFi hotspots are open to the public, as well.
Verizon is offering unlimited data for teleworking or remote learning through its home broadband plans. Wireless consumer and business customers’ unlimited plans include WiFi hotspot capabilities. Additionally, the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Connection website includes resources for educators who are now working online. Check out resources from Verizon’s partner, Digital Promise.
Sprint is offering unlimited data to current customers, and, as of Tuesday, March 17, allowing all handsets to set up hotspots for two months with no additional charge. By Thursday, March 19, customers with metered data plans will receive unlimited data per month for two months at no additional charge, according to the company. Current customers will also receive an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for two months at no additional charge.
T-Mobile is currently working with customers on a case-by-case basis to manage account issues.
For students needing assistance using remote resources, please refer to the ITS “Keep Learning” training materials for students below:
Microsoft Teams training (Microsoft website):  
SharePoint training (Microsoft website):  
Office 365  
OneDrive training (Microsoft website):  
These resources were current at the time of publication. Please visit the websites and/or social media sites provided by the companies to confirm their services and check for updates. Please note UNCW isn’t responsible for any technical or other issues students may encounter as a result of using external web providers’ services.
-- Fairley Lloyd ’20