High-Speed Internet Access in Appalachian Southern Ohio is inconsistent and can be expensive. In order to assist you as SSU transitions to remote learning for the rest of Spring and Summer semesters, we are providing some resources to help you connect to the internet no matter where you are.
Free and Reduced-Cost Internet Options
Many internet providers have recognized the great and unexpected need for high speed internet access caused by educational institutions and businesses shifting much of their operations into online formats.
Several internet and telephone service providers have signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge with the FCC with the goal of ensuring that Americans do not lose their connectivity during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads:
Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, this company pledges for the next 60 days to:
- Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic
- Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic
- Open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Shawnee State University does not promote or endorse any specific vendor, but if you need internet access, you may be able to access one of the following options:
Shawnee State University has limited computer lab access available during this crisis.
SSU is keeping three computer labs open; they are accessed through the Student Success Center on the First Floor of Massie Hall. These labs are available Monday – Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
The labs include all of the standard software needed for online learning, as well as, specialized hardware and software from the Departments of Engineering Technologies and Fine, Digital and Performing Arts.
Students accessing these labs MUST conform to recommended social distancing procedures, or they will be required to leave the lab.
Shawnee State University is continuing to provide Wi-Fi access for students and employees. Students will be able to access SSU Wi-Fi in Massie Hall or the Morris University Center.
As with the computer labs, Social Distancing in these buildings will be enforced.
Consider remaining in your vehicle.
Students who are at high risk or concerned about entering the buildings at this time can remain in their vehicles and access SSU Wi-Fi from the student parking lot.
Businesses and other organizations throughout the country provide free Wi-Fi access. Students may choose to access publicly available Wi-Fi at local restaurants, coffee shops, retail stores and similar establishments. Many of these establishments may be closed or have limited services at this time. Similar to SSU Wi-Fi, it might be possible to access public Wi-Fi from a parking lot.
Wi-Fi Hotspots across Ohio
BroadbandOhio, the state’s office dedicated to improving access to high-speed internet, has been working with providers to find public hotspot locations that Ohioans can use in areas where they may not otherwise have access to internet from home.
Many smartphones can be used as a mobile WiFi hotspot through tethering. This process will allow a device to access the mobile phone’s cellular data connection. If you are considering using your mobile phone as a hotspot, you should contact your mobile phone carrier to explore options. Use of your mobile phone as a hotspot will consume data from a data plan, but many providers are temporarily offering expanded mobile hotspot service to their customers.
- How to create mobile hotspots on Apple iOS devices.
- How to create mobile hotspots on Android devices.
- Sprint has said that it will provide unlimited data to existing customers, and allow all mobile hotspot-capable mobile phones to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile is offering unlimited data to existing customers, and has said that it will allow all mobile phones to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.
Several internet service providers are offering reduced cost or free internet services including upgrades to current customers’ plans. Below are a sample of these offerings. If you are currently receiving internet service but face difficulties in using your internet due to the amount of data you are using or the cost of the service, we recommend that you contact your internet service provider to see if there may be options available to you during the current COVID-19 outbreak.
- AT&T is offering unlimited data for current consumer home internet wireline and Fixed Wireless Internet customers can use unlimited internet data. AT&T is also offering internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program.
- Spectrum is offering free service for 60 days to households with students who do not already have a Spectrum subscription. Spectrum has said that all installation fees will be waived for new student households.