INTERNET ASSISTANCE

  • The list below provides ideas and some free options for families who do not have Internet access at home.  The list is not an endorsement of the service/product offered and we encourage you to review the service terms and conditions.

    1. Comcast Internet Essentials Program - Comcast announced it will be increasing speeds for the Internet Essentials program, and making the program free to new customers for two months, amid the coronavirus outbreak.

    2. https://wifi.xfinity.com/ - Comcast has opened its community hotspots to everyone. You do not need to be a Comcast customer to use these hotspots.  Please check their map for availability.

    3. National Free Wi-Fi Map - https://www.wifimap.io  Many of these locations may be closed due to the quarantine, but their parking lots may continue to have active service.

    4. WiFi is available outside of all Spring Grove Area School District school buildings.  By practicing social distancing, you can sit in a vehicle outside of our schools to access the District’s network and connect to the Internet.  Personal devices can connect to our SGASD Guest network, while SGASD iPads will connect to the same network they use inside our schools. 

    5. Glatfelter Memorial Library has free WiFi that is accessible from its parking lot. The library also rents hotspots. Please call the library to check for availability. More information on their hotspot rentals can be found here: https://www.yorklibraries.org/2019/12/01/hotspots-to-go-at-ycl/

      

    Mobile Hotspot F.A.Q.'s

    Q: I don't have home internet for my child(ren) to complete their schoolwork. What can the school do to help? 

    A: We will direct you to look at some options, including those above, to see if they will meet your child(ren)'s educational needs during the pandemic. If these options prove to be insufficient, we can look into whether the option exists to provide you with a mobile hotspot.  This is not always possible and is limited in a number of ways, including the units available to us, and whether a hotspot can get a signal in the area where you live.

     

    Q: What is a mobile hotspot?

    A: It is a small device that connects to a cell carrier's network to provide internet access.  You then connect another device, like an iPad, to the wifi network that it broadcasts.  The hotspot connects to the carrier's network, just like cell phones do, to access the internet.  The difference is that a mobile hotspot cannot be used to make phone calls like a cell phone can.

     

    Q: Where I can get one of these for myself?

    A: Mobile hotspots are available from any cell phone provider. 

     

    Q: What carrier does the District use?

    A: Our mobile hotspots are provided by FirstNet, which is built on the AT&T network.  If you cannot get AT&T coverage where you live, the hot spots we have are unlikely to be of help.

     

    Q: How much do they cost?

    A: The price depends on the carrier and what plans they offer.  The hotspots themselves could range from a low cost, to even free, as long as you sign up for the monthly data plan.  Those plans will also vary, depending on the carrier, the data plan you sign up for, and whether there are any incentives being offered at the time.

     

    Q: If I buy one, how do I know what data plan to sign up for?

    A: This will depend on what you intend to use the hotspot for.  If the intent is to use it as your primary source of internet for an entire family, an unlimited data plan is best.  If it is to be used solely for purposes of education, then a monthly plan for 10 - 20 GB may be more than sufficient. Of course, this is dependent on the grade of your child(ren), what subjects they have to complete, how many students and devices will be using the hotspot to complete their school work, and what specific activities the teachers assign that require internet access. Our recommendation is to sign up for a flexible data plan if the option exists from your provider, so you can buy more, or less, as your child(ren)'s educational needs dictate.

     

    Q: How fast does my hotspot connection need to be in order to use it for my child(ren)'s school work?

    A: We recommend a download speed of at least 10 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 1 Mbps.  You can find your speed by connecting your child's iPad to the hotspot and doing a test from it at www.fast.com or https://www.speedtest.net/.