In response to COVID-19, many North Carolina residents are being asked to work and learn remotely. The NC Broadband Office has created an interactive map for NC residents to see what Internet and Mobile services are offered in their area. Click here to access the map.
To help ensure the public can access high-speed internet and mobile services, the NC Broadband office has compiled a list of new and existing free or affordable service offerings from vendors across the state. Please click the Internet or Mobile service provider name below to learn more.
COVID-19 Internet Service Offerings
- Charter Spectrum
- Cox Communications
- Eastern Carolina Broadband
- NFinityLink – All Wi-Fi hotspots will be opened
- Open Broadband
Mobile Service Providers
Pangaea Open Broadband Spots – Rutherford and Polk County
- Chimney Rock – Along Main Street from Medina’s Village Bistro, 430 Main St., to The Carter Lodge, 273 Main St. (Pangaea)
- Cliffside – Near Dutch Broad Café, 219 Main St., (Pangaea)
- Columbus – Between the First Peak Visitor Center, 20 E. Mills St., and the U.S. Post Office, 126 Ward St. (Pangaea)
- Columbus – Along East Mills Street from The Brick Pizzeria and the First Peak Visor Center, 20 E. Mills St. (Pangaea)
- Lake Lure – Between Lake Lure Town Hall, 2948 Memorial Highway, and Lake Lure Welcome Center, 2932 Memorial Highway (Pangaea)
- Lake Lure – Lake Lure Beach, 2724 Memorial Highway (Pangaea)
- Rutherfordton – Town Hall of Ruth, 119 Northview-Dorsey St. (Pangaea)
- Saluda – Between Green River Adventures, 111 E. Main St., and Saluda Historic Depot and Museum, 32 W. Main St. (Pangaea)
- Saluda – McCreery Park, Main Street/Greenville Street (Pangaea)
- Tryon – Between PANGAEA Internet, 75 S. Trade St., and Tryon Town Hall, 301 N. Trade St. (Pangaea)
- Tryon – Carolina Foothills Chamber, 2753 Lynn Road (Pangaea)
- Tryon – Harmon Field, 117 Harmon Field Road (Pangaea)
1Million Project Foundation
The 1Million Project Foundation is a non-profit arm that partners with Sprint to help address the homework gap. They are offer two free years of internet service with the purchase of a hotspot. This offer only applies where Sprint coverage is available. See below for details on the offer and see attached document for hotspot options.
- A cool pad smartphone device. Shipping will be ~30 days from the order date. See attached user guide for device that comes with standard voice, text, browsing capability and also serve as a hotspot. By purchasing these devices through 1MPF, the students will receive AT NO COST 20GB/month of high speed data through June, 2020. After then, they will receive 10GB/month of high speed data. It is possible that Sprint will extend the 20GB limit beyond June but those discussions have not occurred yet. The network service on these devices will likely cease in about two years from the close of the merger with T-Mobile. At that time, the hope is that students can transition to T-Mobile’s Project 10M initiative.
- 2,000 units or less = $75/device
- 2,000 – 20,000 units=$72/device
- 20,000+ units = $70/device
- A Coolpad Surf hotspot for $45 per device. Shipping will be approximately 12 weeks which would be July or August. For that $45.00 price the OEM requires a minimum of 25k devices. If the order is less than 25k the cost per device could go higher. The device would include unlimited data with the first 10GB of 4GLTE internet speeds. After the first 10GB of data is used, the service will slow to 3G speeds.
Which NC Students Would Qualify:
- Students must live in a district which has applied and been accepted to the 1MPF Program OR other NC districts that are not currently partners may apply through the 1Million Project website to join now and the application review process will be expedited. They will also require districts to make themselves available for a short telephone interview as part of the process.
- 1Million Project will soon announce that we are extending 1MPF connectivity beyond HS student to all students K-12. School districts will be able to make independent determinations about which grade levels they would like to serve. Existing 1MPF partner districts will have to sign an addendum to our T&C’s to expand to grades lower than HS. For this initiative, the devices for purchase may be used for K-12 students who do not have reliable internet access available at home.
Sprint Network Coverage in North Carolina
- Would cover the vast majority of NC students given the roaming agreements worked on last year. See the attached map and spreadsheet for details on HS coverage which should serve as good indicator for all students in a district.
Activating the Devices
- The devices need to be activated and programmed as a 1MPF device so that Sprint network recognizes it, knows its’ data allowance and applies the appropriate browsing filter. If the districts receiving these devices can provide us with the name and grade and school of the recipients before we receive them in our warehouse we can deliver them to the districts/schools activated and ready to go. This can happen within the 4 week delivery window as long as districts move quickly.
- It also important to provide specific addresses of where devices are being shipped. Sloppy information from districts often slows down delivery times.