Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Free Internet for qualifying US residents


The US government launched the Emergency Broadband Benefit last week, a $3.2 billion pot of money to help all eligible US residents access available internet services, regardless of ability to pay.


What is the benefit? 

·      Up to $50/month on broadband service for eligible households.

·      Up to $75/month on broadband service for households on qualifying Tribal lands.

·      Up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer or tablet for eligible households (you need to contribute $10-50 toward the purchase price).

·      Only one monthly benefit and one device purchase benefit per household.


Who qualifies?  To be “eligible”, a household needs to meet one of these criteria: 

·      Income less than or equal to 135% of federal poverty guidelines.

·      Participates in certain assistance programs (SNAP, Medicaid, Lifeline).

·      Approved to participate in free school lunch or breakfast program in 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year.

·      Received federal Pell grant during current award year.

·      Experienced substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since Feb 29, 2020, and total 2020 income was below $99,000 for single filers or $198,000 for joint filers.

·      Meets eligibility requirements for participating broadband provider’s existing low-income or Covid-19 program.


How does an “eligible household” apply?  I’ve read it’s time-consuming and complicated, so be patient and persistent.

·      Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly.

·      Go to to apply online and find participating broadband providers near you.

·      Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application.


Read more here, here, here, here and here.


I recognize that this blog post may not apply to all of our readers.  Please forward it on to anyone you know that might qualify for the Emergency Broadband Benefit. 


Thursday, May 13, 2021

Free virtual conference for online educators, June 9-10 2021


REMOTE: the connected faculty summit, hosted by Arizona State University, will be held on June 9-10, 2021.  As described on their website:  Join educators and decision makers from global universities and colleges to view and engage with presenters and peers on pedagogy, blended learning and best practices for student engagement online or on campus. REMOTE helps to design & deliver the best possible experience and outcomes for teachers and learners and provides keen insights for those involved in supporting education.”


This is the second year the summit has been offered.   It describes itself as the “largest virtual gathering of higher education faculty and administration.”


The agenda covers these topics:

·      How to optimize online learning

·      Equity first approaches

·      Developing and supporting robust systems

·      Adapting to policies that address faculty and student facing challenges

·      Lessons from COVID

·      Economic impact

·      How to partner with technology companies

·      Techniques and strategies


Participants also receive curated free resources and best practices.


And did I mention that it’s free.  Register here.