National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) is compiling a list of National Free & Low-Cost Internet Plans. I am trying to build a list for Minnesota. It is a list in the making! Please send any additions, changes or updates to the list my way firstname.lastname@example.org. When not clear, I have grabbed service areas from the Office of Broadband Development list by counties:
- AcenTek COVID-19 response: free broadband and WiFi to new customers (Serving at least portions of Fillmore, Houston, Mower and and Winona counties.)
- Arvig Announces Education Assistance Program in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic (Serving at least portions of Cass, Becker, Benton, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Douglas, Fillmore, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Mahnomen, Meeker, Mower, Norman, Otter Tail, Pope, Redwood, Renville, Sherburne, St. Louis, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, Wright and Yellow Medicine Counties)
- BEVCOMM’s COVID-19 response: Low-cost options, donations to school, waiving late fees (Serving at least portions of Blue Earth, Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Goodhue, Le Sueur, Martin, Olmsted, Rice, Scott, Steele, Wabasha and Waseca counties.)
- Garden Valley Technologies – offering assistance to families to get online (Serving at least portions of Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk and Red Lake Counties)
- HBC offers free broadband to low income households amid coronavirus closures (Serving at least portions of Dakota, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, Washington and Winona Counties.)
- LTD Broadband is offering two free months of broadband access to families, including those in southern Minnesota, who qualify for free school lunch, according to CEO Corey Hauer. (Quote from KEYC)
- MVTV Wireless response to COVID-19: free hotpot access, low cost service (Services in Southwestern and Central Minnesota, check out their coverage maps.)
- SCI – has signed the keep america connected pledge and are offering low income families $19.95 per month Internet service for 90 days. (Serving at least portions of Aitkin, Carlton, Cass, Crow Wing, Itasca, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, St. Louis, and Wadena Counties.
- USI opens their WiFi network in Minneapolis in response to efforts to slow coronavirus
AND here are some of the National providers from the NDIA list that I know serve MN communities:
- AT&T – BroadbandNow AT&T Internet Coverage Map
- CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS – BroadbandNow Charter Spectrum Coverage Map (listed twice – BroadbandNow Charter Spectrum Coverage Map)
- COMCAST XFINITY – BroadbandNow XFINITY From Comcast Coverage Map
- MEDIACOM COMMUNICATIONS – BroadbandNow’s Mediacom Cable Coverage Map
- PCs for People – Nationwide
[Added Mar 26] You can see a list of the providers who have signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. It includes may in Minnesota (including MN Telecom Alliance, and means for the “next 60 days” they pledge:
- 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; and
- open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
In a similar effort, Stop the Gap is tracking Internet Providers’ response to the Coronavirus crisis. This list is very inclusive, a nice testament to providers stepping up it’s also very long.
[Added May 1]
Campus Technology adds a long list of “places to get wifi” nationally.