Accessing Broadband/Internet Services
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, many Coloradoans are being asked to work and learn remotely. To support this, many internet service providers have signed the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” and are offering free or discounted services. For more information about the Pledge, and for a list of companies in Colorado that have taken the Pledge, visit our page:
If you have questions about your service – please contact your internet service provider directly to ask if they have taken the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and ask what service accommodations customers can expect in your community.
If you do not currently have broadband service or would like to find a new provider, visit the Colorado Broadband Map to find providers in your area.
Other resources for finding broadband in your area include:
- DecisionData.org: https://decisiondata.org/internet/rural-internet/
Find providers in rural areas, compare services, and learn about different types of connections.
- BroadbandNow: https://broadbandnow.com/
Free & Low-Cost Internet
Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have responded to the COVID-19 crisis with new or improved discount broadband plans (some may only be available for a short time), while others continue to offer plans that were created prior to the crisis. Many ISPs participate in the federal Lifeline Program (see below).
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has compiled a list of current offers from ISPs that will help low-income households acquire service. Additionally, the Colorado Broadband Office has compiled a list of COVID-19 responses from Colorado companies.
Lifeline is a federal program that offers a monthly benefit of up to $9.25 towards phone or internet services for eligible subscribers and up to $34.25 for those living on Tribal/Native lands.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 30, an FCC Order waived a number of requirements for participating low-income consumers for 60 days, allowing Lifeline carriers to focus their efforts on assisting customers.
On April 29, 2020, the FCC released an Order that requires the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) to temporarily adjust the guidelines for acceptable documentation. The FCC adjusted the requirements for income eligibility documentation as follows:
Through June 30, 2020, consumers who do not have three consecutive months of income documentation may provide an official document that confirms their current income. Examples include a notice of unemployment benefit payments or a notice of a successfully submitted application for unemployment benefits.
The Order also extends the temporary program changes outlined in the March 30, 2020 Order to June 30, 2020.
Find out about the Lifeline program and see if you qualify:
Public Wi-Fi Access
Always be diligent about internet security when connecting to an open Wi-Fi network.
Schools and Libraries:
Many schools and libraries, while closed, are continuing to operate their Wi-Fi networks and many have adjusted the Wi-Fi hotspots for better access from outside the buildings (i.e. access from the parking lot). Contact your local school or library to find out if their Wi-Fi network is open to the public.
Service Provider Wi-Fi Networks:
A number of service providers are opening their Wi-Fi hotspots for public use, including:
- Comcast’s Xfinity Wi-Fi network:
How To Find Open Xfinity WiFi Hotspots During Comcast’s COVID-19 Response
- Charter’s Spectrum Wi-Fi network:
Find Spectrum Wi-Fi Hotspots
Charter Press Release (March 13, 2020)
Other tools and apps:
There are a handful of websites and phone apps, such as “Wifi Map“, that can help you locate open Wi-Fi networks.
How to optimize your home WiFi network:
- FCC Consumer Guide: Home Network Tips for the Coronavirus Pandemic
- 5 Tips For Staying Connected (USTelecom)
- Helpful Tips to Improve Your Internet (ConnectedNation.com)
Working from home for the first time?
Resources for parents to support remote learning:
Looking for resources for schools? Visit our Schools & Libraries COVID-19 Resources page
Accessing Telehealth Services
Looking for resources for healthcare providers? Visit our Healthcare Providers COVID-19 Resources page