On the verge of COVID-19, one of the most affected sectors is education, leaving the authorities to adapt to online learning. But, unfortunately, not everyone has the ability to produce technologies and internet connections. In fact, 9 to 12 million students in the USA are estimated to lack internet access in their homes and participate in online learning.
Fortunately, with the government’s effort and support from internet providers like Optimum, previously known as Altice, the situation starts getting better. Optimum created a program to provide free WIFI access for students and teachers. They set up almost 2 million hotspot networks around various States to gain access to the internet even outside your homes.
Usually, you can find Optimum free wifi for students in most public places such as schools, malls, parks, train stations, and more. Get to know more about this program in this article and learn how to get access to the wifi hotspot.
What is Optimum Free Emergency WiFi?
Initially, Optimum offered free wifi connections for households with K-12 and colleges students around March of 2020. They provided it for 60 days or so in most areas of the country with less to no internet access. According to the report, the Optimum free wifi for students is until June 2020, which is already behind the calendar.
After that, however, the service provider set up another solution for the public to access the internet at no cost through Optimum’s emergency free wifi hotspot. Thus, this emergency wifi has been a great help for most students struggling to participate in online learning and teaching. It has been available for everyone to enjoy for several months now. However, the coverage of the signal can vary depending on the location.
There are places with strong and reliable access, but some areas might experience slow connection. Usually, the users can connect to the internet for one hour, but it can be extended once they accept the terms and conditions. It’s accessible through mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other gadgets with internet settings. However, there is no definite time if until when Optimum will provide this service for free.
How to Connect with the Free Emergency WiFi?
Optimum provided a list of locations where the non-customer can access its emergency hotspots. You can check it on Optimum website. If you’re in the area covered by these Optimum wifi hotspots, connecting can be seamless. In just a few simple steps, you’ll b able to enjoy a fast and reliable connection, whether for an online class or working.
First, you need to visit your device’s wifi settings to look for the wifi option provided by Optimum. Once you’re in the setting, you can click the hotspot network labeled as “optimum wifi-emergency.” Afterward, it will redirect you to your browser, where you need to accept the terms and conditions of the wifi option. Finally, after accepting the terms, you’ll have access to the internet for around 60 minutes or more.
Optimum Emergency Benefit Program
The emergency wifi network provided by Optimum at public places is not infinite, meaning it might not be free anymore in the following years once the cases of covid subside. So, it’s still essential to have a backup plan to cope with the online learning and teaching demand.
One solution you can consider is the Optimum Emergency Benefit Program for those who want internet access for an affordable price. It’s a program offering government subsidies for eligible households of up to fifty dollar discounts for a monthly plan. So, once your household is qualified to avail of this program, your internet connection can be free.
This emergency program was created with the aim of providing affordable internet service in the midst of the pandemic. Its mission is to connect households to more reliable internet access to bring education, jobs, and care near even during the crisis.
Eligibility Requirements for Optimum’s Emergency Program
In qualifying for the $50 discount for the optimum internet plan, the household should meet the criteria provided by the federal government. The requirements include families with below 135% income based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines, part of an assistance program, awarded with Federal Pell Grant, and suffered income loss during the pandemic. You can check the complete criteria here.
How to Apply for the Program?
If the optimum free internet for students expires, the emergency program of the government is the best possible option to afford an internet plan. So, if you’re eligible to apply for this plan, you might as well try applying now to have a backup plan once the free wifi program of optimum ends.
Applying the Optimum’s Emergency Program is simple; there are only two steps to follow once you have all the requirements ready. The first step is to submit your application form online to GetEmergencyBroadband.org, or you can also print it out and mail it in. Then, once your application is approved, you can contact your preferred service provider to avail the eligible plan.
Optimum Advantage Internet
The best plan to go along with the Emergency internet benefit program of the federal government is the Optimum Advantage Internet. The plan covers 50MB internet speed for only $14.99 per month. Thus, if you qualified for the $50 discount on the government’s program, your internet connection can be free. However, like the benefits program, this plan only supports household that meets their criteria, including households with students, seniors, and veterans.
Optimum free wifi for students is a limited-time offer only, especially since the company launched the program as an emergency response to COVID. Therefore, once the pandemic is over, there is a possibility for the emergency-free wifi to end as well.
So, as a plausible solution for those who can’t afford an internet plan, the government created the Emergency Broadband Benefit providing 50 dollars monthly discount for eligible households. As to the best plan with the EBB federal program, Optimum offered the Optimum Advantage Internet to have the opportunity to have internet access for free. This plan is suitable for households with students, seniors, and veterans.