MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) – Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has committed CARES Act funding to deliver free internet access to eligible K-12 students in their homes this fall, according to the Mobile County Public School System.
School officials say families of eligible students will receive a letter after Aug. 24 which will include a prepaid voucher number and a list of service providers to contact to set up free high-speed internet service through Dec. 30, 2020.
MCPSS officials say this is perfect timing for the district’s remote learning plan.
“If your student does not have reliable internet access, be on the lookout for this letter. If you qualify, contact one of the listed service providers as soon as you can; the sooner you call the sooner your student will be ready for a successful remote learning experience,” MCPSS said.
For further assistance and more information, contact the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students program at 1-888-212-4998 or visit abcstudents.org.
Once you receive your voucher letter, follow the steps below as soon as you can to get your students ready to participate in distance learning this fall:
Call an internet provider listed in your voucher letter
Say “I have an Alabama ABC voucher.”
Receive equipment and installation support from your internet provider.
Connect to distance learning.
Your voucher covers the cost of equipment, installation fees, and internet service through December 30, 2020.
Activation steps vary by internet service provider.
You can use your voucher one time only, as described in the letter. It cannot be used in a retail store.
If your address is incorrect, call your student’s school. Eligibility for the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program is based on enrollment in the National School Lunch Program, which is handled by your child’s school.
About the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program:
Governor Kay Ivey has committed $100 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to deliver free internet access to eligible K-12 students in their homes this fall. The State of Alabama is using the funds to purchase internet service for low-income households with K-12 students so students can participate in distance learning. This service is being administered through the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program.
Students in Alabama that are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program through their school are automatically eligible for the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program. The letter you will receive serves as a prepaid voucher from the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program and covers the cost of equipment, installation, and high-speed internet service through December 30, 2020. The voucher can be used once, with one internet service provider, to sign up for service for the duration of the program. Enrolled households will not receive any bills and will not be charged any additional fees by the internet service provider.
If the address for your student has changed, please contact their school to update their address for the National School Lunch Program.
The voucher is intended for students who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program. By using the voucher, you will be confirming that you meet the income requirements of the National School Lunch Program, which is limited to households earning $48,470 or less for a family of four. Please do not use the voucher if your household is not income eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Your attention to this will help ensure that households that need help connecting will receive it.
If you have questions or need assistance in Spanish, call the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program at 1-888-212-4998 or visit their website at www.abcstudents.org (website also available in Vietnamese and Lao).