As students return to school, many will find it difficult to complete their assignments online because they don’t have an internet connection or a computer at home. This conundrum, known as the digital “homework divide,” affects up to 15% of students in the United States each year and has a greater impact on low-income students.
There’s already a lot of stress for students (and parents) at the start of a new school year. An unreliable internet connection (or lack thereof) should be the last thing to stand in the way of education.
Does your internet connection meet the needs of the students under your roof? Ask these questions to make sure you’re getting the most out of your home network (and your family’s educational activities).
- Is your home network password protected? Always protect your Wi-Fi connection with a password to prevent strangers and unwanted guests from using your bandwidth and slowing down your speeds. Update your password regularly to prevent hackers and Internet freeloaders.
- Has it been a long time since you upgraded your gear? Internet connectivity issues are often caused by outdated or overloaded equipment. As your household’s needs increase, be sure to regularly assess your appliances and their lifespan. Contact your supplier for an evaluation.
- Is your internet equipment properly placed in your home? You can maximize your Internet connection by strategically placing your equipment in your home. Here are some placement tips from the main list of Cox Internet Wi-Fi Pro tips:
- Place your Wi-Fi equipment in a central location in your house, so that the signal can reach more rooms. Alternatively, another option is to try placing your devices in the room or rooms where your family uses the internet the most.
- Keep your modem and Wi-Fi router away from devices that emit electronic radiation, such as refrigerators, microwaves and baby monitors. These can disturb the signal of your equipment.
- Beware of furniture, doors and other common obstacles that can interfere with the ability for one signal to extend throughout your home.
- Wherever you place your equipment, elevate it on a shelf or tall cabinet. Wi-Fi signals travel outwards and downwards and can have trouble reaching your devices if they are placed on the ground.
Cox’s broadband network can deliver some of the fastest speeds on the market. Our fiber-based network combines breakthrough technology with proven performance to deliver speed and reliability.
- Are you eligible for free or discounted internet service? Here are some programs to check out.
- The Cox Connect2Compete (C2C) program provides $9.95 per month internet service, including in-home Wi-Fi, to families with children in K-12 who are enrolled in government financial assistance programs . Earlier this year, Cox doubled C2C Internet download speeds to 100 Mbps at no additional cost to registered families.
- Cox’s ConnectAssist Internet Tier is $30 per month for 100 Mbps download speeds for eligible households that don’t have K-12 children at home.
- The federally funded Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was created to make high-speed Internet more affordable and accessible to households across the country by providing a monthly subsidy of up to $30 towards the Internet bill of an eligible household ($75 for tribal land). Among other eligibility criteria, annual household income cannot exceed 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. For example, under current guidelines, a family of four with an annual household income of $55,500 or less would qualify for the program. Joining CPA is easy. Visit cox.com/acp to learn more and see if you qualify.
If you qualify for the ACP subsidy and you have Connect2Compete or ConnectAssist, you could probably get your Cox internet service for free each month by applying your ACP subsidy to your monthly internet bill.
With these few tips, we hope that your Internet connection will be one less obstacle on your academic path or that of your student this school year. Additionally, if you know of a K-12 student who could benefit from a low-cost computer program, please visit cox.com/c2c for information about Cox’s partnership with PCs for People.
Cox is dedicated to ensuring digital equity for households of all incomes and economic situations in our communities. Whether learning from home, working remotely or surfing the web, internet access is crucial for all children and adults. Cox offers several affordable internet programs to eligible households to keep our communities connected, in addition to digital literacy training and discounted computers. To learn more about Cox’s dedication to digital equity and explore affordable internet tiers, visit cox.com/digitalequity.
Kirsten McLaughlin is Vice President of Marketplace for Cox Communications in Santa Barbara.
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