- Shakopee Public Schools
- Home Internet Resources
Home Internet Resources
This page includes notes and resources for acquiring low-cost Internet access in your home, as well as notes for troubleshooting common issues.
FCC Emergency Broadband Benefit
The FCC has a program for households to sign up for an Internet subsidy: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit
A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:
- Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
- Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
- Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
- Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
- Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income or COVID-19 program.
May also want to highlight enhanced tribal benefit: https://getemergencybroadband.org/do-i-qualify/tribal-benefit/
MN Service providers participating: https://www.fcc.gov/emergency-broadband-benefit-providers#Minnesota
Sign-up page: https://getemergencybroadband.org/
Options for Free or Reduced Rate Home Internet
The Minnesota Department of Education maintains a digital equity page that also has great resources for home Internet.
Please note that this information may change depending on what Internet Service Providers are offering at any given time; the district makes no guarantees about accuracy. We do hope to be as helpful as we can in providing this guidance.
Comcast (Cable based internet)
- Will offer Internet Essentials for 2 months - apply online or call the numbers listed below
- Begins March 16, 2020
- Eligible households are NEW customers only
- Must have students in grades K-12 and/or college
- After the first two months expire, you can cancel the service or keep it as a regular paying Internet Essentials customer
- In 7-10 days you will receive an easy to use self-install-kit that includes a cable modem with a WiFi router
- No term contract or credit check and no shipping fee for equipment
- Requirements: one or more members of your household must be eligible for public assistance programs such as:
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Housing Assistance
- Those interested in enrolling are asked to apply online
- The website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
Comcast Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone (Un-verified)
This only applies to commercial Xfinity WiFi and not residential Xfinity routers/WiFi
- Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers.
- For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi.
- Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
CenturyLink - Lifeline (Phone Line based internet)
- Contact support via
- 800-244-1111 or 877-391-1117
AT&T Public Wi-Fi
- Similar to Xfinity - See AT&T support page for notes on how to find and connect to one of their public hotspots.
- Where available, shows up as att-wifi or attwifi in list of available networks.
- Available no later than by May 8, and be capable of speeds of 30 Mbps: 100 Mbps (upload and download) for most of the projected coverage areas (about 2,400 homes).
- Starting package $149 for installation and $49 dollars a month for up to 40 Mbps package without a router (and $59 with a router).
- For more information regarding this service, interested residents are encouraged to contact Netwave Broadband at 952-209-0900.
Shakopee Public Schools will offer a limited quantity of Verizon\T-Mobile internet access hotspots
- Reserved for students in grades 6-12 as part of our 1:1 device use and K-8 Online students.
- Students/Parents can work with building administration to request a hotspot
Regular Internet Connection Support
PCs for People - Reduced rate internet
- Hotspot Purchase $60
- Monthly Charge $40/3 months
- Address: 1481 Marshall Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104
- Call 1-651-354-2552
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Office hours:
- Monday - Friday 9 am - 5:30 pm
- Saturday 9 am - 4 pm
Home Internet Troubleshooting
See below for tips on troubleshooting a home network connection. Please open a help desk ticket with us if you're still experiencing issues.
The tech department will do its best to help with home network connection issues, but in many cases you will have to contact your ISP directly.
ISP Service Issues
Even if we are not in distance learning, home Internet connections may be utilized more than in the past. Here are a few basic items to check for.
- The ISP is overwhelmed and having service issues.
- Many ISPs (Comcast, CenturyLink, USI, etc.) are seeing higher bandwidth utilization than ever before.
- Check with your ISP to ensure there are no service issues.
- The subscribed Internet plan is not fast enough to support streaming video.
- Most Internet plans in the Twin Cities metro are fast enough to support streaming video.
- In general, 8 Mbps is the minimum required download speed to support to support video streaming or conferencing.
- Network connection speed can be tested here - https://www.speedtest.net/
- Data cap for the month has been reached.
- Many ISPs put a data cap in place. Contact the ISP directly to find out if the data cap is reached.
Basic Home Network Troubleshooting
The district does not make house calls to troubleshoot home network connections. Families are responsible for ensuring their own home Internet connection is reliable and stable. Here are a few basic tips to help troubleshoot your home connection
- Power cycle router and other networking equipment (turn it off and on again).
- Double-check all power, network, and other cables are firmly plugged in.
- Restart your computer.
Video Conferencing Tips
Multiple people trying to stream video or be on a video conference at the same time should be avoided when network speed is a concern. Think about simultaneous use of everyone in a household - smart phones, tablets, smart home devices, video games, computers, and any other network connected device. They are all vying for a shared network connection. When having trouble with network latency or connection speeds disconnect as many other devices as possible. The more devices processing network intensive tasks the worse the connection will be. It's not reasonable for three people to be streaming Netflix and also expect Google Meet to work.
- The ISP is overwhelmed and having service issues.