Remote Working and Learning - Home Internet Service Providers Guide

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, some providers are offering free or low-cost internet access options.
For details, see the Public Service Commission (PSC) website.

This is a document for those in need of information for internet service providers.

The use of wired high-speed (broadband) internet service is strongly recommended for learning and working remotely, rather than relaying on mobile hotspots from wireless carriers.

Your Internet Connection

A reliable, high-speed internet connection is important to being able to participate fully in online learning. Not sure how fast your connection is? Use this speed test and compare the result to our recommendations below.

There are 3 important numbers to consider when evaluating your internet connection.

Learn more: How to manage slower internet & low bandwidth

High-speed internet (broadband) carriers

Most internet providers offer high speed internet with no monthly data caps and have introductory pricing of $50 per month or less. Contact your local carrier to determine if service is offered at your residence. In many cases, you can also check availability online. 

Below is a list of carriers that may provide service in your area:

You can search for additional providers in your area using this advertising-supported site.

Not served by wired high-speed internet providers?

Unfortunately, access to wired internet in rural areas can be challenging. For those not served by wired internet, you may have access to a satellite broadband provider. Note that there are usually monthly data caps.

Connecting with mobile hotspots

While mobile hotspots are convenient for occasional internet access and for internet access when traveling they do not provide enough data in their plans to sustain full-time work from home. Even the “unlimited” plans are capped at about 20 GB of data, which is not enough data for most people to get through the month before the cap resets.

A note about connecting with mobile hotspots: In situations where internet access is not readily available, individuals with devices capable of producing data hotspots may want to contact their service providers regarding lifting any data caps that may be a part of their service plan. While not comprehensive, see this list of providers temporarily lifting data caps in response to COVID-19. However, DoIT still recommends a standard home broadband setup if the option is available.

Disclaimer

This list of resources is provided as a convenience to aid in your search for an internet service provider. Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement, recommendation, or support; other capable and quality providers may not be listed. As with any purchase, shop around, ask for promotional deals, look at consumer reviews, and read the terms and conditions of any contract prior to signing up for the service.

Financial assistance

Staying secure when working and learning remotely

You are responsible for secure computing practices when working from home. Please reference this guide on how to safely and securely connect to the UW Network.

See Also: