State Government COVID-19 Digital Inclusion Response

Local Government ResponsesCOVID-19 Resources

The onset of a global health pandemic has put a spotlight on digital inclusion. NDIA is documenting local government initiatives to encourage other local governments to address access to the internet (particularly at home), personal computers and tablets, and tech assistance. These initiatives are in addition to the FCC’s Keeping American’s Connected Pledge.

This page details local government initiatives across three categories:

Internet Access

  • Expansion of free public wifi (boosting wifi at public buildings parking lots, nearby housing, etc.)
  • Information about free and low cost internet options from wireline and mobile providers

Device Access

  • Funding (states that are opening and expanding grant programs for COVID-19)
  • Computer Refurbishers (states that are coordinating with state-wide computer refurbishers)

Tech Support 

  • Tech assistance hotlines, digital navigator programs (1:1 device, connectivity and tech support)
  • Online digital literacy training (live and pre-recorded lessons)

State-wide resources may be found here. Also see our Free and Low-Cost internet Plans. It should be noted that unless it is specifically identified, utility shut off orders do not protect broadband subscriptions.

This list will be updated as more local governments develop digital inclusion strategies. If you have additional information, please send to miles@digitalinclusion.org.

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Governments at all levels can and should lead…Not having internet in your home makes it harder to see a doctor or nurse without leaving your house, harder to do homework outside of the classroom, harder to start a small business, and in many cases harder to interact with your state and local government

Jeffrey R. Sural
Director at the Broadband Infrastructure Office
North Carolina Department of Information Technology

This list will be updated as more local governments develop digital inclusion strategies. If you have additional information, please send to miles@digitalinclusion.org.

 

Alabama

  • No resources available

Alaska

  • No resources available

Arizona

Arkansas

  • Available for the State of Arkansas is a map showing internet access points at public, county and regional libraries across the state.

California

  • California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) mandated, by way of executive order, the elimination of data caps and overage charges by internet service providers (ISPs).
  • The State of California has created a webpage describing access to affordable services provided by telecom and data companies.
  • The California Emerging Technology Fund has provided an information hotline for details about affordable internet: 1-844-841-INFO (4636).

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

  • No resources available

Florida

  • No resources available

Georgia

Hawaii

Idaho

  • No resources available

Illinois

  • The Citizens Utility Board of Illinois has compiled a list of benefits, responses and telecom/internet/cable options that providers are offering customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

Indiana

  • Governor Holocomb of Indiana has issued an executive order that includes prohibiting the disconnection of any broadband or telecommunications service to customers in the state.

Iowa

  • No resources available

Kansas

  • Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has issued an Executive Order mandating that all Kansas utility providers not under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Corporation Commission temporarily suspend the disconnection of services for non-payment, including telecommunications utilities and internet service providers.

Kentucky

  • No resources available

Louisiana 

  • No resources available

Maine

  • NetworkMaine is offering guest wifi networks to 140 schools so that they can offer free public wifi in their parking lots. Details at NetworkMaine’s website, here.
  • Also available is the NetworkMaine Study from Car Initiative map.

Maryland

  • Governor Hogan of Maryland has issued an executive order that includes preventing the termination of service by any ISP to its customers in the state.

Massachusetts

  • No resources available

Michigan

  • Michigan Public Service Commision (MPSC) telecommunications service assistance is available at  800-292-9555.

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

  • No resources available

Montana

  • No resources available

Nebraska

  • Nebraska’s Public Service Commission has issued an order allocating $1million via the Nebraska Universal Service Fund (NUSF), to reimburse ISPs for providing service to low income families. Certified carriers may file an application seeking NUSF support beginning May 1, 2020.

Nevada

  • No resources available

New Hampshire

  • Governor Sununu of New Hampshire issued an Emergency Order that includes a temporary prohibition on disconnection or discontinuance of internet services.
  • Questions regarding cable, internet or VOIP services may be directed to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 603-271-3641 or by email at DOJ-CPB@doj.nh.gov.

New Jersey

  • New Jersey Governor Phillip Murphy has mandated, by way of executive order, that  no cable or telecommunications provider that provides residential internet and voice services to New Jersey residents may shut off these services to users, unless they receive specific permission to do so from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

New Mexico

  • Any internet or cell phone consumers who have had their accounts terminated may call the State of New Mexico’s COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-551-0518

New York

  • No resources available

North Carolina

North Dakota

  • No resources available

Ohio

Oklahoma

  • An Emergency Resource List has been published on OneNet.net, detailing resources provided by local telecommunications providers to residents and businesses in Oklahoma along with qualification criteria.

Oregon

Pennsylvania

  • The Pennsylvania Utility Commission has outlined Lifeline services for maintaining internet and telephone access, available to residents in the state.
  • The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has prohibited utility service terminations, including telecommunications, with the moratorium lasting for as long as the Proclamation of Disaster, issued by Gov. Tom Wolf, is in effect.

Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island has created a resource list detailing telecommunications support available in the State. Nonprofit entities such as Mobile Beacon and PCsforPeople are providing devices and internet access to eligible individuals and households.
  • Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has announced that all households that have a WiFi hot-spot enabled smartphone and cell phone service from Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile or Sprint will be able to use the hotspot feature free of charge until May 13. There will be no activation fee, no usage fee, and no overage fee. Announcement available under School and Child Care Information

South Carolina

  • No resources available

South Dakota

  • No resources available

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

  • No resources available

Vermont

  • Vermont Department of Public Service has listed resources on the availability of Internet and telecommunications services here
  • Also available is a map showing hotspot locations across the state.

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

  • No resources available

Wisconsin

Wyoming

  • The Wyoming Public Service Commission has issued an order that includes prohibiting the suspension of services and issuing of late fees by telecommunications companies in the state.