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 [email protected]


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 [email protected].



  • Governor Kay Ivey of Alabama has committed $100 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to purchase internet service for low-income households with eligible K-12 students. Eligible households will receive complete details and a prepaid voucher that will cover all related costs by U.S. mail by August, and should call the internet service provider of their choice, give them your voucher code, and sign up for service.


  • No resources available



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


  • 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).
  • The California Teleconnect Fund is offering a 50% discount on the monthly recurring service charge for mobile data services to rural small and medium school districts during the COVID-19 crisis allowing schools to extend the classroom to the home. Please see COVID-19 Distance Learning Discounts for more information.



  • Connecticut has detailed a compilation of internet packages and offers currently being offered by ISPs in the state.
  • Governor Lamont announced the Everybody Learns Initiative, a $43.5 million program to close the digital divide for students in Connecticut.


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  • 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.


  • 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.


  • No resources available


  • 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.


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  • 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.


  • 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.
  • Governor Hogan also announced that more than $45.6 million is set to be committed in additional education funding for Maryland students affected by the coronavirus pandemic.


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




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  • 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.


  • 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 [email protected]

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.
  • Governor Phillip Murphy has committed to spend approximately $115M of federal grant and CARES Act money on K-12 digital inclusion efforts focused on devices and broadband service.

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



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



  • 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



  • Connected Nation Texas has created a description of ISP responses to the pandemic across the state, as well as the option for non-Texas Public Utility Commission affiliated ISPs to include their response strategies.
  • Operation Connectivity aims to connect all Texas public school students with a device and reliable internet connection. The initiative addresses issues of technology, policy, and funding to provide a pathway for Local Education Agencies to connect their students.


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  • 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.



West Virginia

  • No resources available



  • 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.