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  • Writer's pictureBrett Saucier

Need Internet or Internet Troubleshooting?

Please review the information below if you are in need of internet service or need assistance troubleshooting your home internet connection.

COVID-19 Internet Access Guidance for Families without Internet

If your family qualifies for free and reduced lunch:

  • OTT/Otelco is providing free home internet access for 60 days for PK-12 students who qualify under the National School Lunch Program for free or reduced meals.

  • To request this service, complete the form on Otelco’s website or call OTT/Otelco at 1-833-OTELCO1.

If you have a PK-12 student or teacher in your household:

  • Spectrum is providing free home internet and WiFi for 60 days for any household with a PK-12 student or teacher that has not subscribed to Spectrum internet in the last 30 days.

  • To request this service, call Spectrum at 1-855-243-8892.

If you currently have Verizon Wireless as a cell phone service provider:

  • Verizon is offering 15GB additional Mobile Hotspot data to nearly all plans, to be used between 3/25/20-4/30/20.

  • Please refer here to learn more.

If you currently have T-Mobile as a cell phone service provider:

  • All T-Mobile customers as of March 13, 2020 who have plans with data will automatically have unlimited smartphone data through May 13 (excluding roaming). No action required.

  • T-Mobile postpaid and Metro customers on plans with HotSpot data can add 20GB (10 GB / month for two months) of Smartphone Mobile HotSpot at no extra charge. (excludes Prepaid T-Mobile Connect)

  • Please refer here to learn more

If you currently have Sprint as a cell phone service provider:

  • Current customers can receive unlimited data for 60 days with metered data plans.

  • They are providing 20GB of Mobile Hotspot data free to customers with hotspot-capable devices.

  • Please refer here to learn more

Study from car initiative:

  • Many school districts in Maine are providing internet access from the parking lot. School districts have created guests networks that can be accessed from the parking lot.

  • Please refer here to learn more

If you are concerned about being able to make internet payments during this pandemic:

  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued guidance for providers limiting or eliminating service termination, late fees, and other access supports.

  • Read full guidelines here.

Network Issues at home? Here are some basic things to try:

1) Reboot your modem and router by unplugging them from power for 30 seconds.

2) Check to see how many devices are on your network. Streaming movies, music, games, and other content can use up your bandwidth fast.

3) How old are your modem and router? If your router is a few years old, it may not be keeping up the technologies your newer devices have access to or the demand of added devices.

4) You can check your speed and compare it to what the speeds you are paying for using a site like Keep in mind wireless speeds almost never reach full data speeds. If you are able to plug directly into your modem or router with an ethernet cable, this would be the best way to test the actual speeds you are receiving from your Internet service provider.

1-5 Mbps - Streaming audio (Spotify) or slow web browsing

5-10 Mbps - Normal web browsing, shopping, or social media

10-20Mbps - Streaming Video (Netflix, Youtube, etc)

25-50Mbps - 4K Video streaming or online gaming

50+ Mbps - Large file downloads

(all speeds are per person using the network)

Example: 3 people streaming 4K Netflix would need a minimum 75Mbps connection.

5) Make sure devices are within proximity of their wireless router or Verizon hotspot and have a good signal. Moving between floors, lots of walls, or poor position can reduce wireless speeds and signal strength.

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