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Technology Support and Services

Technology Support and Services for COVID-19

Published: 10/26/2020 5:32 PM


Going the Last Mile for KY K-12 students

Published 9/2/2020

Within KY K-12 school buildings and on KY K-12 school campuses 

KY K-12 was the very first state in the nation to have every school district connected to the Internet. We did that way back in the 1995. Very proud of that. We are “the” national leader in cloud-based computing. All KY K-12 schools are already are last mile fibered with high quality, high speeds and cybersafe Internet services. We already have a 1 to 1 ratio of computers (i.e., 800,000 desktops, laptops, tablets) for KY K-12 students, teachers and leaders in our districts. Over the past several months our KDE Office of Education Technology (OET) have been working with districts on how they can make the most of their existing Internet services while at both school and home (see attached pdf). This has included how districts can (1) extend their existing Internet service within the school building so it is also accessible to their KY K-12 students in their school parking lots and other areas on their school campus, and (2) ensure all KY K-12 teachers from their classrooms, at the same time, could effectively broadcast out (upload) through the district’s Internet services. Additionally, OET’s digital learning teams and KDE’s Office of Continuous Improvement has been working with districts on the best practices for in-person and distance teaching & learning. 

Locations outside the KY K-12 school building and campuses 

Because of what we’ve been doing in the Kentucky Education Technology System (KETS) since 1992, which has led to KY K-12 becoming “the” national leader in cloud based computing for K-12 instructional and administrative services, it has positioned KY K-12 much better than nearly every other state to be able to quickly pivot to virtual instruction for the 10 nontraditional instruction (NTI) days before Covid-19 and for extended NTI since March 13, 2020.  Besides spending a lot of time with districts and teachers on the best practices for virtual teaching and learning over the last 6 months, KDE and school districts have also been focusing efforts on addressing the last mile to the student regarding a mobile device that a KY K-12 student can use at both school and home as well as Internet access for the KY K-12 student beyond the school campus.    

In the results of the most recent survey of KY K-12 parents/caregivers in June 2020 (family survey dashboard), it appears a very high percentage of KY K-12 homes already have a computer/laptop/tablet that a KY K-12 student can use for educational purposes. This survey didn’t count the number of KY K-12 students that will be provided an end device (i.e., laptop/tablet) from their school district. I suspect the results for that question would have been even better had a school provided computer also been included as a survey response choice for that question in that June 2020 survey. Over the past 7 months, districts have been very busy ensuring that their existing 1 to 1 ratio is also a mobile 1 to 1 ratio. Since the desktop computers, primarily found in school labs, libraries and the classrooms of younger grades (K-3), are not very mobile and thus not used much during 100% virtual situations, districts have been aggressively ordering mobile devices so students grade K to high school has one to use both at school and home. The $204M in CARES funds available to districts have played a big role in helping address the mobile end device gaps but much like everything else during these times I’m sure it’s not 100% perfect. From my discussion with all district CIOs/EdTech leaders 90% of the computers they ordered have come in. The last 10% will be coming in over the next few months given the huge sudden worldwide demand for mobile devices. However, it appears the most of these districts have found an interim solution until that 10% comes in. Once again not 100% perfect.    

The results of the most recent survey of KY K-12 parents/caregivers in June 2020 (family survey dashboard) identified only overall average 5.6% without Internet at their home at all and/or they must walk/travel to access the Internet to do school work. This 5.6% percentage is also consistent with and in the ballpark of last year’s KY K-12 Digital Readiness Report and the progress made in that area with a variety of CARES funds and SEEK funds over the past several months since that last snapshot through the KY K-12 Digital Readiness Report in December 2019.  

As mentioned above, all KY K-12 schools are already connected via high speed fiber to the Internet for our KY K-12 students to use within the school buildings. Districts have also been using a variety of methods to extend the school building’s internal Internet service for their KY K-12 students (e.g., school parking lots). However, for a variety of reasons before, during and after Covid-19, KY K-12 students also need Internet access closer to their homes for school related learning.

The good news is before the Covid-19 situation in March 2020, approximately 90% of KY K-12 students already had Internet access at their homes that allows them to do schoolwork. Over the past 6 months, KY K-12 school districts like Jefferson County schools, Covington Independent schools and Lincoln County schools have increased that 90% to approximately 95%. So, we estimate there are an average of 5% of KY K-12 students currently without Internet access beyond the school campus to do their schoolwork.  However at the same time, we recognize that the southeastern KY districts are much farther behind than the other parts of eastern KY (i.e., northeastern KY and east eastern KY) and the overall state, regarding Internet access for KY K-12 students beyond the school campus. So unfortunately, southeastern KY’s averages are much higher (i.e., much worse) than that 5% overall state average.  There are also a few districts outside of southeastern KY that also have a much higher (aka worse) than the overall state average, but that’s the exception not the norm. However, all districts in southeastern KY and around the state can greatly benefit from the additional funding (e.g., $212M in CARES Funds, etc.) for a last mile Internet for the remaining KY K-12 students in their districts from low-income households currently without Internet access beyond the school campus to do their school related work.   

For the approximately 5% remaining KY K-12 students that currently don’t have a last mile wireless or last mile wired Internet access option at or very close to their homes, it’s most likely due to the geography and/or the parent’s economic status. The funding sources and Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Last Mile described below could be helpful to the KY K-12 students from low-income homes currently without Internet outside the school’s campus in the most rural/mountainous locations in eastern and western KY to the most urban locations in Lexington and Louisville. 

This last mile Internet to the student initiative is for the KY K-12 student in a low-income household that doesn’t already have Internet away from their school campus. 

We intentionally call this initiative “the last mile Internet to the student” not “to the home”. This because there is not a 100% perfect solution that brings last mile wireless or wired Internet option to the living room of 100% of every home in Kentucky. While the intent is to have a last mile wireless or wired Internet option available for the remaining KY K-12 students that are currently without, the reality is a percentage of those remaining students may need to get and use a last mile wireless mobile hotspot where they must walk to or drive to a location close to their home to use it. However, this initiative can hopefully help prevent these students in low-income homes that are currently without Internet from having to travel all the way to their school building to use the Internet from within the building or the school parking lot. So, while there are no 100% perfect solutions, we are going to use a variety of ways to try to get as close to that 100% as possible. 

Funding sources 

There are a variety of funding sources that can be used by the district to pay for the last mile Internet services for KY K-12 students in low-income households that currently don’t already have Internet. 

  • $212M in CARES funds have been spread across all 171 districts. CARES funds are temporary funds that have an expiration date ($174M ESSER funds expire in September 2021, $30M in GEER funds expire in September 2021 and the $8M that was announced on August 25th expires in December 2020). ESSER and GEER funds can be spent on a variety of district needs, including last mile Internet for the KY K-12 student without Internet beyond the school building. The $8M is different from ESSER and GEER because this $8M can only be spent for the last mile Internet for the KY K-12 student from low-income homes currently without Internet beyond the school campus to do their school work. We are hopeful that the $8M will be extended beyond December 2020 by the federal government; however, there is no guarantee at this time.    
  • All districts can use their $212M in CARES funds to pay for costs associated providing last mile Internet for the KY K-12 students that don’t have it going back to March 13, 2020.
  • There is also the possibility of another round of federal relief funds in the future (US House-HEROES and US Senate-HEALS proposals).  
  • The district’s annual SEEK funds can also be used for this purpose. 
Districts have the ability to use existing local last mile Internet contracts for their KY K-12 students right now as well as the “Last Mile wired Internet to the KY K-12 student” contracts in the future established through the recently state issued “Last Mile for the KY K-12 student” RFP on August 25th with these $212M in CARES funds. Therefore districts don’t have to wait for state contracts to be established from the Last Mile Internet for KY K-12 students RFP before the district can spend the recently announced $8M in funds as well the remaining $204M of the $212M in CARES funds to provide last mile wireless or wired Internet service to students from low-income homes currently without Internet access at or near their home. Since March 13, 2020, districts have already been able to do this with local contracts with $204M in CARES funds (i.e., ESSER and GEER).   

The district identifies the best strategy and approach to reach their students from low-income homes currently without Internet with the $212M in CARES funds. That means the district may use a variety of approaches (e.g., last mile wireless hot spots that go to the home, hotspots that go on buses that park in low-income neighborhoods, satellite to reach places that both last mile hotspots and last mile wired don’t reach, and last mile wired to location used exclusively by low-income students currently without Internet service, etc.)  

With all three flavors of CARES funds, districts must first agree to assurances through the GMAP system before they can be reimbursed for any funds being spent from these three CARES funding sources for the last mile Internet for the student. The assurance mainly says you will only spend these CARES funds on only the eligible products and services. 

The $8M in CARES funds announced on August 25, 2020, will be allocated to each district based upon the district’s total number of students and the district’s free and reduced lunch program (FRLP) percentages. This $8M in federal funds can only be used for last mile Internet for KY K-12 students in low-income households. The priority of these $8M in federal funds are for those KY K-12 students in low-income households currently without Internet access beyond their school. Once that is addressed for those remaining KY K-12 students currently without right now, then the remaining district’s portion of specific federal funds can also be spent for costs by the district going back to 1 March 2020 related to providing last mile Internet to KY K-12 students beyond the KY K-12 school building that are from low-income households.   

Our goal is by September 15, 2020, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) that was issued on August 25, to identify/have in place a variety of local last mile Internet provider(s) for districts to select from who can supply high-speed last mile Internet service for these remaining KY K-12 students in their district. Vendors will also have up to December 2020 to add services or update them. Districts can use their portion of the $212M in CARES funds to acquire last mile Internet services for their remaining students from low-income families currently without Internet access from (a) their current local last mile wireless/wired contracts available to them or (b) the state contracts once they are in place from this “Last Mile for the KY K-12 student” RFP. This RFP is for 5 year contracts however the emphasis and focus is for heavily discounted prices for high quality/capacity services for this current school year for K-12 students since this current school year will most likely have the most amount of KY K-12 students learning virtually throughout this school year than future school years.     
 
The contracts of the “Last Mile” Internet service for KY K-12 are intended to include existing wireless options like mobile hotspots, satellite services and fixed wireless capabilities. They will also include existing last mile wired options like traditional services from a cable, telephone or utility company. There are locations in KY that last mile wired connection may be many years away from being available. We have an immediate need, so last mile wireless options like satellite and mobile hotspots will likely be a very good option in these situations.   

It will be a district’s decision on which last mile provider is selected, which should be based on best cost and best service in the district for the students, and the remaining students currently in their district without a last mile Internet option that will receive these services. 

Our goals in the RFP for the Last Mile Internet for the KY K-12 student are to get costs down to $10 per month, unlimited data, 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload and no costs for wireless/wired hardware (e.g., standalone hot spots) for KY K-12 students in low-income households currently without Internet access. These are goals that may or may not be met for this current school year. Right now, the most common price nationally given exclusively for K-12 students is $20 per month for unlimited data. We’ve asked the vendors that are intending to respond to this bid to do their best to help us reach these goals for this school year.   

KY K-12 already has close to 800,000 computers and therefore better than a 1 to 1 student to computer ratio that can be used by our 655,000 KY K-12 students at school or at their home. A very high percentage of those 800,000 computers are mobile devices (e.g., laptops, tablets) that can easily be used at both school and home. Districts are buying more mobile computers right now for students at this time to be used at the student’s home given the desktop computers mainly found in the school’s labs, libraries and younger grades (e.g., K-3) won’t be accessible to students at their home since they are not very mobile.

Internet content management, filtering and cybersafety is required by a 1998 KY state law for all KY K-12 students to ensure they are only going to the instructional and educational resources that are K-12 appropriate that have been selected by the district’s teachers and staff. The last mile wireless and wired Internet for student vendors will need to work with the district on how to best accomplish that. Typically, our districts have been ensuring only their K-12 student can get on the school issued laptop/tablet and only that laptop/tablet can get on the district provided last mile service and that tablet must use the district’s Internet content management service.    

The following was originally placed on our KDE website on August 27, 2020: https://education.ky.gov/districts/tech/kpur/pages/Vendor.aspx. I encourage you to listen to the Last Mile Internet for the KY K-12 Student bidder's conference that can found at the KDE Media Portal at that link. At the bidder's conference, we gave the background and details on the last mile Internet initiative to KY K-12 students from low-income homes that currently don’t have Internet. This is helpful for anyone to learn about what is and isn’t part of this initiative. 

All the KY K-12 district CIOs/EdTech leaders were briefed on this Last Mile Internet for the KY K-12 student initiative on August 26, 2020. You can also listen to that by going to: https://mediaportal.education.ky.gov/technology/2020/08/special-update-on-ky-k-12-edtech-august-26-2020/. The KY K-12 district's CIO/EdTech leader is the best position in the district to speak with regarding finding out your local school district's approach to reach their students from low-income homes that currently don’t have Internet outside the school campus.

What the “Last Mile Internet for the KY K-12 student” initiative isn’t  

  • This is not a last mile Internet initiative to the home for every family member at their homes (aka whole home solution). That is needed, but this initiative is exclusively for KY K-12 students in low-income households currently without Internet outside the school building. 
  • This last mile for the KY K-12 student initiative is also not an initiative to provide the homes that already have a wireless Internet solution (e.g., fixed satellite or wireless service) but the home owner (a) also wants a last mile wired Internet option to their home and/or (b) wants lower wireless cost than they are already paying to their home. This is also needed but that is not what this initiative is focused on. 
  • The RFP is not setting up state contracts for parents to buy directly from. Parents will need to approach vendors directly for that. There is a federal Lifeline program that low-income parents can get up to $9.25 per month to help pay for their monthly wireless or wired Internet access.
      

$8M CARES Act Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 Student Funding Program District Participation Announcement 

Published 9/4/2020

To prepare for the upcoming release to all 171 districts of the $8M CARES Act Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 Student Program Funding within the KY K-12 GMAP system that is used by all our districts, we wanted to educate and remind all KY K-12 CIOs/EdTech leaders of (a) the core program attributes of the $8M and to share the necessary steps to participate in that program and (b) more details about the Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 student RFP. 
Districts should focus their attention on addressing these vital aspects of the program as well as completing the required Program Assurances and Spending Plan GMAP submissions by the associated deadlines.
$8M for Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 Student Funding Program Core Planning Attributes:

This $8M for Last Mile Internet to the student initiative funding is for the KY K-12 student in a low-income household that doesn’t already have internet away from their school campus.

Funding allotments will be based upon the district’s free and reduced lunch program (FRLP) data with a minimum district allotment of $2,250. 

Funding initially identified for districts that do not submit program documentation including a Spending Plan within GMAP by the deadlines specified are thereby electing not to participate and their funding allotment will be redistributed to the remaining districts that have chosen to participate by submitting program documentation including a Spending Plan within GMAP by the indicated deadlines. We will determine any resulting redistribution of allotments for participating districts including a Spending Plan adjustment for any funding identified based on districts electing to not participate within a month of original allotments being available within GMAP.  

Funding priority:

  • Shall be to address the existing gap of those eligible low income KY K-12 students who do not currently have access to internet services for educational instruction due to barriers.
  • Reimbursement for retroactive measures put in place to provide services to address internet access to eligible low income KY K-12 students will be considered a secondary funding priority.
  • The Coronavirus Relief Fund (aka CARES) Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 Student Program Fund is an emergency fund meant to overcome barriers created by the COVID-19 pandemic and expires December 30, 2020.
  • Districts will assess last mile wireless or wired internet services provided and submit a description to the KY Dept of Education’s Office of Education Technology including total number of students participating by service type and procurement vehicle. 
  • Provision of services within the Spending Plan should include the following:
    • The planned # of eligible low income KY K-12 students who do not currently have access to internet services for educational instruction due to barriers to be served. 
    • Description of methodology for confirming eligibility. 
    • Identify the type(s) of “Last Mile” internet service from the list below that are planned to be provided for eligible low income KY K-12 students.  For each service type selected please include the estimated quantity as well as a description of any service location(s) intended for multiple eligible low income KY K-12 students internet access. 
      • Wireless Access – standalone hotspot device
      • Wireless Access - hotspot via existing Smartphone/cell phone 
      • Satellite Access
      • Wired  access/solutions - Cable
      • Wired  access/solutions - Fiber
      • Wired  access/solutions - DSL 
      • Wired  access/solutions - other
      • Other (detailed description required) 
  • A description of any secondary funding priority retroactive measures beginning March 1, 2020, which the district would be requesting to be applied to the Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 Student Program Funds. Retroactive measures must be directly related to providing last mile wired and wireless internet to eligible low income KY K-12 students who did not have last mile Internet service for school related work and activities prior to the measures taking place.
  • Districts should use commodity code 310-01-104 (Classroom Instructional Technology).
  • Districts can use their portion of these Coronavirus Relief Fund funds to acquire last mile internet services for their remaining students from low-income families currently without Internet access from (a) their current local last mile wireless/wired contracts available to them or (b) the state contracts once they are in place from the “Last Mile for the KY K-12 student” RFP. 
  • What this last mile Internet initiative for the KY K-12 student isn’t:  
    • This is not a Last Mile Internet initiative to the home for every family member at their homes (aka whole home solution).  That is needed but this initiative is exclusively for KY K-12 students in low-income households currently without internet outside the school building. 
    • This Last Mile for the KY K-12 student initiative is also not an initiative to provide funding to the homes that already have a wireless internet solution  (e.g., fixed satellite or wireless service) but the home owner (a) also wants a last mile wired internet option to their home and/or (b) wants lower wireless cost than they are already paying to their home. This is also needed but that is not what this initiative is focused on. 
    • There is a federal Lifeline program, which is not a program managed or provided by KDE, that low-income parents may apply for to get up to $9.25 per month to help pay for their monthly wireless or wired internet access. 

$8M Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 Student Funding
Program Participation Steps and Activities

 
  • Coronavirus Relief Fund Program Assurances and Spending Plan will be made available in the Grants Management Application and Planning System (GMAP) under FY2021. The assurance mainly says you will spend the Coronavirus Relief Funds on only the eligible products and services while the Spending Plan is a narrative summarizing how the funds will be used once the award is made. Availability and due dates for both the Assurances and Spending Plan within GMAP will be included in the September 14, 2020, Superintendent’s Monday message. In the event the details are not available by that date, a communication will occur shortly after that date.  
  • The Coronavirus Relief Funds must be budgeted and spent in accordance with the Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 Student Program Guidance document included as part of the Spending Plan document released within GMAP.   This Guidance document also includes further reporting requirements.
  • To access these documents within GMAP, the district’s GMAP User Access Administrator must setup GMAP access and/or assign the role of a District Last Mile Internet to the K-12 Student Program Director to the appropriate staff such as a manager/director for the program.  A list of GMAP User Access Administrators is located in GMAP under KDE Resources. 
  • If you have technical questions, email KDE GMAP Help at kdegmap@education.ky.gov and specific program area contacts are available in the guidance document. 
  • Following the submission of the Coronavirus Relief Fund Program Assurances by the superintendent and after the Spending Plan has been approved, Districts may request the Last Mile Internet to the KY K-12 Student Program funds through the Federal Cash Request process. A funding matrix detailing allowable expenditures is available in this document. The Federal Cash Request process and the funding matrix can be found on the KDE’s Federal Grants webpage. 
  • Districts will submit quarterly CDIP reports using a MUNIS Project number 663G for district expenses. 
 

Last Mile Wired & Wireless Internet to the KY K-12 Students: Request for Proposal (RFP) that can use a variety of the $212M in CARES Funds
 and local SEEK Funds

  • The Last Mile Wired & Wireless Internet for KY K-12 Students RFP 758 2100000061 was issued on August 25th.
  • The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking multiple vendors to provide students in low income homes that currently don't have last mile internet service for school related work and activities, last mile wireless Internet and last mile wired Internet monthly services in 171 Kentucky Public School Districts and Kentucky School of Blind (KSB) and Kentucky School of Deaf (KSD) 
  • Awarded contracts pursuant to this RFP shall be completed in 2 phases.  Phase I will establish initial contracts. Phase II will establish contracts on an as needed basis until the RFP closes. Phase II responses will be evaluated and considered for award as they are received until the bid closing date.
  • Vendor Conference was held on August 27, 2020
  • Phase 1 Proposals are due by September 4, 2020 3:30pm EST 
  • Phase II Proposals are due Sept 5th up to December 1st. This means proposals that take longer to get through a company’s internal bureaucracy than Sept 4, 2020 can be submitted and considered anytime between these two dates. 
  • Vendors will also have up to December 2020 to add services or update them. 
  • Our goal by September 15, 2020 is to identify/have in place a variety of local last mile Internet provider(s) for districts to select from who can supply high-speed last mile Internet service for those remaining low income KY K-12 students in their district that currently don't have last mile internet service for school related work and activities through this RFP. 
  • This RFP is for 5 year contracts however the emphasis and focus is for heavily discounted prices for high quality/capacity services for this current school year for low income K-12 students since this current school year will most likely have the most amount of KY K-12 students learning virtually throughout this school year than future school years.     


Internet Access for Kentucky K-12 Students

Published 8/19/2020

Kentucky's K-12 public education system is the pioneer and national leader in most aspects of education technology, so we are in a much better position and better prepared for telecommuting, virtual operations, virtual resources, virtual meetings and cloud-based services than the other 49 states. Although we've been doing all of these things for more than a decade, we are far from perfect and are still learning.

All 172 of Kentucky's school districts are connected by high-speed, high-quality, reliable fibered internet service. All schools also have dense Wi-Fi within each school building. Kentucky was the first state to have all of this in place for every school district in their state.

If a public school district doesn't already have Wi-Fi available for its students in the school's parking lots or football stadium, they can easily take the existing Wi-Fi devices and extend them to areas on the campus located outside the school building by extending and placing the existing wireless access points closer to the school's interior windows. This allows students to access the internet for school-related work at an exterior location on the campus. Keep in mind, Kentucky has had non-traditional instructional (NTI) days for more than a decade, so a high percentage of our districts already are doing this. KDE's Office of Education Technology field staff is working with all superintendents and their education technology leadership to ensure they are aware of this way to offer internet access, quickly and inexpensively, to their students.

Below is a note and Facebook post sent out from Marshall County to their students as an example of messaging that can be used with your students and parents:  

Marshall note to parents:

"All Marshall County Schools have internet access in the parking lots. If you do not have internet at home and your student needs to access the internet for school assignments, feel free to come to your school's parking lot and access the network. We ask that you please stay in your car and practice social distancing."

One Marshall principal posted on Facebook:

"We are happy to announce we have a Wi-Fi hotspot set up in our school parking lot. Please park in the area in front of the gym lobby. This should permit you access to our Wi-Fi so your child can pull up information for his/her classes. All schools in our district will be offering similar areas in their parking lots as well. We just ask that you continue to practice social distancing by staying in your car and using the Wi-Fi from your vehicle."

Kenucky's public school students also can use their smartphones with data plans to do school-related work outside of the school campus. While 89% percent of all of Kentucky's 3rd- to 12th-graders have a smartphone with a data plan, that number goes up to close to 99% for the state's middle and high school students. This pdf has discount opportunities for internet and/or hotspot connections to your home.   

Internet Access for Adults

Published 8/19/20

During these times of social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is not safe or recommended to have large groups of people in a K-12 school parking lot or anywhere on campus for long periods of time. For safety and security purposes, we also don't want people hanging out in school parking lots during the late evening and early morning hours, such as from midnight to 6 a.m. We want to avoid putting any Kentuckians at risk of illness or personal harm by creating a meeting place that significantly increases the probabilities of the spread of COVID-19. 

There are other significant issues beyond COVID-19 as to why this should not be done, including that it would take lots of school resources to monitor, manage and support all the adults in their parking lots for long periods of time. This would take time away from the staff from being able to adequately support the district's students and teachers. However, there are some much better, more appropriate and safer options for adults of all ages to use the Internet:

  • Similar to high school and middle school students, a high percentage of adults already have a mobile smartphone with a data plan, which allows them to access the internet from the comfort of their home. You also can buy a hotspot service with your cell phone that can allow multiple computers in close proximity of the Smartphone to get on the internet at the same time regardless of where you are.
  • If there is not a wired, last mile internet service available for your home and you don't think one will be there soon, Kentucky adults can buy a hotspot device with last mile internet service from a variety of telephone and cable companies. This hotspot device and service works without a smartphone and are capable of reaching 99% of the homes in the state and can be used immediately after purchase. Multiple computers and Smartphones within a home can use this Wi-Fi service at the same time. Spectrum cable is one of many companies that can provide mobile hotspot services that an adult can use. Although hotspot devices typically cost money, Spectrum has announced that it is going to offer free hotspots throughout their communities. From their website, you can see that unlimited internet access is available across a wide swath of the state. 
  • For college students that can't or don't get access to the internet, Kentucky's higher education institutions may provide Wi-Fi resources for adult college students from certain areas of their campus. There is a Kentucky Community and Technical College System location within a 30-minute drive of 95% of all Kentuckians.
  • Another option would be to ask public libraries, county clerk offices and public health departments in every county to bring their Wi-Fi devices closer to their windows so adults outside of their building could get access to their Wi-Fi.  However, these groups are likely to have similar safety concerns in regard to not wanting to create and encourage folks to congregate close together outside their buildings to use their Wi-Fi.
  • There are restaurants (e.g., McDonalds, Wendy's, Panera Bread, Jimmy Johns, Starbucks, Taco Bell, Burger King, Subway, Arby's Dunkin Donuts, Chick-Fil-A, etc.) that allow anyone to use their Wi-Fi internet service within and outside their buildings that may still be open and available if an adult can't get access to the internet from any of the other options.    


​Janice Harris
Office of Education Technology
300 Sower Blvd., 4th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-2020 ext. 2446
Fax (502) 564-1519


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