DECA COVID-19 Community Resources

This resource list serves to share City & Partner Digital Inclusion information for the Austin community amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The DECA COVID-19 Community Resource list is organized into four categories: General Resources, Internet Service Provider Information, Computer Access, and Using the Internet and Online Learning Resources.

You Can Provide Your Organization's Updates Too!

Please add your DECA COVID-19 DECA resource sharing & updates here. This form is intended to serve as a clearinghouse for the Digital Empowerment Community of Austin (DECA) efforts in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Feel free to fill it out as often as you may need, to ask for and offer help, and simply to share an update on your organization’s efforts.

General Resources

This category represents a collection of general resources from key stakeholders, anchor institutions, and community based organizations.

Internet Service Provider Information (as of 7/22/2020)

Información sobre proveedores de servicios de Internet

This category provides information regarding the Internet accessibility options from our area Internet service providers in response to COVID-19.

  • Free/Low-Cost Internet Options

    • List by National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA)

  • AT&T COVID-19 Response

    • AT&T will waive home Internet data overage charges for Internet customers through September 30. That means new and existing AT&T Fiber and AT&T Internet customers can continue to video conference, binge shows and movies, play video games, etc., and won’t see overage charges on their home Internet bill.

    • Beginning July 10, teachers, nurses, and physicians will join first responders, military, and veterans with eligibility to get AT&T's appreciation offer of 25% savings on Unlimited Starter, Extra and Elite wireless plans.

      • Up to a $50/month discount for 4 lines on AT&T Unlimited Elite.

    • AT&T is offering Internet access to qualifying limited income households for $10/month through the Access from AT&T Program. Eligibility has been expanded to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start.

    • AT&T Access is a “postpaid” product and a credit card, debit card, or checking account is not required to sign up.

    • AT&T prepaid services allow customers to pay in cash and do not require a contract or credit check (this includes hotspots). AT&T is currently offering $15/2GB. Plans can be purchased at Authorized Retailers, AT&T Retail stores, and national retailers (Wal-Mart, Target, grocery stores, pharmacy’s, etc). Customers can also purchase prepaid refill cards to to be used towards the customer’s plan.

  • Charter Communications/Spectrum COVID-19 Response

    • Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps through June 30, 2020. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

    • Charter is not requiring credit or debit cards for the free Spectrum Internet/Spectrum Internet Assist offer. There may be a prepayment required if the customer orders a service over and above the offer (video, phone) or if there is a current unpaid past due amount. However, a credit card or debit card is still not required as Charter will accept cash payments at Spectrum stores and various third-party payment locations like Western Union, Money Gram, Wal-Mart, and H-E-B. This offer is available through June 30, 2020. More information is available here.

  • Google Fiber COVID-19 Response

    • Google Fiber offers the Broadband product in the most digitally divided areas of Austin.

        • For $15/month, residents in the eligible areas are automatically qualified to sign-up.

        • Residents should call in to see if they are eligible (866-777-7550).

        • In response to COVID-19, Google Fiber has increased the upload and download speed for Broadband customers -- from 25 mbps per second to 100 mbps per second -- at no cost.

    • In line with the FCC's Keep Americans Connected pledge, Google Fiber will ensure that no customers lose their connection to the Internet as a result of financial difficulties caused by COVID-19. Austin customers who receive a delinquency notice and are impacted by COVID19 can contact Google Fiber via phone, email, or chat.

    • More information about Google Fiber's COVID-19 Community Support is available here.

  • Grande Communications COVID-19 Response

    • Grande will keep service connected to those disadvantaged by the COVID-19 pandemic.

      For those experiencing financial hardship as a result of recent events pertaining to COVID-19, special arrangements can be made available to keep services active, including deferring payments and waiving late fees due to economic situations caused by COVID-19 coronavirus.

    • Grande offers Internet First, as part of their COVID response. It’s a low-cost internet offer for low-income residents similar to Comcast Internet Essentials (for new customers, first 60 days free, 25 Mbps, no installation cost or contracts, etc). This link is to a flyer and more information for RCN/Grande is on the Internet First webpage (https://www.internetfirst.com/) and select Texas.

This category provides information regarding area Wireless Service Providers in response to COVID-19.

  • Boost Mobile COVID-19 Response

    • Customers who are on a monthly plan and miss a payment (or are unable to make a payment at this time) can take advantage of the “Stay Connected” features.

      • These features allow customers to receive free domestic incoming calls and text messages; and if you are connected to Wi-Fi you can use any call supported app on your phone to make outbound calls.

      • Please note that a regular monthly payment will need to be received within 120 days or the account will be cancelled. You do not need to do anything to enable this feature – it is already included as part of your monthly plan.

      • Boost Mobile Stay Connected features: Incoming text messages and incoming domestic voice calls only. Please note: Outgoing calls, outgoing text messages and data are blocked. Calls to 911 and Boost Mobile Care (611) are allowed.

  • Cricket Wireless COVID-19 Response

    • • BridgePay allows you to split your Cricket bill into two separate payments – giving you extra time to pay for your monthly service. As long as you get set up within seven (7) days before or after the start of your billing cycle, you'll get 7 additional days to make the second payment. Restrictions and fees apply.

    • Existing customers (and new customers who activated service by 5/14/2020) receive an extra 10 GB of data, temporarily, on select smartphone plans to help keep you connected. After two bill cycles, your extra 10 GB will be removed.

      • Capped $30/mo and $40/mo. Voice and Data Plans: Cricket has temporarily enabled mobile hotspot (must have a capable smartphone). You can use your extra 10GB as mobile hotspot or smartphone data.

      • Unlimited Cricket Core Plan: If you’re on the Unlimited Cricket Core plan and don’t have the mobile hotspot feature, Cricket has temporarily enabled it with 10 GB of data (must have a capable smartphone). If you do have the mobile hotspot feature, Cricket has added 10 GB of mobile hotspot data.

      • Unlimited Cricket More Plan: If you’re on the Cricket More plan, Cricket is adding the 10 GB data to the 15 GB you already get, so you’ll have 25 GBs for the next two billing cycles (must have a capable smartphone).

      • Not all phones support mobile hotspot/tethering. Check the user guide that came with your phone or visit the manufacturer’s website for more information. Must have activated service by 5/14/2020 to receive temporary 10 GB of data and included mobile hotspot for two billing cycles.

  • Sprint Wireless COVID-19 Response

    • Contact Sprint today if you need help with billing.

  • T-Mobile Wireless COVID-19 Response

    • T-Mobile introduced T-Mobile Connect, its lowest prices smartphone plan ever, and added lower-cost options for Metro by T-Mobile to help ensure everyone has an affordable option to get and stay connected during these challenging times.

  • Verizon Wireless COVID-19 Response

    • If you contacted Verizon by June 30 to protect your account, you have been enrolled in a repayment program.

Computer Access and Digital Literacy Assistance

The Public Access Computer Lab at the DeWitty Training & Resource Center is CLOSED to the public at this time. Austin Free-Net staff will make themselves available by APPOINTMENT ONLY in order to help meet your essential workforce needs.

IF YOU NEED HELP WITH THE FOLLOWING ESSENTIAL SERVICES:

  • Workforce Development

  • Job Skills Training

  • Resume

  • Employment Application(s)

  • Social Services Application(s)

  • Other essential needs requiring computer or internet access urgently

Austin Free-Net can assist! Please call: 512-974-1463 or email: [email protected] to make an appointment. This modification aligns with extended contractual operations and staffing through the updated ‘Stay Home – Work Safe’ Order in effect until May 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.,

Donate computers to help Austin stay connected

Austin Free-Net (AFN) is the point of contact for donating computers, Chromebooks, tablets and IPads to AISD students and their families.

  • AFN is accepting gently used or like new devices with Windows 10 or higher operating systems.

  • Prefer that machine is reset to factory settings if possible, and any personal items deleted.

  • All cords and accessories should be included as part of the donation.

  • AFN is unable to repair or replace any hardware or accessories at this time.

  • The initial focus is on AISD families in need as 40% of our school-aged families lack access to internet and technology and we are working to fill a gap of about 15,000 devices for these families in need.

Austin Free-Net Computer Donation Email Contact: [email protected] Phone Contact: 737-238-6787

Using the Internet and Online Learning Resources

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Resources

  • TXGCP - STEM and educational resources

  • Stem-At-Home - Provided by Girlstart to empower families and communities in STEM learning

Distance Learning and Online Learning Resources

  • Kahn Academy - Free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere

  • Homework Help - Accessed through the Austin Public Library system. Free full privilege library cards are avilable to all Austin ISD students and Del Valle ISD students, librarians, and teachers. They have access to APL's complete virtual library resources 24/7.

Financial Literacy Resources

Virtual Participation Resources

  • Lifesize - Free Austin-based video conferencing tool

  • Virtual Connections - Free sessions to learn about the challenges and opportunities of connecting virtually.