Options and Steps to Access the Internet from Home:
There are multiple ways to access the Internet from home, including companies are offering new, free (or low cost) options during the COVID19 crisis. Any WIFI access will allow a student to use a Chelsea Public Schools Chromebook. Options to access the Internet include:
- Comcast Cable with Internet access (monthly cable charge)
- Tethered data from your cell phone provider
- AT&T or Verizon cell phone (monthly charge)
- Sprint or T-Mobile cell phone (new, free)
- Neighborhood Xfinity WIFI (new, free)
- Comcast Internet Essentials Program (low cost, if income qualified)
1) Comcast Cable with Internet Access:
If you have an existing Comcast cable account with Internet access, you have WiFi access in your residence. Comcast has announced they lifted any data caps for the next two months, so you will not run out of data.
Follow the steps in guide below to add a Chromebook onto your network.
If you do not know your password, so that you can add an additional device, please reference this link from Comcast.
2) Tethered Data from your Cell Phone Provider:
A cell phone with “tethering” can allow WIFI access to allow a Chromebook to operate nearby. If you can access the Internet through your cell phone, it can become a WIFI “hotspot”. Access depends upon your phone provider:
- AT&T or Verizon offer tethering as part of some monthly phone plans. If you do not have tethering already, you can call the company and see what it will cost to turn tethering on. (Sometimes a new play may be lower cost than what you have today.) The company will turn the service on remotely over the telephone.
- Sprint or T-Mobile are giving all customers 20GB tethering data to over the next two months for free.
Here are instructions to turn on the mobile hotspot tethering on iPhones:
Here are instructions to turn on the mobile hotspot tethering on Android devices:
3) Neighborhood Xfinitywifi:
Comcast has announced that they are allowing anybody (rather than just Comcast customers) to access the Xfinity Wi-Fi networks. This means if your neighbors have a Comcast Wi-Fi cable modem, Comcast is temporarily allowing anybody to get to the Internet from the guest network on that cable modem.
Here is a tool to check if there is a hotspot near you:
You can also turn on the Wi-Fi on your phone and look for “xfinitywifi” without a lock next to it.
4) Comcast Internet Essentials Program
Comcast has increased the speed for the Internet Essentials program to 25/3 Mbps, which means more people in the home can use it without experiencing any slowdown. This program offers Internet service at a greatly reduced to cost if you meet income guidelines. Information is available at https://www.internetessentials.com The next two months are free for new customers.
Depending on where you are in the city, if you have access to tethering, you should see if you also have access to the xfinitywifi network, test both, and see which is fastest / most reliable in your home.
If you do not have access through any of the above methods, the Chelsea Public Schools can loan a mobile hotspot with service to a family with children attending our schools. Please note this plan is filtered and temporary, so devices will need to be returned and service will be switched off after schools are reopened.
Steps to Add a Chromebook to a WiFi Network, provided by Google support:
To connect your Chromebook to Wi-Fi connect to the Internet by using a compatible Wi-Fi network.
- At the bottom right, select the time.
- Select Not Connected. (Note: If you see your Wi-Fi network name and a signal strength, your Chromebook is already connected to Wi-Fi)
- Turn on Wi-Fi.
- Your Chromebook will automatically look for available networks and show them to you in a list.
To connect to an open network, select the Wi-Fi network. Remember, your information might be visible to other people on this network.
- Select the secure Wi-Fi network.
- Type the network password.
- Select Connect.