Great news for the City’s public school students and their families!
Thanks to a partnership between the DOE, the White House, the New York Public Library (NYPL), the Queens Library, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), Google, and Sprint, public school families who do not have internet access at home will be able rent mobile Wi-Fi hotspot devices from select City libraries for free.
Mobile Wi-Fi hotspots are portable devices that can provide wireless internet access to multiple electronics (i.e. phones, laptops, desktop computers, eBook readers, etc) at the same time. When they are activated, Wi-Fi hotspots tap into cellular networks to obtain internet access, and then they share this access wirelessly with other Wi-Fi-enabled electronics. Hotspots can share their internet access with 5 or more devices at the same time (depending on the device and carrier), and they can be used indoors and outdoors.
This initiative, which is an expansion of the NYPL’s existing Library HotSpot program, will launch in 46 library branches throughout the City, most of which are located in high-need neighborhoods with low internet connectivity rates. All the branches, which are run by either NYPL, BPL, or the Queens Library, depending on location, are located near DOE Community Schools.
Currently, there are 5,000 hotspots that will be available free to public school families. To be eligible to receive one of these Sprint-powered devices, you must:
- Have either an NYPL, BPL, or Queens Library card;
- Not have internet access at home;
- Be an NYC resident who is over 18 years old (underaged students; please speak with your parent/guardian about obtaining one of these devices);
- Have at least one NYC public school student in grades pre-k through 12 living in your household;
- Have a library card account that is free of any fines or fees; and
- Attend a lending event at one of the participating library branches or Community Schools.
Only one hotspot device will be lent per family, and each hotspot will be loaned out for one year.