Approximately 20% of South Carolina households remain without Internet access, with percentages as high as 60 and 70% in some of our state’s most rural counties.
In this digital age, it is imperative that all students have reliable internet access to stay connected with their teachers and have equitable digital access to instruction along with their peers.
To address this vital need, SCETV began in 2017 to partner with afterschool programs, early childcare centers, school districts, and other organizations to provide mobile WiFi hotspot devices, free-of-charge, to locations in our state that have little or no internet connectivity.
- What is a WiFi Mobile Device or “Hotspot?”
A mobile WiFi hotspot is simply a small device that allows users to connect to a wireless network. Recently, T-Mobile purchased the Sprint wireless network and SCETV mobile hotspots now connect to T-Mobile’s 4G wireless network coverage. Users may utilize any device with wireless connectivity – such as a phone, tablet, or computer - to connect to a mobile hotspot in order to have internet access.
- What may a user access through the WiFi mobile hotspot?
Users may access education instruction, websites, and resources that require an Internet connection. Because these devices are intended for educational use, there are some websites that may be blocked. The list of blocked sites can be modified based on the needs of each individual location.
- What entities are eligible to receive hotspots through ETV?
The hotspots, through this lending program, must be used for educational purposes. Typically, partners have included school districts, early learning centers, learning centers, and members of the SC Afterschool Alliance. Contact ETV Education to find out if your location is eligible to participate in this lending program.
- How do I know if my location is able to receive a hotspot signal?
Devices are provided and serviced through an agreement between SCETV and T-Mobile. You can check available WiFi 4G coverage for your specific location at the T-Mobile website.
Questions about our mobile WiFi hotspot program? Do you know a student or students in need of Internet access? Email ETV Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 800-203-7167. We'll be happy to see if we can help meet that need!