Family Technology Information: Internet Access

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Updated 8/06/2020

Last year, SFUSD distributed more than 3,500 Hotspots to students in grades 3rd-12th to provide Internet access for distance learning. Any returning student who already has an Internet Hotspot should notice that it is still working and can continue using it this year! Any student who already has an internet service at home should rely on that.

Families who do not have internet access at their residence can request to borrow a Hotspot from SFUSD. If you live in a San Francisco public housing community, you may have access to free Internet/WiFi. Please visit the City’s Fiber to Housing Program website to learn more about Internet/WiFi availability in your community.

To request a Hotspot, families should submit the Fall 2020 Technology Request Google Form. If you also need to request a Chromebook because your student does not have a computer to use at home for distance learning, you will be able to do so within the same Form. For more information about borrowing a Chromebook, please visit sfusd.edu/device.

Technology distribution will be coordinated by your child’s school at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year. Please contact your school to learn when technology distribution will take place.

In order to submit this form, you must provide:

  • An email address. Sharing an email address will let you receive a confirmation email of your submission. If you need to set up an email address, visit: sfusd.edu/familyemail.
  • A phone number. Sharing a mobile phone number is the best way for SFUSD to follow up with issues related to your submission or to provide directions on how to receive your device.
  • SFUSD Student ID. The Student ID can be found within StudentVUE and ParentVUE. Instructions on how to view the Student ID in ParentVUE. If you need to set up your ParentVue account, visit sfusd.edu/parentvue.

Hotspots use a cellular signal to provide Internet, and might not be effective in every SF neighborhood. If your Internet connection at home is too weak, a Hotspot probably won’t provide a better connection for you. SFUSD recommends contacting your Internet provider to learn how you can increase your Internet speed at home.

All students and families who borrow SFUSD technology for distance learning must abide by the Technology User Agreement. Violations of the agreement may result in disciplinary action or a discontinuation of technology access.

 

District-Sponsored Offerings

Hotspots - mobile internet access

If you are an SFUSD student who received a district-issued AT&T hotspot: 

  • How to get started and activate hotspots (video tutorial):  Arabic | ChineseEnglish | FilipinoSpanish | Vietnamese
  • How to get started and activate hotspots (1-pager):  Arabic | ChineseEnglish | FilipinoSpanish | Vietnamese
  • Hotspots were provided 1 per household as it supports up to 5 devices.
  • There is no data limit on the hotspot. 
  • Internet service is currently available for 3 months through the hotspot. We are exploring the possibility of extending the offering. 
  • Internet service through a hotspot is reliant on cellular coverage.

Comcast Internet Essentials

In lieu of a hotspot, eligible families may partipcate in the Comcast Internet Essentials program to receive 6 months of free Internet service. More information about how to appy is forthcoming. 

Additional Offerings for Free/Low-Cost Internet Service

In support of our efforts, several Internet providers are offering free options to SFUSD families. These options are available now:

  • Comcast Free WiFi - Free wifi access in San Francisco, primarily near business areas. Search by zipcode to see available access near your residence
  • Sonic - Free for 3 months for new customers 
  • Comcast Internet Essentials - Free for 2 months for new customers. $9.95/month after the first 2 months
  • AT&T - Free for 2 months for new customers. $10/month after the first 2 months
  • Monkeybrains - $35/month with no installation for SFUSD families and teachers

While neither SFUSD nor the City of San Francisco endorses these providers, families can visit sf.gov/get-online-during-coronavirus-outbreak to learn about eligibility and to apply for access.

Families can also search for low-cost Internet options in their neighborhood at EveryoneOn.org.

Learn How to Set Up an SFUSD Hotspot

Video Tutorial

Set Up Your SFUSD Hotspot in  Arabic | Chinese | English | Filipino |  Spanish | Vietnamese

Still shot from the Set Up Your Hotspot video tutorial