As NC State and other universities have announced their plans to transition to online learning due to COVID-19, several companies, including Spectrum and UHaul, have unveiled free resources they will make available that could be helpful for students and faculty.
According to a press release from Spectrum’s parent company Charter from March 13, the company will be offering free internet access to households with students. Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and wi-fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Installation fees will also be waived for new student households.
In addition to temporary free internet from Spectrum, AT&T is providing unlimited internet data to all AT&T consumer home internet wireline and Fixed Wireless Internet customers, meaning there will be no overage fees for AT&T customers at home. AT&T will also be keeping their public wi-fi hotspots open for anyone who needs them, and they won’t terminate the service of any wireless customer who can’t pay their bills due to COVID-19. The company will also waive late payment fees for these customers.
AT&T is also offering internet access to qualifying limited-income households for $10 a month through their Access from AT&T program, for which they have expanded eligibility to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. AT&T is also offering two months of free service to new Access from AT&T customers. To sign up for or learn more about the Access from AT&T program, click here.
Another company offering support to students is UHaul, which is offering 30 days of free self-storage to college students. There are several locations in the Raleigh area, and those interested can click here to find the one nearest to them.
For potentially different needs, UHaul also powers Collegeboxes, which is a storage and shipping provider for students. After making a Collegeboxes account, boxes and packing supplies will be delivered to a student’s residence, and an at-home service will pick up the boxes from a student’s dorm or apartment once they’re packed at no additional charge.
For those who won’t be leaving, the city of Raleigh announced it will suspend all water account disconnects due to nonpayment of utility bills. Raleigh residents are encouraged to avoid paying bills in person and to utilize alternate payment methods, including by mail, online portal or by calling 919-996-3245.
For students who no longer have access to course materials, primarily textbooks, Wolfpack Outfitters has partnered with VitalSource, a digital course materials platform, to launch a program offering free access to e-books through May 25. Although VitalSource has a large number of e-books, students should be aware that content, such as custom books, course packs, courseware and lab manuals, may not be available. Students must use their NC State email to log in or create an account in order to access materials.