KU is committed to supporting your educational goals during this time of change. It is ideal for you to participate in distance learning and access university resources from your residence. This page is dedicated to resources you can use to resolve any issues with access.
For help addressing barriers that are impacting your success, see Student Support.
If you aren't sure where to go, please contact Provost@ku.edu.
Check this In My Area webpage for information about internet plans for low- and fixed-income households.
Note: The following information was provided in March 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic. The programs and plans below may no longer be available.
At this time, students are recommended to pursue one the following options from cell phone carriers and internet service providers. Please be aware that the FCC agreement has stated that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots. Students can apply for Emergency Funds to offset the cost of internet service at help.ku.edu/emergency-funds. More access offers are captured on the "Access services" tab of this Google Doc shared among higher education schools.
- Midco COVID-19 response:
- Offers a new package, Midco Internet Basics, that provides free service through June 15, 2020 for K-12 and/or college students who don’t have internet access. Students can enroll by calling 1-833-338-4638 and use reference code MIBEDU20 to receive the educational assistance credit. Students who use this offer will automatically roll into Midco's subsidized Lifeline program.
- Offers subsidized internet for low-income households through the Lifeline program.
- Comcast COVID-19 response:
- Offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
- Charter Internet
- Offers free internet for 2 months, doesn't cover Lawrence, KS
- AT&T COVID-19 response:
- Offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
- Verizon COVID-19 response:
- No special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
- Sprint COVID-19 response:
- Follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile COVID-19 response: Follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
Internet access - other options
You are allowed to access university Wi-Fi if you are in a personal vehicle parked on campus, provided you still meet social distancing requirements. Internet access is provided in Green, Burge, Capitol Federal, and Park and Ride lots on the Lawrence campus.
Bandwidth is an even more precious resource now as more people we live with are working and learning online. Your internet plan should run at a minumum of 5 mbps download and 1 mbps upload, and the recommendation is for 15 mbps download and 5 mbps upload to prevent common connectivity-related issues.
Follow these basic tips to conserve bandwidth:
- Turn off your video unless you absolutely need it. Disable HD webcam video because it requires much more bandwidth.
- Close unneeded applications on your computer. There are often a lot of apps running in the background, and many are connected to the internet.
- Use a wired connection if you can. It will be more reliable and maybe faster.
- Do your work as close to the wireless router as possible.
- Before your Zoom, Skype or other video call, ask those who share your internet service to temporarily limit their use (Binge watching or gaming can wait!).
- If using a computer or tablet, turn off your phone’s Wi-Fi. Phones can draw bandwidth even when not actively in use.
- Disconnect any smart appliances and devices. The bandwidth gain will be small but potentially noticeable.
Beyond what you can directly control, consider your local internet service provider. Many have advanced tools for managing the devices that connect to your home network. Their customer support pages often will have more information.
Important: Make sure your home Wi-Fi network is password protected and you have changed the default admin password that came with the device.
KU currently has a program to lend computers to KU students. Students who need to access a computer should reach out to Student Support and Case Management or to KU Information Technology on the Lawrence campus and firstname.lastname@example.org on the KU Edwards Campus for guidance and assistance.
As a last resort, students who need computer access will be allowed access to the Watson Library computer lab, which has been reconfigured to support appropriate physical distancing and frequent cleanings. Please note that while KU Libraries locations are closed to the public, these few select computer workstations will be available for KU student use in support of online course work at Watson Library, during limited hours, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Computer workstations may be reserved using the KU Libraries calendar reservation system. See lib.ku.edu/remote for more details.