Accessing Free or Discounted Internet Service for Online Testing
When schools and businesses worldwide closed due to the pandemic, online testing and virtual proctoring quickly became essential – and it’s here to stay. Remote assessments give test-takers the convenience of choosing where to test and when they want to take their exam, while also enabling organizations to both expand access and operate more efficiently.
However, we know it can sometimes be difficult for test-takers to find access to reliable, high-speed internet. Here are a few recommendations for those looking for a stable, speedy connection to complete their assessments securely and smoothly with Examity.
U.S. Government Assistance Programs
- The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an Federal Communications Commission program that helps families and households who are struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible families can receive up to $50 per month towards broadband service and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands. The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
International Government Assistance Programs
- No Australian Left Offline is a program offered by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network that helps low income families and households get affordable broadband service. Eligible families will receive unlimited broadband for approximately 30 AUD per month.
- The United Kingdom’s Get Help With Technology program helps provide free 4G routers to households with children and students aged 16-19 who cannot otherwise access the Internet. Additionally, the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme offers vouchers to rural households and businesses in need to support the cost of installing high-speed broadband.
- AT&T provides low-cost internet service for eligible households, offering free installation and in-home Wi-Fi with no annual contract or deposit. Those who qualify can receive internet service for $10 per month or less.
- Comcast Xfinity’s Internet Essentials program is available for $9.95 per month for those who qualify. Comcast has also permanently increased the speed available for the Internet Essentials program in response to the pandemic.
- Charter Spectrum starts at $15 per month. If you live in an area served by Charter Spectrum, their low-cost approach may be a good fit.
- Google Fiber starts at $15 per month, but only certain homes in areas where there is a low density of internet users will qualify for this reduced rate.
- BT Broadband offers two discounted broadband services for qualifying low-income households in the United Kingdom. The BT Basic plan, recommended for smaller households with fewer devices, is available for £5.16 per month. The BT Home Essentials Plan, recommended for larger households, is available for £15 per month.
- Virgin Media offers an Essential Broadband service to qualifying low-income households in the United Kingdom for £15 per month. There are no annual price increases, so the service cost will stay the same for as long as you remain eligible.
- Hyperoptic’s Fair Fibre Plan is available for eligible low-income households in the United Kingdom for as low as £15 per month. It includes free installation, free activation, and a 50Mbps broadband speed, which can support a small household.
Locations With Free WiFi
- Check your local library! Public libraries offer free wireless internet connection to all visitors during their hours of operation.
- Colleges/Universities usually have an open and secured WiFi network that covers the campus area. Anyone can connect to campus WiFi, and there is usually a guest WiFi option for visitors.
- Major Cities sometimes provide a degree of free, blanket public WiFi with the CityWide wireless network. Visit WifiFreeSpot.com for an organized database of free WiFi hotspot locations in the United States. Just make sure you find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted while testing!
Now you’re ready to complete your test! Have a resource not listed here? Please send us a note at [email protected] and we will investigate.