Cincinnati Bell has partnered with Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) to offer free Internet and Wi-Fi to all CPS families through the Connect Our Students program. There is a large digital divide in the Cincinnati Public School community, where 11,000 families are estimated to lack access to the Internet. Given CPS’s decision to begin the year remotely, ensuring that families have a working Internet connection becomes an issue of educational equity.
Through the generous support of local foundations and individuals, all CPS families will now have access to the Internet—if they sign up. There are also programs that are serving select families in the Catholic Inner City Schools community, as well as in the Northern Kentucky communities.
The need: Cincinnati Public Schools will be conducting school via distance learning for the first five weeks of school. Community health data will be reevaluated during that time, and learning will either continue at home, or schools may shift to part-time in person learning, and part-time at-home learning. Either way, students will need Internet access to participate in online learning. Students will also need a computer, which schools are providing to their students. While some families are taking advantage of this opportunity, it is estimated that there are still thousands of families that still need Internet in the Cincinnati Public School community.
How it works: Families interested should call Cincinnati Bell at 513.566.3895. Families will give Cincinnati Bell their address, and Cincinnati Bell will confirm that the address is for a CPS family. Families who have changed their address should call CPS at 513.363.0123 to update their address. Non-CPS charter school families are not eligible for this program at this time.
Details: For this Internet package, the Internet will be free for one year, with no installation fees and no equipment fees. At the end of that year, customers are under no obligation to continue. In addition, Cincinnati Bell will not ask callers for their credit card information, social security number, check credit, or look up any unpaid bills with Cincinnati Bell.
Internet speed: The program provides Internet with a download speed of 20Mbps or 5Mbps depending on the wiring to a person’s home. Both of these speeds are sufficient for at-home learning. For families who have Internet already and want to switch to the free Internet, the speed may be a little slower.
Installation process: After a family calls Cincinnati Bell at 513.566.3895 and Cincinnati Bell confirms their address as a CPS address, Cincinnati Bell will either send them an internet kit to self-install or if families prefer to have a technician install it, they can request that option. If families encounter any problems with the self-installation, they can contact the support team at 513-565-2210.
Financial support: This opportunity was made possible through the kind financial support of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, the Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. /U.S. Bank Foundation, StrivePartnership, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Interact for Health, General Electric, Difference Maker Legacy Fund, American Sound & Electronics, Jenny and Tom Williams, and the Giovani Bernard Family Foundation.
For free Internet, call Cincinnati Bell at: 513.566.3895