- Dothan City Schools
Alabama Broadband Connectivity for students
Dothan City School students are eligible to receive free high-speed internet service through the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program. This state-wide program is designed to support low-income households to empower their learners to succeed in this unprecedented fall term of school.
If your student is enrolled in the National School Lunch Program, they will be automatically eligible for the ABC for Students Program and you will receive a letter from the program sometime after August 31. Check your mail often and be on the lookout for the letter.
When you receive your letter, the letter will include your prepaid voucher number, which you can use for free high-speed internet service through December 30, 2020, and a list of internet service providers in your area that you can call to set up your internet service.
If your student has not qualified to receive free and reduced lunch, but you think your student may be eligible, please go to dothan.k12.al.us/CNP to complete a lunch application or contact your base school for a paper application. If your student’s address needs to be updated, call your student’s school. Your address must be correct and updated so that you can receive a letter for the free internet program.
Once you receive your voucher letter, follow the steps below to get your students ready to participate in distance learning this fall. You will not be able to start the program until you receive the voucher letter.
About the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program:
Governor Kay Ivey has committed $100 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to deliver free internet access to eligible K-12 students in their homes this fall. The State of Alabama is using the funds to purchase internet service for low-income households with K-12 students so students can participate in distance learning. This service is being administered through the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program.
Students in Alabama that are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program through their school are automatically eligible for the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program. The letter you will receive serves as a prepaid voucher from the Alabama Broadband Connectivity for Students Program and covers the cost of equipment, installation, and high-speed internet service through December 30, 2020. The voucher can be used once, with one internet service provider, to sign up for service for the duration of the program. Enrolled households will not receive any bills and will not be charged any additional fees by the internet service provider.
If the address for your student has changed, please contact their school to update their address for the National School Lunch Program.
The voucher is intended for students who are eligible for the National School Lunch Program. By using the voucher, you will be confirming that you meet the income requirements of the National School Lunch Program, which is limited to households earning $48,470 or less for a family of four. Please do not use the voucher if your household is not income eligible for the National School Lunch Program. Your attention to this will help ensure that households that need help connecting will receive it.
Do you have questions or need assistance in Spanish?
Visit the Alabama Broadband Connectivity For Students Program website at www.abcstudents.org (website also available in Vietnamese and Lao).
Frequently Asked Questions
ABC for Students customer service line at 1-888-212-4998.
Q: I heard about a program for free internet for students, how do I get it for my kids?
A: If you have a pre-K or K-12 student that qualifies and is registered in the National School Lunch Program, you should receive information and a voucher in the mail by mid-September. You won’t need to do anything if you are already registered with the NSLP. This information will have a list of providers in your area offering the service. You can choose which provider you would like service from and contact them with the number on the voucher. The service, equipment, and installation are included for no charge through December 30, 2020. A video animation showing the process can be found here.
Q: Are private schools eligible for the ABC for Students free internet program?
A: Eligibility for ABC for Students is based on the list maintained by the Alabama State Department of Education for participation in the National School Lunch Program. Only those households that are on the ALSDE list are eligible for the program, which is limited to public and charter schools.
Q: The school says I am not eligible for free and reduced lunch, but I cannot afford the internet. Can I still get a voucher?
A: This program is only available to students who are eligible and registered for the National School Lunch Program.
Q: Is this a scam? How do I know that this is legitimate?
A: It’s not a scam. There is a website at https://www.abcstudents.org that explains the program details and can keep you updated on the latest information. If it’s helpful to see, this is what the voucher letter you will receive should look like this.
Q: What do I do if I did not receive the mailed information and a voucher?
A: We need to confirm that we have your correct information and that it’s been provided to the Department of Education. Once this is corrected or confirmed, the voucher will be mailed to you. The voucher letters will begin arriving August 31, but it may take some time to get to your home.
Q: What do I do if I have moved or am moving?
A: We need to confirm that we have your correct information and we will provide the change to the Department of Education. Once this is corrected or confirmed, the voucher will be mailed to you.
Q: We’ve already received a voucher, but we are moving next month. Can I transfer service to our new address?
A: Once you redeem your voucher and have service installed, the ABC for Students program will not cover a change of address. If there are additional costs required for installation at the new address, it will not be covered by the program. If you think your family may be moving this fall, it may be best to request a mobile hotspot, which could be moved among locations.
Q: I work and my children spend their school day with a babysitter or grandparent. Can we get internet service at their address so that my kid can do their school work there?
A: Eligibility is based on the Alabama State Department of Education’s list of students participating in the National School Lunch Program. That list is linked to a physical address for participating students. If a family believes an alternative address should be linked to the student in the State’s list, they may contact their school to request the change. At that point, a voucher will be sent for the new address.
In a situation such as this where a student may need service at multiple addresses, it may be best for them to request a mobile hotspot, which could be used at their physical address and/or the guardian’s home. The ABC for Students line at 1-888-212-4998 can help with this request
Q: Does this program include a computer or tablet? I can’t afford to buy one.
A: This program does not provide computers or laptops for students. [Note: some schools may provide computers, laptops, or tablets to qualified students.]
Q: I lost the voucher. Can I get my voucher code?
A: You’ll need to call the ABC for Students customer service line at 1-888-212-4998. They will ask you to provide your street address, zip code, and the first two letters of your student’s last name to see if the voucher code is active in the system. If so, they will not be able to give it to you over the phone, but can authorize re-sending the code to you via the US postal service.
Q: I received the voucher, but none of the providers will connect my home. What do I do?
A: You’ll need to call the ABC for Students customer service line at 1-888-212-4998. They will be able to discuss other options.
Q: How long does it take to get the service?
A: Once you have chosen a provider from those listed in the information you received, the provider will let you know when they can install and initiate service.
Q: If I already have internet service, does that automatically become free if I call them with the voucher?
A: No. The voucher will essentially give you a discount on the service you have based on the value of the voucher for the service that the state has agreed to pay. You may end up with free service after discounts, but that will depend on what services are currently in place on your account.
Q: How do I choose or decide on a provider and what technology to install?
A: The voucher letter sent to you will include a list of the providers in your area that can serve your home. You may have the choice of a wired or wireless connection for this service. The providers will be able to discuss these options.
Q: Can I get service from more than one provider?
A: No, there is only one voucher per eligible household, so you will have to choose one provider.
Q: When will the service be turned off?/ How long is the voucher good for?
A: The voucher will pay for equipment, installation, and internet service through December 30, 2020. If you choose to continue the services at that time, you will be responsible for those fees and must notify the service provider you wish to do so, or they will turn off the service.
Q: What happens at the end of December when the program ends? Will I be billed?
A: The program will automatically cancel. You will have to take affirmative steps with the provider to continue service. If you do not continue with the service, the provider will let you know how to return the equipment.
Q: How can I make sure that my children don’t access inappropriate websites?
A: Your service provider will be able to provide additional information about how to filter content that is accessed through your device. (If a parent asks about how to add content filtering to the device, they should be directed to both the ISP and the school (the latter to determine whether school-issued devices already filter))
Q: I used my voucher and have service, but it’s not working correctly. Who do I call?
A: You will have to contact your provider and speak with repair or technical support. If they don’t resolve your issues, please call the ABC for Students customer service line at 1-888-212-4998.
Q: I used my voucher and have service, but the service is much slower than I was told it would be. What should I do?
A: This should be adequate speed to support two virtual learning sessions (such as Zoom or Google Classroom) simultaneously, Call the ABC for Students line at 1-888-212-4998. They can walk you through a speed test to confirm speeds and help you follow up with the provider if needed.
Q: I used my voucher to get service and I want to switch my provider. Can my voucher be reassigned?
A: No. Each household is allotted one voucher. If you are not happy with your service, you should discuss the issues with your provider and reach out to the ABC for Students customer service line at 1-888-212-4998 if your provider doesn’t resolve the issues.