Does your internet connection meet the needs of the students under your roof? | Connected life

When students return to school, many will struggle to complete homework assignments online because they do not have an internet connection or computer at home. Known as the digital ‘homework gap’, this conundrum affects as many as 15% of college students in the US each year and has a greater impact on lower-income students.

For students (and parents) there is already enough to worry about at the start of a new school year. An unreliable internet connection (or no connection at all) should be the last thing standing in the way of education.

Does your internet connection meet the needs of the students under your roof? Ask these questions to make sure you get the most out of your home network (and your family’s educational activities).

  • Is your home network password protected? Always password protect your WiFi connection to prevent strangers and unwanted guests from using your bandwidth and slowing down your speeds. Update your password regularly to keep hackers and “Internet freeloaders” out.
  • Has it been a while since you last upgraded your equipment? Internet connection problems are often caused by outdated or overloaded equipment. As your household needs grow, you should regularly evaluate your appliances and their lifespan. Contact your carrier for a review.
  • Is your internet equipment in good condition in your home? You can maximize your internet connection by strategically placing your equipment in your home. Here are a few placement tips from the Cox Internet Wi-Fi Pro Tip Masterlist:
    • Place your WiFi equipment in a central place within your home so that the signal can reach more rooms. Another option is to try to place your devices in the room(s) where your family uses the Internet the most.
    • Keep your WiFi modem and router away from devices that emit electronic radiationsuch as refrigerators, microwaves and baby monitors. These can interfere with your equipment’s signal.
    • Watch out for furniture, doors and others common obstacles that can interfere with the ability of a signal to extend throughout your home.
    • Wherever you place your equipment, raise it on a shelf or tall piece of furniture. Wi-Fi signals go out and down and can struggle to reach your devices if placed on the floor.

Cox’s broadband network can deliver some of the fastest speeds available. Our fiber network combines breakthrough technology with proven performance to deliver speed and reliability.

  • Are you eligible for free or low-cost internet service? Here are some programs to check out.
    • The Cox Connect2Compete (C2C) program provides $9.95 per month of Internet service, including in-home Wi-Fi, for families with children in grades K-12 who are enrolled in government financial aid programs. Earlier this year, Cox doubled C2C Internet download speeds to 100 Mbps at no additional cost to enrolled families.
    • Cox’s ConnectAssist Internet tier is $30 per month for download speeds of 100 Mbps for eligible households that don’t have K-12 children in their home.
    • The federally funded Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) was created to make high-speed Internet more affordable and accessible to households across the country by providing a monthly grant of up to $30 toward an eligible Internet account. coming household ($75 for tribal lands). In addition to other eligibility criteria, the annual household income must not exceed 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. For example, based on current guidelines, a family of four with an annual household income of $55,500 or less would qualify for the program. Signing up for ACP is easy. Visit for more information and to see if you qualify.

If you qualify for the ACP grant and have Connect2Compete or ConnectAssist, you can probably get your Cox internet service for free every month by applying your ACP grant to your monthly internet bill.

With this handful of tips, we hope that your internet connection will be one less obstacle on your study path or that of your student this school year. In addition, if you know a K-12 student who could benefit from an inexpensive computer program, visit for information about Cox’s partnership with PCs for humans.

Cox is committed to ensuring digital equality for households of all incomes and economic situations in our communities. Whether you are learning at home, working remotely, or surfing the web, Internet access is critical for all children and adults. Cox offers several affordable Internet programs to qualified households to help keep our communities connected, in addition to digital literacy training and discounted personal computers. Visit to learn more about Cox’s commitment to digital equities and explore affordable internet layers.

Kirsten McLaughlin is Market Vice President for Cox Communications in Santa Barbara.

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