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Options for Students Needing Internet Access

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This page was last modified on July 30, 2020 at 04:30 pm. This page will keep the TCC community informed of the college’s actions and any operating schedule changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Here are some resources for those of you needing help with connectivity while TCC continues remote and online instruction.

Also, remember that TCC’s Computer Club makes PCs available through its Computers for Student Success program. Visit their website for more information and details on how to apply.

If you are equipped with a Wi-Fi enabled portable device, you may access TCC’s network in the following campus locations. Spaces are marked “TCC Student Wi-Fi Parking.” Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • Chesapeake Campus: Parking lot next to the Pass Building. You may park in handicapped spaces. Of the four campuses, this area has the strongest external Wi-Fi signal.
  • Norfolk Campus: On Granby Street in front of the Walker Building and on College Place across from the Green District Administration Building. Note that these are metered spaces with the first hour free.
  • Portsmouth Campus: On Freedom Avenue alongside the B Building
  • Virginia Beach Campus: Driveway in front of the Regional Health Professions Center. You may park in the handicapped spaces.

Here are some additional resources that may be useful to you.

  • Check your local public libraries. Although the buildings are closed, Wi-Fi may still be available from the parking lots.
  • South Hampton Roads YMCAs offer guest Wi-Fi that may be accessible from outside although the buildings are closed.
  • Many restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, and big-box stores have public Wi-Fi. Some of these are still open, but even if they’re not, the Wi-Fi may still be available.

WARNING: Public Wi-Fi, while useful, can be dangerous. Keep your connections brief — such as to submit an assignment — and never send sensitive information, such as passwords or credit card or bank accounts numbers. Use of public Wi-Fi is at your own risk.

Not all students have internet providers that are accessible from their residence. Those who do may be able to take advantage of limited-time free or reduced cost service. Not all providers serve all parts of our region so you may need to contact the service provider to verify that your address is covered. Examples of offers are listed below; not all offers may be available to all users.

  • Verizon has a discounted LifeLine program for low-income households. Details
  • Cox Communications Connect2Compete program provides 30 days of free internet access for households with children in K-12. Click here for more info.

If you have a data plan on your mobile phone, you may be able to access the internet from a laptop, desktop or tablet by turning your cellphone into a mobile hotspot. Search your provider’s website or see this article for basic instructions.

BE AWARE: Data charges may apply and may be significant!!

In accordance with their agreements with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), some cell service providers are suspending data limits/caps and waiving late fees for bills for the next 30 days. Check your provider’s website to see if your data limits have been extended.

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 (I expect others will follow).

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.