Resources available for students in need of computer and internet access

Classes+at+NMSU+will+continue+online+for+the+remainder+of+the+semester+in+response+to+the+spread+of+COVID-19+in+the+state.

Mitchell Allred

Classes at NMSU will continue online for the remainder of the semester in response to the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

With the switch to online classes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Mexico State University is offering different discount internet options to students who don’t have regular access to internet or computers at home.

On the NMSU Technology Resources for Students website, there is a section dedicated to Discount Internet Services. There, you can find internet providers who are providing deals during this time as well as resources on and off campus for gaining computer access.

NMSU’s Chief Information Officer Norma Grijalva said there are also on-campus options for students who can’t access computers or internet from home.

“[NMSU has] identified Parking Lot 19 (between Garcia Hall and Rhodes-Garrett-Hamiel Hall) as [a] work-from-car area for students needing access. We are providing limited on-campus computer lab access that meets the governor’s social distancing guidelines,” Grijalva said. “We also offer computers that can be checked out for use at home by our students. We soon will deploy a virtual computer lab that our students can access via Internet.”

According to the NMSU Technology Resources for Students page, Comcast is allowing applications for Internet Essentials customers. Approved customers will receive two months of at-home internet for $9.95 a month. For El Paso students where Comcast is not offered, Spectrum is offering free broadband and Wi-Fi services for 60 days to households with kindergarten students through seniors in high school, as well as college students. AT&T is providing free internet and wireless services for people who can’t pay their bill as a result of the COVID-19 shutdowns. Verizon is doing the same. There are also several internet options available to Native American students in Native Communities.

The NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences is able to help students in rural communities get connected to Wi-Fi via their Cooperative Extension Offices as well as Agricultural Experiment Stations. Look for the office in your county under the “NMSU Extension offices, Agricultural Science Centers offer free Wi-Fi access to rural students” tab. The company EveryoneOn provides a website to help low income families find more internet options as well as low-cost computers in the area.

David LoConto, professor of sociology at NMSU’s main campus, said he has “been impressed with the administration” at NMSU in their handling of the university’s online transition.

“In talking with friends at other universities around the country as well as outside the country, we appear to be ahead of the curve,” LoConto said. “In every meeting I have participated in, and there have been several, the tone has been the same. We want to help students succeed. We are stronger when we work together.”

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