MISD Internet Hotspot Information
We are pleased to continue providing internet hotspots for families that do not have internet access at home. In order to ensure that we can provide hotspots to families that truly need this service, please review the information below to determine if there are ways that you can improve your wireless coverage in your home before requesting a hotspot.
Update 10/30/2020 - We have received a large number of requests for cellular hotspots for families and we are prioritizing families who do not have internet at home and families with 2 or more students enrolled in the district. At this time, we have distributed all of the hotspots we had available. Families are still able to join our waiting list by updating RSVP. More information on updating RSVP is below. Families who are willing and able can contact their cell phone providers to determine what hotspot plans are available for them. Thank you for your understanding as we work to support all families.
Run a Bandwidth Test to determine your current internet speed
The following link is a Speed Test that will show you your current internet speeds: https://speedtest.xfinity.com/
This test shows the available bandwidth so it is best to run this test when your family is not streaming entertainment, downloading large files or online gaming. If your download speed is above 125 Mbps you should have sufficient bandwidth for multiple users to access video conferences. If your speed is less than 125 Mbps, try moving into the same room as your wireless router and running the test again. This is also a great way to visualize how your internet speed changes as you move farther away from your wireless router.
Check with your ISP about current plans and promotions to increase your internet speed
We encourage all families who are concerned their home internet connection will not support multiple students accessing Zoom meetings simultaneously to contact your current Internet Service Provider (ISP) to inquire about their current internet plans. Many internet providers are currently running promotions that could provide faster Internet speeds for a similar or possibly even lower cost than you are currently spending. For example, if you have Comcast Xfinity and have not changed your plan lately, you may be eligible for new promotions to update your plan to a faster speed. Contact information for Xfinity and Centurylink is below.
Xfinity Customer Service: 1-800-XFINITY
CenturyLink Customer Service: 1-866-642-0444
Check if wireless coverage is the issue
Sometimes internet speed is not the issue, but coverage is. Wireless signals are very strong close to the wireless router, but the signal strength decreases exponentially the further away you move. This can especially be seen in multi-story homes as wireless routers typically transmit their signal horizontally much further than they transmit their signal vertically. To determine if signal strength is an issue, you can use the internet speed test tool mentioned above (https://speedtest.xfinity.com/) to test your coverage in different areas of your home. Start by running the test in the same room as your wireless router. Then move to the areas where students will typically be joining Zoom meetings. Doors will also affect your wireless coverage. If your student will typically have their door closed when joining Zoom meeting, run the speed test with the door closed. Do not be surprised to see the internet speed reduce the further away you move from the wireless router, this is normal. If you run the speed test and the speed is less than 15 Mbps in areas, this would indicate a wireless coverage issue.
How to increase the wireless coverage in your home
When contacting your internet provider, ask about wifi extenders. Wifi extenders will help extend wireless coverage to the outskirts of your home by rebroadcasting your wireless signal from different areas of your home. This is similar to having multiple wireless access points in your home. If you do not want to purchase a wifi extender from your internet provider, you can also purchase one from Amazon or other technology retailers. There are a number of wifi extenders available. For reference, the TP-Link AC750 wifi extender is a reasonably priced product.
If you would still like to request a Hotspot, you can request one through Skyward by updating the Technology Needs Survey.