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Get Students Online Easily Using New Internet Discount Finder

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

The DPI, Gov. Tony Evers' office, and the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) recently launched a new tool to help eligible Wisconsinites find free and reduced-price internet service. The Internet Discount Finder includes both national providers and local Wisconsin providers, making it easier for households to see all options for discounts at their address.. Simply direct parents or guardians to the website or have them call the Wisconsin Internet Helpline: (608) 267-3595 for guided help (all information is also available on this printable flyer).

They’ll need to add their contact information, including address and answer questions to set up their eligibility.  

So, how do we know which students need internet access?
Districts that have opted to collect optional digital equity data can find students’ records flagged in their WISEdata dashboard. If a district isn’t taking part in this optional digital equity data collection, parents/guardians, community members, and staff can urge district leadership to opt in.  

We're encouraging schools and libraries to commit to taking these actions by the end of September:  

  • Share information about the ACP with your community with the Discount Internet Finder flye
  • Share ACP sign-up information at community events you have planned this time of year. 
  • Share your resources and participation on social media — both official and personal accounts. Bridging the digital divide requires us to use resources and connections to get the word out.  

The state is still working on expanding access to community-level broadband connectivity through local broadband planning grants. The grants, along with the discount finder tool, help support the DPI’s mission to nurture Wisconsinites as lifelong learners. All of us benefit when all of us have easy access to statewide online resources.   

“We know that internet access can provide children and their families with incredible learning opportunities, helping them learn, grow, and connect with knowledge and services,” State Superintendent Dr. Jill Underly said. “We also know that the high cost of internet continues to be a barrier to that access. This tool will make a difference in the lives of children and families across Wisconsin.” 

Special thanks to Rachel Schemelin, Educational Consultant with the Instructional Technology Services team at the DPI for her help with this article.