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UMGC Public Wireless Program Aims to Remove Tech Barriers for Low-Income Students 

Alex Kasten
By Alex Kasten
  • Press Releases

Adelphi, Md. (Aug. 21, 2023) – On Aug. 9, University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) launched a partnership with technology firm Public Wireless to provide low-income students and alumni with no-cost wireless tablets linked to the internet.

To qualify for wireless tablets with 4G cards, individuals must be U.S. citizens and enrolled in a federal program that has previously evaluated their income levels. UMGC students can use Pell-eligibility, which is determined by applying for federal financial aid, to meet the income requirement. Students may also qualify through other criteria.

Public Wireless, a broadband and device provider, is providing the tablets through the Federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This program is only available to students with a physical address in the United States. Each household is eligible to receive one tablet with limited internet access. 

“UMGC is committed to equal access to affordable, quality online programs and student services,” said Susanna Driver, assistant vice president for student engagement and programming at UMGC. “By linking our students to this resource, we aim to remove technology access barriers caused by financial restraints. The addition of an extra device could make all the difference to a household with family members sharing a single computer.”

Specifically, the program provides qualifying students and alumni with a Wi-Fi enabled tablet featuring a 10-inch screen and the Android 12 operating system. Once the tablet has been issued, it belongs to the individual. There are no requirements to return the device and no conditions associated with class enrollment. Public Wireless will ship the devices and provide technical support at no charge to the students.

The ACP is a program of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It is designed to help ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, health care and other purposes. 

​About University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus was founded more than 75 years ago specifically to serve the higher education needs of working adults and military servicemembers. Today, UMGC is the largest provider of postsecondary education in Maryland and continues its global tradition with online and hybrid courses, more than 175 classroom and service locations worldwide, and more than 135 degrees and certificates backed by the reputation of a state university and the University System of Maryland. For more information, visit umgc.edu.

About Public Wireless, LLC

Public Wireless, LLC. is a broadband, device, and technology company whose sole focus is to provide subsidized products and connectivity to all qualified residents who are currently receiving government benefits. Thanks to new government legislation, the development of the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) and its evolution into The Affordable Connectivity Program (APC) overseen by the FCC, Public Wireless is now offering devices, broadband services, and internet connectivity to every qualified resident.