Libraries Advance Digital Inclusion Role with Hotspots

Library and megaphone

Libraries are a lynchpin for national, state, and local digital inclusion efforts — particularly our 16,500+ public library locations across the country. Mobile Beacon's report Creating Opportunity Through Connectivity (PDF), as well as research on rural library hotspot lending in At the Edges of the National Digital Platform, provide evidence of this critical library role and the need for affordable, mobile, and uncapped Internet service to empower all people to fully participate in our digital world.

Mobile Beacon Returns to TechSoup with 4G LTE Mobile Hotspots

Mobile Beacon logo

This blog originally appeared on the TechSoup blog. Libraries can use Mobile Beacon hotspots to connect bookmobiles, start a home broadband program, or sign people up for services at events. For more about libraries increasing home broadband adoption, read about a few mobile hotspot lending programs across the country. 

Broadband Internet service for 10 people for $10 a month. Sound good? It's returning to TechSoup after several months' absence. We're talking about Mobile Beacon, of course, provider of wireless broadband service to nonprofits and public libraries.

R850 hotspot

What Mobile Beacon is actually donating is a wireless LTE mobile hotspot with each one-year account you sign up for. The mobile hotspot can connect up to 10 computers, tablets, smartphones, and other devices at a time. To get one, you'll need to pay in advance for a year of service at Mobile Beacon's regular price of $120. This is fourth-generation (4G) LTE broadband service, with download speeds that average 6 to 8 megabits per second and can reach peak speeds of 25 megabits per second. Your devices need to be Wi-Fi-enabled to connect to the hotspot.

Loaning Out Internet Access at the Providence Community Library

Libraries offering free Internet access is nothing new. But the Providence Community Library (RI) is taking an innovative leap by allowing patrons to literally check out free home Internet access for a week.

How does Providence do it? They loan out Mobile Beacon hotspot devices.

Wireless Beyond the Building: Mobile Beacon

Most libraries now offer wireless Internet access within the building, so visitors can use their own devices to get online. Some libraries are going beyond that and are providing wireless access outside of the library, too (and I don’t just mean in the parking lot after hours). If you’re intrigued, read on! And check out the Mobile Beacon donation program at TechSoup.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.