COVID-19: How students and families can stay connected

As schools look to execute digital learning plans to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, we want to ensure students that don't have access to the Internet at home can learn from home.

Cox is taking several steps to ensure schools and families have what they need to learn from home.

We're responding to the COVID-19 crisis by increasing access and speeds of our low-income internet service Connect2Compete. New Connect2Compete customers will receive free service until Wednesday, July 15. Connect2Compete is normally available to qualified low-income households with a k-12 student in the home for $9.95/month. This offer is available to new customers through Friday, May 15. We’re also increasing the service’s speed from 25/3 Mbps to 50/3 Mbps for 60 days. The speed increase will go into effect Tuesday, March 17.


Q. Is Cox offering free or reduced broadband for people that can’t afford it considering the Coronavirus outbreak?

A. Yes. Cox is offering its low-cost internet service Connect2Compete to families that don’t have an internet connection at home complementary until July 15, 2020 and $9.95 thereafter. Cox has made enhancements to the product including faster speeds, remote helpdesk support, a discounted computer program with PCs for People and a Learn from Home toolkit available for schools at

Q. How do schools get students enrolled quickly?

A. Cox has set up process to help get students enrolled quickly. To participate: Compile a list of families in your school who meet the Connect2Compete eligibility requirement and send list of prequalified families to

Instruct families to complete the online application at

Q. What is Connect2Compete?

A. Connect2Compete (C2C) is a program that brings affordable internet service, low-cost computers and free digital literacy training to low-income families. Cox supports the program by offering $9.95/month high-speed internet. There are no price increases, no activation fees, and no equipment rental fees associated with the high-speed internet program.

Q. Who is eligible for the $9.95 high-speed internet offer through C2C?

A. Families with at least one child receiving free or reduced school lunches through the National School Lunch Program are eligible for the $9.95 internet. In 2016, Cox expanded the eligibility requirements to include families living in HUD-assisted housing with at least one school-age child. Additional forms of eligibility include participation in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), along with proof of K-12 school enrollment.

Q. What is the National School Lunch program?

A. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential childcare institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day.

Q. How many customers has Cox enrolled in the Connect2Compete program?

A. Since 2012, Cox has connected more than 550,000 low-income Americans to the internet through the Connect2Compete program. Over 60 percent of those people were connected to the internet for the first time.

Q. How do I apply if I think I’m eligible for C2C?

A. Eligible families will be able to apply online at or by calling 855-222-3252. The one step application process makes it easy for families to sign up.

Q. How fast is the home internet service offered as a part of C2C?

A. Customers who enroll in Cox’s C2C offer enjoy faster download speeds up to 25Mbps and upload speeds up to 3 Mbps. For a limited time during the Coronavirus situation, customers will have speeds up to 50Mbps and upload speeds to 3 Mbps.

Q. How long can a C2C customer continue to receive reduced-price internet service through the program?

A. Families eligible for C2C will receive reduced-price internet as long as they remain continuously subscribed to the service and the C2C offer.

Q. What should I do if I work with students and families who might benefit from this program?

A. Please visit and click on “Program Toolkits” with program information, materials and suggestions on how you can help.

Q. Can an eligible student receive internet service at a different address other than the address listed under the National School Lunch Program? For example, a student may receive free lunch under/at their mother’s address but actually reside with a grandmother or another relative. A. It is possible for this eligible family to be eligible for the service in these circumstances, but the use of a different service address may result in them having to go through the manual application process.

Q. If a customer has phone and cable but not high-speed internet, can they still apply to see if they are eligible for the data service offer? A. Yes, they can. Please visit to access program information.

Q. Who should C2C program participants contact if they experience technical issues with their service? A. C2C participants will follow the same process as all Cox customers to resolve technical issues, and that is to call Cox technical support.

Q. Before advertising the C2C offer, was Cox required to obtain FCC or another governmental agency approval on the guidelines for eligible subscribers to internet service?

A. The C2C program is not mandated by the FCC nor any other governmental agency. Our support of the program is voluntary and consistent with our history of supporting youth and education in the communities we serve. The current C2C program was developed in conjunction with the partnership of the FCC and the NCTA, and Cox Communications volunteered to pilot the program in our San Diego market in spring of 2012. In fact, the current program is modeled after a program Cox voluntarily developed in its Santa Barbara service area more than a decade ago.

Connect2Compete’s speed of 25 megabytes is the official definition of broadband as deemed by the FCC.

Q. What specific federal funds are being used to subsidize households? Does the FCC or another governmental agency set guidelines for internet service providers to follow to receive funding for C2C?

A. The Connect2Compete program is not subsidized by the federal nor any local state agencies, and Cox does not receive any reimbursement for offering the discounted price of $9.95/month.

Q. With the expansion of eligibility criteria to include TANF and SNAP, how many families are now eligible for the program?

A. The addition of TANF and SNAP as proof of eligibility does not increase the number of families eligible for Cox’s C2C offer. TANF and SNAP are used as proof of eligibility for the National Free School Lunch program. These programs were added to make it easier for families whose children attend Title I schools, or for private schools that do not administer the Free School Lunch Program.

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