Chicago Connected is Providing Eligible Families with FREE High-Speed Internet Access!
Keep reading for answers to your questions regarding the Chicago Connected program for free wired internet or a free wifi hot spot. For additional information, please visit the Chicago Connected website.
How will I know if I'm eligible for the program?
Check for a phone call, email or text message from CPS. If you are eligible for wired internet, the message might look something like this:
You may have also received an additional email or text message from Acero Schools as a reminder.
If you have not received any of these communications, you may not be eligible for the program. You can visit the Chicago Connected website to check eligibility using your student's CPS ID number.
If you have any additional questions about your eligibility, call the Parent Tech Support Portal at 773-417-1060.
How is eligibility determined?
According to the Chicago Connected website:
"Eligibility will be determined using a weighting of factors including free and reduced-price lunch status, Medicaid qualifications, community hardship index using the UIC Hardship Index, as well as special student populations such as diverse learners, English Learners and students in temporary living situations (STLS). This model has been designed to ensure families with the highest need are first in line for free internet service."
I've received notice of eligibility for in-home wireless internet, what do I do next?
First, you must call your school to verify your home address. This first step is essential to ensure the contact information you have on file with the school is correct. Click here for a list of school phone numbers.
If you update your address with the school, you will need to wait 3-5 business days before moving on to step 2 to allow our system to update. If you are unsure, follow the guidance given to you by the school.
Next, review the message you received from CPS (or Acero). It should say something like this:
(If you've lost or haven't received your message, click here to check eligibility and retrieve this information)
Keep the code and provider handy. In the example above, the code is CHJ614984 and the provider is Internet Essentials/Comcast. Your code will be different.
You will be directed to one of two providers in your message: Internet Essentials/Comcast or RCN.
If RCN is named as your provider, call 312-955-2400. You will be asked to provide your Activation Code ("R code"), the address where internet access is to be installed and a primary phone number.
If Internet Essentials/Comcast is named as your provider, call 844-963-0178 or visit www.internetessentials.com. You may visit the Spanish language site at: es-apply.internetessentials.com/.
**If you encounter issues with your home address on file with either of these providers, please wait at least 48 hours after submitting the above form and try again. If you are still having issues, call your school directly.**
If you are visiting the Internet Essentials website, click the button in the top-right corner that says "Apply Now."
- After you click "Apply Now," you will be asked for the following information:
- First and Last Name
- Email Address (optional)
- Phone Number
- Social Security Number (optional) OR Form of Alternative Identification (i.e. Driver’s license with current address) (if applicable)
- You will then enter the Activation code provided to you in the CPS message
- Check this box to agree:
- Select which type of school your child attends.
- Enter the name of the Acero school your child attends:
- Select whether anyone in the household is receiving government benefits.
(This is not a required question)
- Submit your application and allow up to 10 business days for processing.
If you are approved, an internet provider will schedule a date and time to come to your home and set up FREE high-speed internet access for your household.
- If you need further assistance, please contact your school’s main office.
I've received notice of eligibility for a wifi hotspot , what do I do next?
First, you must call your school to claim your hotspot internet device. This first step is essential to ensure that we can provide enough devices to families. Click here for a list of school phone numbers.
Your school will provide guidance for when and where you will be able to come pick up your hotspot.
While Acero Schools is not the owner of the Chicago Connected program, we want to ensure that all eligible Acero families can take advantage of it. If you have any further questions or concerns that were not answered on this page, we encourage you to reach out directly to your school's main office.