HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Public School students who currently do not have at home internet access will receive six months of internet access.

According to Holyoke Mayoral Aide, Andrés Villada, Holyoke Public Schools along with the Mayor’s Office have negotiated a contract with Comcast to provide six months of internet access to families of Holyoke students who don’t have access to the internet now.

Sign up for the services started Monday and families of Holyoke Public School students are eligible as long as they haven’t had Comcast services in the past 90 days. Families who are interested should call the Holyoke Public Schools Hotline at 413-561-0862(English) or 413-314-3560 (Spanish).

“We knew immediately that internet access for families would be a big challenge for our students, and the debt requirement was a major hurdle, especially in these trying times,” Superintendent Stephen Zrike said. “I want to thank Mayor Morse and the team in City Hall for helping to facilitate this agreement which ensures access for many of our Holyoke students.” 

According to Villada, the service will include six months of free access covered by the city. After that families can continue service month-month for $9.95, or cancel the service. Families will also have access to reduced cost computers and free Digital Literacy Training. 

Holyoke teachers will continue on-line learning for students during the closure.

“Online education, work-from-home, telemedicine, and staying connected with friends and loved ones are not passing trends, they are part of our evolving reality. We will be continuing our conversations and planning efforts with the HG&E, HPS, and others on how we can develop a more permanent community-scale solution towards universal internet connectivity. I want to thank the teachers and staff of Holyoke Public Schools who are fighting the challenges of inequality every day, and I am grateful for their continued advocacy and support for their students and families.”

Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse