How-To Guide for Families

Discover how your school district can use sponsored service to take the financial burden of paying for the Internet off families.


As your state or school district works to get students connected to the Internet for remote learning during COVID-19, Spectrum Stay Connected K-12 may be a good option for unconnected students who live in Spectrum service areas. Here is an overview of the program, including eligibility requirements and how to set up sponsored service.

What is Spectrum Stay Connected K-12?

Stay Connected K-12 allows states or school districts to offer high-speed, cable broadband Internet access to students, educators, and staff in their homes, so learning and teaching are uninterrupted. It provides flexibility to add locations where access is needed and remove locations when it is no longer required. States or school districts provide the address details of residences in need of access, and Spectrum Enterprise provides a turn-key solution (broadband connection, equipment, and technical support for those families).

States or school districts can act as procurement leads to set it up as a sponsored service, handling Internet service payment for any number of families within their purview. 

Key Features of Stay Connected K-12 include: 

  • Internet download speeds up to 50 Mbps for $29.99/month
  • Unlimited Internet usage with no data caps or speed throttling
  • Cable modem, WiFi and self-installation kit provided with every end-user connection
  • Optional professional installation available
  • Wireline connectivity with over 99.9% network reliability
  • 24/7/365 technical support

What is a Sponsored Service?

Sponsored service is when procurement leads handle the payment of bills to ensure Internet service remains continuous for students.  Due to COVID-19, residential broadband providers have partnered directly with states and school districts to serve students. This type of agreement typically occurs when a school district determines which families lack the Internet and then works with the provider to determine eligibility and pay for service.

Why Might Procurement Leads Consider Sponsored Service as a Connectivity Solution?

  • Sponsored service takes the financial burden of paying for the Internet off of families.
  • Residential broadband provides a more stable and reliable connection than alternative connectivity solutions such as mobile hotspots and is more cost-effective.
  • It empowers districts to directly impact families and their community in a time of great need.

How can my State or District Set Up Stay Connected K-12 With Spectrum?

Procurement leads must reach out to Spectrum’s Enterprise team to understand serviceability for their families, set up their Stay Connected K-12 account, iron out the details of the arrangement, and sign a contract.

To set up a sponsored service account, school districts must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • 50+ customer connections within one year (must be new customers only)
  • A contract agreement is required

How does Spectrum bill the procurement lead on behalf of families?

Procurement leads receive one bill each month for the number of unique connections. All services are reflected in combined billing that comes from Spectrum Enterprise.

What are the Eligibility Criteria for Families?

A significant benefit of Stay Connected K-12 is the limited eligibility requirements for families to sign on. The only eligibility criteria are that the family cannot currently be a Spectrum Internet customer (a current customer is defined as receiving Spectrum service within the last 30 days).

How can Procurement Leads Work With Spectrum to Determine Student Eligibility?

One of the primary value-adds of working directly with Spectrum is determining student serviceability and eligibility in advance of starting outreach to families, enabling a more targeted and seamless communication approach. How it works:

  • The procurement lead sends Spectrum list of student addresses.
  • Spectrum reviews list for serviceability. 
  • Spectrum reviews list for existing customers and removes them from the list.
  • Spectrum returns finalized list of eligible addresses to Procurement Lead.
  • Procurement lead can notify families and include information for how they can opt-out, if necessary.
  • Procurement Lead confirms the final address list, signs agreement, and places orders for eligible addresses.
  • An estimated 3-5 days after the district completes the order, modems arrive at end-user homes.
  • Spectrum provides a dedicated customer support line that families can use for technical issues and support.
  • Spectrum conducts regular operations review meetings to share detailed reporting on activated homes.

How do Families Sign up for Stay Connected K-12?

Families do not need to complete an application to receive service. As long as they are on the list of addresses provided in the order to Spectrum, they will receive a package containing the necessary equipment to self-install and begin using their Internet service.

To see more about what the process looks like for families, refer to our How-To Guide for Families. 

What Does Home Setup and Installation Look Like?

Self-installation kits will be shipped directly to each family and typically take 3-5 days for delivery (note that delivery times may vary depending on location)

  • What families should expect to receive in their kit: a small router/modem device, a set of simple instructions, and contact information for Spectrum’s dedicated enterprise customer service line, should they need any help.

What Types of Online Learning are Supported by Stay Connected K-12?

As with all connectivity solutions, bandwidth depends on the number of connected devices. With 3-4 devices connected, Spectrum can support several of the most common learning modalities. Students should be able to reliably browse the web, view and send emails, download/upload documents, and stream videos (HD video streaming should work, but probably not 4K).

How can Procurement Leads end the Stay Connected K-12 Agreement? 

If the district wants to end sponsored service, they can do so by notifying Spectrum with a disconnect order. Once received, Spectrum will give each of the families 30 days of notice. Families will need to cancel and return their equipment. Note that families are not responsible for any fees incurred should equipment not be returned to Spectrum. In the event the equipment remains unreturned after standard collection practices are exhausted, the unreturned equipment charge will be billed to the procurement lead.

How Does the Equipment Return Process Work?

When the procurement lead’s agreement with Spectrum has ended, managing the equipment returns process will be vital to minimizing any additional charges for the procurement lead. 

  • Families can hand off a prepaid label and packaged equipment to a UPS delivery driver or drop off at a UPS Store.

If they don’t have a box or printer, they can bring the equipment to a UPS Store for help. Families should make sure to visit for the most up-to-date locations and store hours.