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Companies offer assistance for students transitioning to online courses 

Companies such as Barnes & Noble, Comcast, Spectrum and AT&T are providing services and waiving fees for K-12 and college students during the pandemic.  

The Gadsden State Community College Bookstore (operated by Barnes & Noble’s educational division) is working with VitalSource and other publishers in providing free access to eTextbooks through the remainder of the spring semesters. 

Also, any students who have physical rental books will be given a free UPS label to ship books back to the Bookstore at the end of the semester. These labels will be emailed directly to every student with rental books. The Bookstore is also providing free shipping for all items on the website to ensure students get what they need. Buyback periods will be extended once students return to campus. 

To learn more about the free eTextbook initiative, click here.

Some of the state’s cable providers are currently providing free services and upgrades due to the requirement of online instruction at many colleges and universities. 

Charter Spectrum is offering free broadband and WiFi to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. The company is waiving installation fees. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Charter Spectrum is also opening its Wifi hotspots across its service areas in Alabama for public use. You can find a list of hotspots in your area here

Comcast is giving all of its customers unlimited data for 60 days, and the company will not disconnect service or assess a late fee for those who contact them about their inability to pay the bill during this time of uncertainty. Comcast is also offering free service through its WiFi hotspots in Alabama. Find a list of the hotspots here

AT&T is waiving internet overage fees and late fees and will not suspend termination of service during the pandemic. Those who are having trouble paying should call 1-800-288-2020.