On Eve of Sprint WIMAX Shutdown, Mobile Beacon & PCS For People do Final Push to Keep Low-income Twin Cities Residents online

(ST. PAUL) March 29, 2016 – In the final hours before the Sprint Corporation permanently discontinues its WiMAX service in the Twin Cities, Mobile Beacon and PCs for People are partnering to preserve Internet access for some of the poorest and most vulnerable Twin Cities residents – all of whom are at least 200 percent below the poverty level.

Hundreds of people are expected at PCs for People’s St. Paul office on Tuesday, March 29. There Mobile Beacon and PCs for People will make a final push to help as many vulnerable individuals and families as possible retain their Internet access before Sprint’s permanent shutdown of WiMAX services on March 31.

To date, Mobile Beacon and PCs for People have transitioned nearly 6,000 low-income individuals and families to Mobile Beacon’s new 4G LTE service, including more than 4,800 Twin City users in the past 60 days alone – around 100 families and people every day.

What: Mobile Beacon and PCs for People host an event to help low-income Twin City residents make the switch to LTE service before the discontinuation of WiMAX services.

When: Noon on Tuesday, March 29

Where: PCs for People’s St. Paul Office, 1481 Marshall Ave, St. Paul

Who: Senior leaders at Mobile Beacon and PCs for People will help Twin Cities residents as they transition from WiMAX to LTE. They will be available to discuss the status of the LTE transition, the partnership between Mobile Beacon and PCs for People, and plans to expand the partnership’s current offering.
• Katherine Messier, Founder and Managing Director of Mobile Beacon
• Casey Sorenson, Executive Director of PCs for People

Mobile Beacon provides unlimited 4G Internet access to schools, libraries and nonprofit organizations across the country. Many of these organizations, like PCs for People, provide this Internet service to students, the elderly, the disabled and other segments of the population often not able to afford Internet service at commercial rates.

In November of last year, Mobile Beacon won a critical battle for low-income Internet users when they secured a court order requiring Sprint to continue keep its WiMAX network up for 90 days so Mobile Beacon’s users were given time to migrate over to Sprint’s 4G LTE network with a comparable Internet service plan. Sprint had previously refused to provide a comparable level of Internet service and was throttling Mobile Beacon’s users after reaching 6 GB of data per month – a practice that rendered Mobile Beacon’s service virtually unusable by the critical populations it serves. If Sprint had shut the WiMAX network down last November as planned, thousands of users would have been disconnected without alternative means of Internet access.

Today, because Mobile Beacon fought to prevent their community of users from being forced to a lower class of Internet service or “slow lane,” all Twin Cities residents who qualify for service through PCs for People are able to get a 4G LTE data plan with no data caps or throttling.

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