Creating Opportunity Through Connectivity
The internet is a powerful enabler for social change; yet, many nonprofits lack the high-speed broadband they need to carry out their missions. Our mission is to get schools, libraries, and nonprofits the connectivity they need to maximize their philanthropic impact and better serve our world.
Our History & Impact
Mobile Beacon was created by the North American Catholic Educational Programming Foundation (NACEPF), 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the second largest national Educational Broadband Service (EBS) provider in the United States. Our programs and services are a natural extension of the mission of EBS, to leverage broadband to bring equal educational and digital opportunity to all Americans. Since 2010, we’ve helped nonprofits across all sectors get the Internet access they need and extend that access within their communities to those who need it most.
Mobile Beacon is born!
We created a unique broadband service exclusively for educational and nonprofit organizations that include high speed, anytime/anywhere access, and unlimited data for just $10/month.
Reached our first 100 customers!
In our first year, community anchor institutions across all sectors started using our service: from schools and libraries to nonprofits and emergency response teams.
Created the Connect for Success Student Access Donation Program for schools.
This grant provides schools with up to 25 laptops, 4G hotspots, and free, unlimited, high-speed internet service for 12 months. This program is 100% self-funded and was created to help schools close the homework gap.
Received the Bridging the Gap Vertie Award.
Mobile Beacon received the Vertie Award for demonstrating a resourceful approach to high quality, technology-based education through our laptop donation program – one of the only programs of its kind to help schools address the homework gap.
Mobile Beacon’s educational grants top $1,000,0000 in 2011!
Our Connect for Success Student Access Donation Program and security system grants provided more than $1,000,000 in donated hardware and free internet service to public/private schools, school districts, and higher education institutions in 50 cities across the US.
First Broadband Donation Program on TechSoup.
Mobile Beacon was the first mobile broadband service provider to partner with TechSoup to make broadband more affordable for nonprofits through our 4G device donation program. This donation program is 100% self-funded and provides free 4G devices to 501(c)(3) nonprofits, schools, and public libraries across the US.
Community Wi-Fi Project.
Mobile Beacon teamed up with the City of Central Falls, RI to light up Jenks Park with free, Wi-Fi access for residents and visitors during the Bright Future Festival. It was the first public Wi-Fi project of its kind in the state.
Launched School Donation Program with Digital Wish.
Mobile Beacon partnered with Digital Wish to create a 4G device donation program for schools to further reduce the cost of connectivity. These donations are 100% funded by Mobile Beacon and help schools by providing WiFi in the classroom, mobile connectivity on field trips, and an affordable means to provide out-of-school connectivity to students without internet access at home.
Selected as SETDA’s Emerging Private Sector Partner.
The State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) selected Mobile Beacon as one of its inaugural private sector partners in recognition of the value our broadband service provides to educators across the US.
Created the i3 Internet Inclusion Initiative.
Mobile Beacon’s i3 Internet Inclusion Initiative partners with schools, libraries, and nonprofits to close the digital divide in their communities. To date, we’ve helped over 300,000 Americans get online, including vulnerable populations such as low-income families, seniors, and adults with disabilities.
Launched the largest library hotspot lending program in the US with Sprint, New York Public Library, Queens Library, and Brooklyn Public Library. 10,000 4G LTE hotspots circulate throughout 88 library branches across New York City’s five boroughs supporting K-12 students and low-income adults enrolled in an educational program at one of the participating branches.
Became a charter member of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA), a coalition advocating for technology training, home broadband access, and public broadband access programs.
Developed Wi-Fly Digital Inclusion Grant program to provide community anchor institutions with free, unlimited 4G LTE mobile connectivity and laptops to help close the digital divide in their communities. Mobile Beacon’s inaugural Wi-Fly pilot sites included Kitsap Regional Library in Bremerton, WA and a unique collaboration between Kansas City Public Library and Kansas City Public Schools to address the 70% of students in Kansas City without broadband connectivity at home.
Stopped Sprint from shutting down its WiMAX network and effectively leaving hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Americans without internet access. Today, because we fought to protect our customers, they transitioned to Sprint’s 4G LTE network and continue to receive an unthrottled, uncapped internet service through Mobile Beacon.
Converted our Clients to LTE in 90 days. Mobile Beacon created and funded the Convert & Connect device donation program to help our customers make the transition from WiMAX to LTE. We provided more than $600,000 worth of donated 4G LTE devices and transitioned 73% of our clients in just 90 days.
Expanded digital inclusion efforts with PCs for People.
Mobile Beacon and PCs for People’s digital inclusion program in the Twin Cities provides internet access to 23,286 residents below the 200% poverty level. Building on the success in the Twin Cities, Mobile Beacon has partnered with PCs for People’s new Denver office to provide 715 free computers/laptops and 925 donated 4G LTE mobile hotspots to schools and educational institutions in the greater Denver area.
Wi-Fly Digital Inclusion grants awarded to Rockford Housing Authority in Illinois, Life Skills Training & Educational Programs (LifeSTEPS) in California, Chelsea District Library in Michigan, and Bartram High School in Pennsylvania to launch new digital inclusion projects in their communities that will reach their most at-risk residents who have limited or no access to technology.