Many libraries in Idaho and elsewhere are circulating mobile hotspots to their communities. You may have heard this referred to as “checking out the internet” or “lending Wi-Fi”. See below for more information and resources about mobile hotspots and how you can start circulating these items at your library.

Libraries that would like help with starting a mobile hotspot lending program are encouraged to contact the Public Library Consultant and/or the Library Technology Consultant.

You can use coverage maps from OpenSignal to determine the best cellular provider(s) for your location. OpenSignal uses data crowdsourced from millions of users to create independent coverage maps of all major networks. To view OpenSignal’s free coverage maps, you will need to download their free Android app or free iOS app.

If Sprint’s 4G LTE network coverage is good for your location, you might be interested in The Mobile Beacon Donation Program available from TechSoup. Public libraries can purchase up to 11 Mobile Beacon devices within a fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) for $10.80-$18.00 per device (depending on the quantity purchased). Unlimited 4G LTE service for Mobile Beacon devices is $120 per year per device, paid annually.

The Idaho Commission for Libraries does not endorse any specific product or policy for mobile hotspots. Information provided is for reference purposes.