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Note: Mobile Beacon no longer offers this program through TechSoup.
Get mobile broadband access for your organization with a donated fourth-generation (4G) modem or wireless hotspot from the Mobile Beacon Donation Program.
Mobile Beacon — a nonprofit just like TechSoup — helps nonprofit organizations, schools, and public libraries that lack traditional Internet access, or have slow access or bandwidth constraints get connected both in the office and remotely.
Organizations eligible for the Mobile Beacon Donation Program can request one of the four devices (admin fee: $15) per TechSoup fiscal year. Mobile Beacon Internet service is not included as part of this donation. It must be purchased separately for $120 ($10 per month, paid annually in advance).
CLEAR Stick Atlas
A portable USB modem for connecting one computer, either at your office or remotely. This USB modem is handy for someone who often travels with their laptop, and needs broadband access as they go.
CLEAR Spot 4G Voyager
A portable wireless hotspot for connecting up to eight WiFi-enabled devices. This hotspot is great for setting up a mobile office, or for connecting several staff members to broadband while out in the field or working an event.
CLEAR Modem with WiFi
A stationary modem with an integrated WiFi router for local networking and internet access. This modem can wirelessly connect up to 10 computers or WiFi-enabled devices without the need of an additional router.
If one donation per fiscal year doesn't meet your organization's needs, you can also purchase additional 4G devices directly from Mobile Beacon. And: Mobile Beacon will provide free consultation to help you determine the best devices for your needs.
Before you place a donation request, make sure Mobile Beacon's 4G coverage extends to your area. One note: if you're viewing their coverage map, make sure to zoom in to your area all the way for a more exact picture.
By expanding broadband or WiFi coverage to the areas your nonprofit or library serves, you can reach more people, and help your staff be more productive.
Volunteer groups can take advantage of video and other web-based training tools for more cost-effective training and recruitment.
Patrick Duggan | TechSoup Digital Marketing Manager
Where do we select which device we want? There doesn't seem to be an option page when registering for this donation.
Hi Spiewaks, you'll be able to select the device you want during account registration with Mobile Beacon. Thank you for pointing that out! We're going to add that to the product donation page so it's no longer confusing.
Excellent! Thanks for the quick response.
I ordered one and it never asked me what device I would like so what happens next?
Hi castyourcares, selection of the donated device is done with Mobile Beacon during the registration process with them. Instructions will be sent to you in an email when the order fulfills.
OK great Thank You
I just sign up for clear a month ago, is there anything I could do to get this donation?
The restrictions do state that "Organizations that have existing business relationships with CLEAR are not eligible to participate in this program. Current Mobile Beacon customers are eligible." Since that is the currently case, your organization would not be eligible for this donation but could purchase devices directly from Mobile Beacon: www.mobilebeacon.org/.../devices
TechSoup Client Services
Is the cost for each of these items the same?
Hi ipstp, the answer is yes. The device, whichever one they choose, is all part of the donation.
I noticed the connection speed is listed as 1 - 3 mbps. Unless I'm missing something, this seems rather slow. I believe our office DSL connection is 300 mbps. Does this mean that the Mobile Beacon connection would be 1/100th of our office connection?
Hi woo, I've been trying to find an answer for you this afternoon. Usually we talk about this in terms of download speed. Most bandwidth numbers advertised for DSL service range from 128 Kbps to 3 Mbps. Mobile Beacon's 4G service provides average download speeds of 3-6 Mbps.
You said your office DSL's download speed was 300 mbps. I was wondering if that could in fact be kbps?
Hi, PatrickDuggan: Thanks for your reply. I checked our system just now, and it says that we are currently receiving data @ "300Mbps" through a direct network connection to AT&T DSL. Our other computers linked by wi-fi say they are receiving info at "54Mbps".
Hi woo, when your system says you’re receiving data at "300Mbps" that’s actually how fast your computers are connecting to the network. It’s not your Internet connection speed itself. If you go here (http://www.att.com/speedtest/) AT&T will calculate your current internet speeds.
The Mobile Beacon speeds are on par with most DSL. I asked around, and we’re unaware of even a business data service that provides a 300 Mbps (Megabits per second) connection.
Also, if you head over to our Community Forums (forums.techsoup.org/.../f) you can ask some fellow nonprofit folks if they have any opinions on the matter as well.
Is the service the clear internet plan (with Avg 3-6 Mbps Download & 1.5 Mbps Upload) or the clear internet basic (with 1.5 Mbps Download & 0.5 Mbps Upload)?