Library Hotspot Checkout Program Discontinued at the End of Spring Semester


Michael Valencia, Staff Writer

The Moreno Valley College Library has announced it will discontinue its Hotspot checkout program at the end of the current academic year. The program, which was started in 2020, provided mobile internet hotspots to students who needed Wi-Fi during the Covid-19 Pandemic. 

In a statement on MVC Library’s Instagram account from April 29th, 2023, the college said “MVC Library will no longer have hotspots for checkout after spring semester. All hotspots currently checked out will no longer have Wi-Fi through the college after June 30th.” 

A mobile hotspot is a dedicated hardware device or a smartphone feature that shares the device’s cellular data wirelessly. Other nearby devices can then use the shared hotspot to connect to the internet. The program began as a response to classes being shifted from in person to online at the outset of the pandemic. The college was providing laptops and hotspots through a curbside checkout to students in need.  

Initially the program was funded by one-time allocations through the following federal acts: CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security )Act; HEERF (Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund); CRRSAA (Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations) Act; and HEERF II followed by the ARP (American Rescue Plan) also known as HEERF III.  The funds were ultimately exhausted this spring and will not be renewed. 

“The hotspot program was a temporary solution to get through Covid,” said Dean Tom Vitzelio, Dean of Student Success and Academic Support. At its height, the program had 100 hotspots checked out. 

The decision to end the hotspot lending program has been met with mixed reactions from students. Some students are disappointed that they will no longer be offered by the college. “I think they should find a way to continue the program if it was helping, so students can have more tools at their disposal,” said Michael Payne, a Cyber Security Major. “The technology gap existed before covid and will continue after.” 

Others like Mareena Perez, an Anthology major said that she understands the college’s position and she’s grateful that the college looked out for  students’ best interests.   “You have to balance the ability to provide access to students while being fiscally responsible,” said Dean Vitzelio. “We are the shepherd of the public’s dollar and we have a responsibility to spend it wisely.”   

The hotspot lending program was a popular resource for many students according to Joel Webb, Digital Librarian, MVC Library. “We went from nine being checked out to one hundred,” said Webb. Webb offered an alternative for students looking to connect to the internet for course work. The following link provides some alternative options for affordable Wi-Fi for students: 

Moreno Valley College offers free access to Wi-Fi on campus. Students and employees receive free internet connectivity for up to five personal devices while on campus through the RCCD Wi-Fi network. Simply log in with your RCCD email address as your username and then enter your password.