Free Internet Services
Comcast will provide low-income families free access to the internet so everybody will have access to our collective fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, new Internet Essentials customers will receive two free months of Internet service. The application can be found here: https://apply.internetessentials.com/
Comcast is also increasing the speed of the program to 25 Mbps downloads and 3 Mbps uploads for all new and existing customers.
Read the Press Release from Comcast Corporation: https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19
Internet Access for Families
For the next 60 days, AT&T will not terminate service for any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customer due to inability to pay.
They will also do the following:
- Waive late payment fees.
- Keep their public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any one who needs them.
- Unlimited AT&T Home Internet - All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, we'll continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. We've expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, we're offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service.
For more details, click HERE.
The company is opening their Xfinity WiFi network for free along with providing unlimited data. To help people stay connected with school and work, Comcast is opening up their Xfinity WiFi network for everyone, as well as:
- Hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free, including non-subscribers. You can find a map of hot spots here. Just use "xfinitywifi" network name and launch a browser.
- Data plans will be paused for 60 days, which will give all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.
- No late disconnects or late fees for those who contact the company about not being able to pay their bill.
- Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced, it's even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program's Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.
- For new customers, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.
Sprint has joined the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and is opening up their network to their customers and:
- Won't terminate service if customers are unable to pay due to coronavirus issues
- Waive late fees caused by economic disturbances related to the coronavirus pandemic
- By 3/17: Customers with international long-distance plans will get complimentary international calling rates from the U.S. to countries defined by the CDC as Level 3.
- By 3/19: Customers with metered data plans will have unlimited data per month for 60 days at no extra cost.
- Customers will get an extra 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days.
- Coming soon: Customers with mobile hotspot-capable handsets without a hotspot will get 20GB per month for 60 days at no extra cost.
The wireless provider already has a majority of customers with unlimited talk, text, and data, but they're doubling down on their effort to keep their customers connected.
- All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have data plans will have unlimited smartphone data, excluding roaming.
- T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will get an additional 20GB of mobile hotspots/tethering service for the next 60 days. The company says this feature will be coming soon.
- Work with Lifeline partners to get customers extra free data up to 5GB per month over the next two months.
- Increase data allowance for free to schools and students for the next 60 days, which means at least 20GB of data per month for each participant.
And to help even more people stay connected, Metro by T-Mobile is launching lower-priced plans and offers on March 25:
- For the next two months, Metro is offering a $15 plan - that's half the price of the current most affordable plan. For 60 days after customers activate, it's just $15 per month for unlimited talk and text plus 2GB of high-speed smartphone data.
- New and current Metro customers with any voice line can also get a free 8" tablet (via rebate redemption) with a $15 unlimited tablet data plan.*
- MetroSmart Hotspot devices will be half off, and the $35 per month data plan will include 20GB - double the normal monthly data - for the next 60 days.
Verizon also took the pledge and is offering similar services: Reinforces pledge to Keep Americans Connected and goes further to protect most vulnerable.
- Waives overage charges and late fees to support customers who may be financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis:
- Announces two months waived internet and voice service charges for current Lifeline customers and new affordable internet option for low-income households. Lifeline Discount Program | Verizon Billing & Account (ways to apply and additional info available at bottom of page.)
- Adds 15GB of high speed data for wireless consumer and small business customers to be automatically applied with no customer action necessary.
- Provides first responders with priority and preemption abilities for voice and data.
- No data caps for Consumer and small business Fios and DSL broadband internet plans.
- Tripling data allowance for Verizon Innovative Learning Schools.
Escalante, E. (2020, March 16). These internet companies are stepping up to expand their WiFi, hotspot coverage for Americans. Retrieved from https://www.abc10.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/free-wifi-hotspots/103-8002bb36-b9f8-4c32-8801-7da31bfb8449