MARCH 13, 2020
In order to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of the disruptions caused by the Coronavirus outbreak, Chairman Pai specifically asked broadband and telephone service providers to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.
The Keep Americans Connected Pledge calls on companies, for the next 60 days, to:
(1) not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
(2) waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
(3) open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Carriers have also offered additional support. Here’s an overview:
AT&T is waiving wireless overage charges for data, voice and text for residential or small business.
CenturyLink is suspending data usage limits.
Comcast paused data plans for 60 days giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge. New customers that are qualified low-income households can receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which includes an internet speed increase to 25 Mbps for new and existing program customers in addition to other updates.
Sprint is waiving activation and upgrade fees as well as offering free next-day shipping for upgrades and new phone orders. Customers with metered data plans will receive unlimited data per month for 60 days. Customers will also receive an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days at no extra cost.
T-Mobile is offering current customers with data plans unlimited smartphone data for 60 days (excluding roaming). Customers will also receive an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot/tethering service. The offer applies to T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers.
Verizon has introduced new affordable plans for low-income households, waived over-limit fees, and increased wireless customers’ data allowance by 15GB through April 30.
For more specific information on your service provider’s offerings, contact their customer service team or visit their website. Also, be sure to contact your service provider directly with any service issues or payment hardships related to COVID-19.