Several internet service providers signed a pledge to suspend termination of service, waive late fees and open up any previously restricted Wi-Fi hotspots as the coronavirus outbreak leaves thousands of Northland residents isolated during social distancing and self-quarantine efforts.
AT&T, Spectrum, Comcast, CenturyLink and Viasat are upholding the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge, which asks companies to suspend termination of service for the next 60 days and waive late fees for residential and small business customers who are financially impacted by the spread of COVID-19.
AT&T suspended data caps for home internet services and expanded eligibility for its $10 a month internet service offered to limited income households. Households enrolled in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start are eligible for that service.
“Connectivity is always essential to our customers – doctors and nurses, first responders, governments, banks, grocery stores, pharmacies and others delivering vital services,” AT&T CEO Jeff McElfresh wrote on the company’s website. “... AT&T views it as our civic duty to step up and keep our customers and communities connected.”
Spectrum states on its website it is offering two months of free internet for new customers to help with students who are adjusting to remote education. The company also offers an internet service program aimed at low-income households.
Comcast removed its data caps. The company is also giving 60 free days to new customers signing up for its low-income households service.