Internet providers come together during this breakout of the Covid-19 crisis. Recently, 69 service providers signed the ‘keep Americans connected’ pledge on 13th March 2020, as requested by FCC. The number increased to 185 on Monday, March 16.
While the majority of the companies agreed to the terms put forward by the FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, some took a step further. This includes Spectrum that introduced Spectrum free Internet for students for the next 60 days.
Terms in Detail
Ajit Pai requested the Internet providers to agree upon the following three terms for at least the next 6o days:
- Companies not to terminate the Internet service to any residential or small business client. This is in view of the current situation that is causing disruptions.
- Telecommunication companies to waive late fees due on a residential or small business’s side as the pandemic has affected the economic situation of many.
- Internet companies to provide free Wi-Fi hotspots to Americans.
The terms included in the pledge address the serious issue of people not being able to leave their houses. Hence, making it easy for individuals to have access to doctors, teachers, students, and their loved ones. It is a rather difficult time for students who are finding it hard to study as schools remain closed. Having access to the Internet at all times will allow these distressed students to study remotely. It will also allow working people to work remotely as well.
Not to forget the fact that staying at home for a prolonged period can be depressing and one feels the urge to see their loved ones (and friends). The availability of the Internet will keep the Americans connected when it is needed the most. Also, surfing the net, watching movies, or a favorite show will ensure that people can divert their minds.
Among the companies who have agreed to facilitate the Americans are Spectrum, AT&T, Cox, CenturyLink, Frontier, Verizon, Xfinity, and Mediacom. While the majority of the companies agreed to the terms that FCC included in the pledge, some service providers are going the extra mile.
Going the Extra Mile
Generous steps taken by some companies include:
- Suspension of data caps by AT&T. This will encourage people to work from home and access news whenever they want. All of this without the fear of running out of data.
- Comcast is offering the ‘Internet Essentials’ plan free to low-income households at a higher speed than the existing one.
- Verizon to waive the late fees for business and residential customers.
- Spectrum to offer students free Internet. The service is available to households that have kids who go to K-12 or college.
The Spectrum offer is for subscribers as well as non-subscribers. Starting from March 16, 2020, this service will continue for 60 days. The company will also reach out to the school districts to inform them about their free service. For more details, you can contact Spectrum customer service. Make sure that you have students in your house as the offer is valid for them only. Apart from this, the company will also be waiving the installation fees for such households.
As the companies take steps to keep the Americans connected, it is requested that every individual plays his/her part as well. Stay happy and positive in this serious situation. Try not to panic and take care of others around you.