Low or No Cost Internet Service
Are you looking for low or no cost internet service so you can stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic? Here are some suggestions, including ways to purchase a computer at a low cost:
1. AT&T’s “Access by AT&T.” Available in 21 states. One family member must be eligible for SNAP.
· COVID-19 response: AT&T has committed waive data overage fees in response to Covid-19.
· For more information go to: https://gizmodo.com/at-t-waiving-data-overage-fees-for-home-internet-subscr-1842300601
2. Charter Communications’ low-cost offer is “Spectrum Internet Assist” and is based on eligibility for the National School Lunch Program.
· COVID-19 response: Charter is now offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have service through Spectrum. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installations fees are waived. There are no data caps.
· For more information go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-TjZ8yN2VKMFbhaoG_FIquGgyCD4aSPS/view.
3. Comcast’s low cost offer“Internet Essentials” is available to any low-income American.
· COVID-19 Response: Internet Essentials will be free to new customers. 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.
· Xfinity WiFi Free for Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
· Data overages will no longer apply for 60 days.
· No Disconnects or Late Fees: Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact them to let them know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Comcast care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
· For more information and updates from Comcast related to Coronavirus, visit: http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19/
4. Cox Communications’ Connect2Compete is for families with school-aged children who are enrolled in low-income assistance programs.
· COVID-19 response: For a limited time, the first month of service will be free, $9.95/month thereafter.
· For other information and other offers go to: https://newsroom.cox.com/cox_internet_changes_to_assist_students_-_remote_workers
5. The Starry Internet Company affordable service Starry Connect available in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, DC and Denver in affordable housing developments.
· COVID-19 response: Beginning March 16th through May all Starry Connect will be free for new and existing customers. In addition, Starry will restore service to existing customers whose service was suspended the previous month due to nonpayment.
· For more information go to: https://www.lightreading.com/services/us-isps-back-pais-keep-americans-connected-pledge-/d/d-id/758211?_mc=RSS_LR_EDT
· COVID-19 Response: While T-Mobile does not have a low-cost offer, it has announced that starting now, all current T-Mo and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited smartphone data for 60 days, excluding roaming. Most subscribers already have unlimited data, but now people who may be on an older plan with a data allotment have unlimited data. Also, Starting soon, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will have an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data for the next 60 days.
· For more information go to: https://www.tmonews.com/2020/03/t-mobile-metro-unlimited-data-mobile-hotspot-coronavirus/
7. Other smaller or regional ISPs have offers as well:
· This Open Source Documentlists information about special programs regional ISPs are offering in response to the crisis.
C. For updates to these offers: See the Federal Communications Commission’s “Keep Americans Connected” page.
I. LOW-COST DEVICES:
· Computer refurbishers are a good source of low-cost devices. To find one near you, go to the Alliance for Technology Reuse and Refurbishing.
· PCS for People is a member, has worked with many PHAs, and offers tech support for individual customers: https://www.pcsforpeople.org/
· Tech Soup: https://www.techsoup.org/ (a membership fee is required)