We’re more reliant than ever on the internet to keep up with what’s going on in the world — especially in the face of a global pandemic like what we’re experiencing with the coronavirus.
There is plenty of solid information online to help track the spreading of the virus, along with what to do if you’re feeling symptoms. Tap or click here for ways to get a coronavirus assessment without leaving home.
With so much time being spent online, there’s a good chance you might go over your data limit and rack up unexpected fees. But there is good news: Some providers are suspending data caps during the coronavirus pandemic.
Even better? Internet service providers won’t cancel your service, even if you can’t pay. Keep reading for all the details.
Stay connected amid the uncertainty
America’s internet providers have promised to keep your service going, even if you can’t pay the bill.
Tens of millions of Americans are being kept home from work because of the coronavirus. Many people, especially hourly workers and those paid by tips or by the job, simply won’t be paid.
But T-Mobile, CenturyLink, Cox, AT&T, Cable One, Verizon — virtually every American internet provider — promises they won’t interrupt your personal or business internet service for the next 60 days, or as long as the emergency lasts, even if you can’t pay the bill.
It’s called the “Keep America Connected Pledge.” Late fees will be waived, too. So if you can’t pay your internet bill, let your provider know.
How wireless providers are handling coronavirus
One recommendation from the World Health Organization to slow down the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is for everyone to practice social distancing. It’s exactly what it sounds like — stay away from people.
That means spending a lot of time at home and away from family and friends. But you’re still going to want to stay in contact with them to make sure everyone is OK.
The internet is a great way to do just that. You can have face-to-face conversations online through apps like FaceTime and Skype and chat in real-time through your favorite messenger service.
Add all of this online communication to our regular day-to-day usage like binge-watching Netflix and it could be very easy to go over the allotted monthly data limit set by your ISP or wireless carrier.
That’s why some of these companies have decided to suspend data caps until the pandemic is over. Here’s what you need to know.
T-Mobile announced that it’s ensuring all customers on plans that currently have data are provided the unlimited connectivity they need to learn and work.
Here are some highlights of T-Mobile’s COVID-19 response:
- Starting now – ALL current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming).
- Providing T-Mobile and Metro T-Mobile customers an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot/tethering service for the next 60 days — coming soon.
- Working with its Lifeline partners to provide customers extra free data up to 5GB of data per month over the next two months.
- Increasing the data allowance for free to schools and students using T-Mobile’s EmpowerED digital learning programs to ensure each participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month over the next 60 days.
That’s just the beginning of what T-Mobile is offering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the T-Mobile website to find out everything the company is doing.
You may also like: Do you know which companies have your personal data?
Verizon customers who have Fios or 5G Home already have unlimited data; however, those who don’t have these plans can also rest easy.
Here are some of Verizon’s coronavirus responses:
- Residential and small business customers don’t have to worry about late fees. For the next 60 days, Verizon is waiving late fees.
- Verizon has also committed to not turning off broadband internet or wireless service for customers while dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
- Verizon’s Wi-Fi hotspots will be open to all Americans during this time.
Visit the Verizon website for more information on Verizon’s COVID-19 response.
AT&T has pledged it will support its customers during this COVID-19 pandemic. For the next 60 days, AT&T will offer the following:
- All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data.
- Not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Waive any late payment fees that any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer may incur because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Keep its public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
For all of AT&T’s COVID-19 responses, visit its website.
Sprint is putting in place the following measures to help customers impacted by COVID-19:
- Starting Monday – For the next 60 days, Sprint will not terminate service is customers are unable to pay their Sprint bill because of the coronavirus and it will waive late fees incurred because of economic circumstances related to the pandemic.
- Starting Tuesday – Customers with international long-distance calling plans will receive complimentary international calling rates from the U.S. to countries defined by the CDC as Level 3.
- By next Thursday – Customers with metered data plans will receive unlimited data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost. Sprint will also provide customers with an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost.
- Coming soon – Customers with mobile hotspot-capable handsets who don’t have mobile hotspot tody will now get 20GB as well per month for 60 days at no extra cost.
For Sprint’s entire COVID-19 response, visit its website.
We already have enough on our plates to deal with, we don’t need to worry about data limits and unexpected fees. The measures taken by these mobile carriers will help and that’s a huge relief. Stay safe out there, and remember: Stay away from public places!
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.