Telecom giants offering free internet to low-income customers who qualify amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 10:17 AM, Mar 13, 2020

Several telecommunications giants have announced that they are offering some customers free internet access in order to allow more people to work from home and stay in touch with quarantined loved ones.

Comcast announced Thursday it is offering two months of free internet access to low-income households who qualify for its "Internet Essentials" program and increasing the speeds provided through the service in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Typically, low-income customers apply for Comcast's "Internet Essentials" program, and those who meet the qualifications get 15 Mbps internet for $9.95 a month. Now, Comcast says applicants who qualify will get a 25 Mbps connection for free for two months.

Comcast will roll out the the new speeds nationally over the past few days, and all new customers will receive a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem and WiFi router. There is no term contract.

In a letter, Comcast President of Consumer Services Dana Strong said that she hopes change allows more people to work from home in the event of self-isolation or quarantine. She also said she hopes low-income families will be able to safely stay in contact.

To sign up, click here. The website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

On Friday, Charter-Spectrum announced it would offer free access to broadband and WiFi services to households with students who do not already have the services.

The company says free broadband and WiFi access will be available for 60 days to households with students from Kindergarten to college who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps.

To enroll in the service you can call 1-844-488-8395, the company says it will waive installation fees for student households.