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10+ wireless and Internet brands offering assistance during coronavirus

Big names like AT&T, T-Mobile and Xfinity are offering bonus data, free Wi-Fi and more.

Updated

Young man using social media at home with laptop and mobile phone

Here’s the scoop on how mobile and wireless companies are stepping up to keep Americans connected in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What to know about the Keep Americans Connected Pledge

On March 13th, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai asked broadband and mobile providers across the US to commit to:

  • Opening Wi-Fi hotspots to all Americans across the US.
  • Waiving late fees incurred as a result of economic difficulties.
  • Waiving termination for residential and business customers.

Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and other providers signed the pledge that’s valid until at least May 13th.

Which mobile companies are offering bonus data due to coronavirus?

Here’s a roundup of bonus data offers from the largest mobile and wireless companies in the US.

CompanyBonus service More info
AT&TFrom April 2 to May 13

  • Additional 15GB of hotspot data monthly for eligible plans
  • Unlimited home Internet data for all customers
  • Extra 10 GB per month for prepaid capped phone plans
  • Extra 10GB of mobile hotspot data per month for customers with an Unlimited Plus prepaid plan
More info
Cricket WirelessValid for two billing cycles

  • Voice and data plans capped at $30 and $40 a month get additional 10GB of mobile hotspot or smartphone data
  • Adds 10GB of data to Unlimited Cricket Core and Unlimited Cricket More Plans
  • All phones get temporary hotspots
More info
Metro by T-MobileFrom March 13 to May 11

  • All customers get unlimited data
  • Mobile hotspots get an extra 10GB of hotspot data
More info
ShentelFrom March 16 to April 30

  • Internet customers get an extra 250GB of data
More info
Sprint
  • Metered data plans get unlimited data for 60 days
  • Hotspot-capable devices get additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data
More info
T-Mobile From March 13 to May 11

  • All customers get unlimited smartphone data
  • Customers with mobile hotspot get an extra 10GB of hotspot data for two billing cycles

Through May 13

  • Adds 5G of data each month for Lifeline partners

Through May 13

  • Students and schools using EmpowerED get at least 20GB of data monthly
More info
U.S. Cellular
  • Unlimited Everyday or Even Better plans get additional 15GB of hotspot data
  • Extra data to all customers for speeds suitable for standard definition video quality
More info
VerizonFrom March 25 to April 30

  • Additional 15G of free data on all wireless plans
More info

Compare mobile and wireless providers

Name Product Data Minutes Texts Can I bring my own phone? Cell phone plans starting at:
AT&T
AT&T
Starting at 3 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$35
Shop online and AT&T will waive the activation fee and ship your phone for free. Upgraded plans include HBO and 15/30 GB mobile hotspots.
Verizon
Verizon
Starting at 500 MB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$30
Choose between several unlimited, shared and prepaid plans. Service members, nurses, first responders and teachers may be eligible for discounts.
Sprint
Starting at 2 GB
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$25
Get unlimited data, calls and text or a customized plan on a 5G network. Eligible plans come with Hulu, Amazon Prime or Tidal subscriptions.
T-Mobile
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$70
Unlimited talk, text and data for up to 5 lines at one flat price — taxes and fees included. Discounts available for military and those ages 55 years and older.
US Mobile
Starting at 100 MB
Starting at 40 minutes
Starting at 40 texts
Yes
$1.50
Pay as you go 30-day plans with options for unlimited talk and text starting at $10/month. Add 1GB of data or a mobile hotspot for $10 each per pay cycle.
Xfinity Mobile
Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited
Yes
$12
Choose to pay for data By the Gig or get Unlimited. Exclusively available for Xfinity Internet Customers.
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How to make the most of your bonus data

So you’ve got extra data, and you’re stuck at home. Take advantage of the bonus gigabytes by:

How are Internet providers responding to the coronavirus pandemic?

Some Internet companies have introduced special assistance measures to help customers affected by COVID-19 by relaxing bill pay requirements and even providing free hotspot access.

Here’s how AT&T, Spectrum and Xfinity — three of the largest Internet providers across the country — are handling the pandemic.

AT&T’s response to coronavirus

AT&T released a statement that it’ll waive fees and maintain service for customers for 60 days, starting on March 16. Those that qualify will have to prove economic hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This means:

  • It won’t terminate the Internet services of residential or small business customers.
  • It waives any late payment fees.
  • It waves domestic wireless plan overage charges for data, text and voice.
  • Its Wi-Fi hotspots are free and available to the public.

Spectrum’s response to coronavirus

Spectrum made the following commitment to its customers, valid for 60 days starting on March 16:

  • Free Wi-Fi hotspots are free and available to the public.
  • New customers that are students or teachers get free access to Internet and Wi-Fi for for 60 days.
  • It won’t terminate service for residential or small business customers who are dealing with financial hardship due to coronavirus.

Spectrum Internet Assist is a discounted package available year round for low-income customers.

Xfinity’s response to coronavirus

Xfinity by Comcast made the following commitments to its customers:

  • Low-income families that qualify for its discounted Internet Essentials program can sign up and get 60 days free — after that the regular rate is $9.95 monthly.
  • All customers will get free, unlimited data for 60 days.

Coronavirus assistance from your Internet provider

Here’s a list of some of the largest Internet providers across the US, with quick links to learn about their detailed response to the coronavirus pandemic.

ProviderContactMore info
AT&T Internet800-288-2020More info
Charter Spectrum833-267-6094More info
Comcast Xfinity 800-934-6489More info
Cox Communications800-234-3993More info
Dish Network800-333-3474More info
Frontier800-921-8101More info
Google Fiber866-777-7550More info
Mediacom855-633-4226More info
Sparklight (Cable One)877-692-2253More info
Suddenlink877-794-2724More info
Verizon Fios800-837-4966More info
Viasat844-702-3199More info
Wide Open West866-496-9669More info
Windstream800-347-1991 More info

Compare Internet providers

Name Product Prices Starting At Speeds Minimum Contract Bundles Unlimited Data
Verizon FIOS
$39.99 Monthly
100/100 - 940/880 MBPS
No Contract
Internet
Phone
TV
No
Upload, download and stream superfast on Verizon's 100% fiber-optic network. All bundles come with a 2-year price guarantee and $200 Visa prepaid gift card.
Cox Communications
$29.99 Monthly
10/1 - 1GB/35 MBPS
0 - 12 months
Internet
Phone
TV
Yes
Basic internet plans with a 1-year contract start at $29.99/month with download speeds of 10Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps. Upgrade to Panoramic Wi-Fi and get wall-to-wall internet coverage at home — prices vary.
AT&T Internet
$50 Monthly
100 - 1000 MBPS
12 months
Internet
TV
Yes
Fiber optic plans start at $50 for the first year, waive the rental fee for the Wi-Fi router and come with a $100 AT&T Reward Card when you order online.
Comcast XFINITY
$29.99 Monthly
15 - 1000 MBPS
13 months
Internet
Phone
TV
No
Internet plans start at $29.99/month and come with a 30-day money back guarantee. Internet and TV bundles start at $39.99/month and come with free installation.
Charter Spectrum
$44.99 Monthly
100 MBPS
12 months
Internet
Phone
TV
Yes
No data caps, free modem and free antivirus software for internet plans starting at $44.99/month. Customers who switch from another provider and get a Spectrum bundle qualify for a $500 contract buyout.
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Bottom line

Staying connected is important in times of uncertainty. If you’re worried about losing touch with friends or family, consider calling your cell phone or Internet provider to inquire about getting help.

And if you’re worried about paying your energy bills, learn about how utility companies are responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

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