US wireless carriers are responding to the coronavirus epidemic with measures that’ll help their customers during this difficult time. The steps are designed to ease the financial burden of those affected by the outbreak. They also make it easier for people to work from home.
The wireless carriers are following the “Keep Americans Connected” pledge proposed last week by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. The commitment asks carriers to adhere to consumer-friendly rules for the next 60 days.
As part of the pledge, carriers agree to waive late fees, not to disconnect customers, and to open Wi-Fi hotspots to increase the connectivity options available to customers.
AT&T Coronavirus Assistance
AT&T announced it will keep Wi-Fi hotspots open to the public and will extend unlimited data to its home internet wireline and fixed wireless internet customers. It also will waive all late fees for the next 60 days and will not terminate service for wireless, phone, broadband, or small business customers who fall behind on their bills. As of the writing of this post, AT&T has not closed its retail stores.
Verizon Coronavirus Assistance
For the next 60 days, Verizon will not terminate the accounts of residential or small business customers who are unable to pay their bills due to a coronavirus-related hardship. It also will waive all late fees. Verizon said most customers already subscribe to an unlimited plan but is encouraging those on metered service to use Wi-Fi hotspots when available.
T-Mobile Coronavirus Assistance
Effective March 15, T-Mobile is closing all of its stores located in a shopping mall until further notice. Current T-Mobile and Metro customers will have unlimited data and can make free international calls to coronavirus-afflicted countries on the CDC’s Level 3 impacted list. The company will soon roll out 20GB of free mobile hotspot service to all its consumers for the next 60 days.
Sprint Coronavirus Assistance
Sprint is adding 20GB of mobile hotspot data to customer’s accounts and giving all of its customers unlimited data for the next 60 days. Customers with international calling plans will be able to call people in CDC level 3 countries for free.