Low-Cost and Free Internet Access
Several companies throughout California are offering free or low-cost internet access to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.
|AT&T||AT&T is providing free access to its WiFi hotspots across the country.|
|California Connects||California Community Colleges students are eligible for this eligible for this mobile hotspot servicepowered by Sprint, which offers nationwide 4G LTE connectivity and allows users to connect up to 10 WiFi enabled devices for up to 10 hours on a single charge for only $19.99 a month.|
|Charter||Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi accessfor 60 days to households college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll call 1-844-488-8395. Additionally, all WiFi hotspots are now free of charge.|
|Comcast||Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, Comcast is offering two months of free to Internet service through the Internet Essentials program. This offer is available to new and existing customers. Additionally, Xfinity WiFi hotspots are now available free of charge to the public.|
|T-Mobile||T-Mobile is providing unlimited data to all current customers who have plans with data for the next 60 days. It will also provide additional data to mobile hotspot users.|
|Sprint||Sprint is providing unlimited data for 60 days to customers with metered data plans and giving 20 GB of free mobile hotspot to customers with hotspot-capable devices.|
|Verizon||Verizon is waiving late fees and suspending service termination for customers negatively impacted by the global crisis.|
For the next 60 days, AT&T will not terminate service for any wireless, home phone, or broadband residential or small business customer due to inability to pay.
They will also do the following:
- Waive late payment fees.
- Keep their public Wi-Fi hotspots open for anyone who needs them.
- The service will also be offering unlimited internet data and offer internet access for limited income households at $10 a month through the Access from AT&T program.
- The company is opening their Xfinity WiFi network for free along with providing unlimited data. To help people stay connected with school and work, Comcast is opening up their Xfinity WiFi network for everyone, as well as: Hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free, including non-subscribers. You can find a map of hot spots view hotspot map. Just use “xfinitywifi” network name and launch a browser.
- Data plans will be paused for 60 days, which will give all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.
- No late disconnects or late fees for those who contact the company about not being able to pay their bill.
- Internet Essentials, their broadband adoption program, is free to new customers
Verizon Free WiFi
Verizon also took the pledge and is offering similar services:
- The company will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
- Waiving late fees for those impacted by COVID-19
- Tripling data allowance for Verizon Innovative Learning schools
Charter Spectrum Free WiFi
Charter is offering similar services during the coronavirus pandemic. As of March 16, the company will offer:
- Free spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don't have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
- Open Wi-Fi hotspots
Sprint has joined the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and is opening up their network to their customers and:
- Won’t terminate service if customers are unable to pay due to coronavirus issues
- Waive late fees caused by economic disturbances related to the coronavirus pandemic
- By 3/17: Customers with international long-distance plans will get complimentary international calling rates from the U.S. to countries defined by the CDC as Level 3.
- By 3/19: Customers with metered data plans will have unlimited data per month for 60 days at no extra cost
- Customers will get an extra 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days.
- Coming soon: Customers with mobile hotspot-capable handsets without a hotspot will get 20GB per month for 60 days at no extra cost.
The wireless provider already has a majority of customers with unlimited talk, text, and data, but they’re doubling down on their effort to keep their customers connected.
- All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have data plans will have unlimited smartphone data, excluding roaming.
- T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers will get an additional 20GB of mobile hotspots/tethering service for the next 60 days. The company says this feature will be coming soon.
- Work with Lifeline partners to get customers extra free data up to 5GB per month over the next two months
- Increase data allowance for free to schools and students for the next 60 days, which means at least 20GB of data per month for each participant
California Connects Mobile Internet
Inspired by the original digital literacy program, California Connects Mobile Internet aims to close the broadband gap in California and nationwide. California Connects includes a mobile hotspot that lets you stay connected to the internet in school, at home, and on the go. The new mobile hotspot service, powered by Sprint, offers nationwide 4G LTE connectivity and allows users to connect up to 10 Wi-Fi enabled devices for up to 10 hours on a single charge, no contract required.
Users pay $19.99 for every month thereafter with no throttling, suspension, or overage charges.*
Federal Communications Commission - Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.
The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.
The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.
For more information visit: https://www.fcc.gov/acp