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Late fees waived, free Wi-Fi hot spots and more offered by cellphone providers in response to COVID-19

Michigan school district requiring students to lock up cell phones during classes
Posted at 6:38 AM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 07:39:06-04

Major cellphone carriers appear to be complying with the Federal Communications Commission's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" as most mainstream providers released their response to COVID-19.

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

By Saturday, many more companies fulfilled the pledge and released what they will do to relieve stress for its customers within the next 60 days.

AT&T pledged to do the following for its customers:

  • 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 our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.

If you are unable to pay your bill, AT&T askes that customers call 800-288-2020.

T-Mobile pledged to do the following for its customers:

  • Offering free international calling for all T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers to level 3 impacted countries
  • 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 by T-Mobile customers an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot / tethering service for the next 60 days – coming soon.
  • Working with our 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 our EmpowerED digital learning programs to ensure each participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days.

Sprint pledged to do the following for its customers:

  • Not terminating service if they are unable to pay their Sprint bill because of the coronavirus, and
  • Waiving late fees incurred because of economic circumstances related to the pandemic.
  • Customers with metered data plans will receive unlimited data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost.
  • We will 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.
  • Customers with mobile hotspot-capable handsets who don’t have mobile hotspot today will now get 20GB as well per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost.

Verizon Wireless pledged to do the following for its customers:

  • The company will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
  • Verizon offers its customers a variety of wireless and home broadband plans, as well as a suite of global IP-network services. Verizon does not have data caps on its Fios home, 5G Home and DSL home broadband services, or on its wireline business broadband services. Most of the company’s wireless customers are on unlimited wireless plans. Customers who are not are encouraged to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots whenever available. Wi-Fi connections do not count against a customer’s data usage.
  • The company is pledging to use the power of connectivity now to help keep the nation’s economy moving forward. Equally important, it’s focused on the future, beyond this current crisis, as reflected in Verizon’s announcement yesterday that the company is increasing its capital investment guidance from $17 to $18 billion to $17.5 to $18.5 billion in 2020.