Guide to Internet Service during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

During the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is forced to stay at home and adopt maximum social distancing. Spending time in isolation is no joke, especially for teenagers; we all need to stay connected to our loved ones, school/college, or work.

For this purpose, we’re all relying on the Internet more than ever during this pandemic. We have done some research and accumulated everything you need to know about your Internet during the epidemic.

Can I get Affordable Internet during the COVID-19 outbreak?

Yes, you can get access to free of charge internet for up to 60 days during the COVID-19 pandemic. To access the free in-home Internet, you need to qualify for specific criteria like if you’re a student or you have a student living in your house, or you have a low-income internet program.

Check the following no-cost Internet provided by different internet service providers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Service provider: Altice Optimum

  • Service:  Internet up to 30Mbps
  • Who Qualifies:  New Customers with K-12 or college students in a household
  • Offer: Free Internet for the first two months
  • How to access it: Call 1-866-200-9522

Service provider: Altice Suddenlink

  • Service: Internet up to 30Mbps
  • Who Qualifies: New customer with K-12 or college students in a house
  • Offer: Free Internet for the first two months
  • How to get it: call 1-888-633-0030

Service provider: Charter Spectrum

  • Service: up to 100Mbps Internet with no installation fees
  • Who Qualifies: New customers with K-12 or college students in a house
  • Offer: Free Internet for the first 60 days
  • How to access it: call 1-844-488-8395

Service provider: Comcast Xfinity

  • Service: vital internet packages with speed up to 25Mbps
  • Who Qualifies: New Xfinity customers eligible to public assistance programs
  • Offer: Free Internet for the first 60 days
  • How to access it: Click Here

Service provider: Cox

  • Service: up to 15Mbps Internet through Connect2Compete program
  • Who Qualifies: New Cox customers with K-12 students in a household
  • Offer: Free Internet for the first month
  • How to get it: Click Here

Will my internet speed be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak?

The answer is obvious, yes, your internet speed might get affected by the new deadly disease. The reason behind it is also very evident, and it’s because everyone is staying in their homes trying to stay connected with the help of the Internet. More people are watching movies and calling their friends; most of us are working or learning from our homes. With all that traffic, your ISP’s network might face a traffic jam due to overcrowding that will result in speed issues of your home network.

If you have issues with your internet speeds, try to run some internet speed test that’ll help you see what speed you’re working with and what speed is promised by your ISP. If both the speeds are the same but still your internet speed is slow, then it’s probably an issue with your home network or outdated equipment. If your speed test shows less speed than the one promised by your ISP, it might be a good time for a new provider.

If I’m working from home, how much internet speed do I need?

That is entirely up to you; the speed you need to work from home ultimately depends on the number of devices in your home and how you use the Internet. In my opinion, the internet speed of 30Mbps is enough for you to work from home. Still, as I said earlier, it depends on how you use the Internet; for example, video calls with your colleagues will consume more Internet than emailing or texting your friends.

Will my internet service be shut off if I can’t pay my bill during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Luckily, the Federal Communications Commission has been working with different service providers to ensure no one loses the right to use the Internet if they don’t pay their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Up till now, more than 150 internet service providers have signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge to make sure you don’t lose access to your Internet, the internet service providers who have signed the pledge are obliged to follow these three points;

  • Not to terminate internet service for residential or small-business customers if they don’t pay their bills during the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Not to claim any late fees incurred if a residential or small-business customer does not pay his bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Open its public Wi-Fi hotspots to anyone who needs it.

Will my internet data cap stay the same during the COVID-19 outbreak?

The Federal Communications Commission’s chairman Ajit Pai has appealed that every ISP should relax their data caps due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the service providers are waiving data caps and overage charges until May. Until now, the following internet service providers have temporarily suspended their data caps;

  • AT&T
  • CenturyLink
  • Cox(until May 15)
  • Comcast Xfinity(until mid-May)
  • Mediacom(until May 15)
  • Sparklight(until mid-April)
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Can I switch internet companies during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, you can still switch from one internet service provider to another during the pandemic. To be honest now is the best time to check whether your current internet connection can keep with your online activities or not. If your existing internet connection cannot satisfy your online needs, try calling your provider for an upgrade. Upgrading the plan instead of switching providers might save you from hassles, and you may end up with a bargain.

If you’re still planning on switching your service provider, make sure to check that you’re not under a contract agreement with your current provider, or else you might get charged with some severe fines and termination fees.

On the other hand, most of the providers offer significant discounts to new customers too, it might be the right time to switch providers, and you might be able to install your new yourself.

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