Low-cost options for high-speed Internet services will be offered to Alabama students and low-income populations hit hardest by the closures and other impacts from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Alabama Cable and Broadband Association.
Charter Spectrum and Comcast are providing services at reduced costs or at no cost for the next 60 days. In some cases, the providers are increasing upload and download speeds for all customers going forward.
“Alabama’s cable providers are also coordinating with our local governmental and non-profit organizations across the state to make sure we have the highest awareness of these broadband options along those most affected by the COVID-19 preparations,” said Michelle Roth, executive director with the Alabama Cable and Broadband Association.
She recommended people to check with their local cable provider if they are unclear on options for student and low-income access.
-Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and WiFi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
-Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
-Charter will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely.
-For eligible low-income households without school-aged children, Charter continues to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, which is a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps.
-Charter will open its WiFi hotspots across its Alabama service area for public use.
-Xfinity WiFi hotspots will also be free. For a map, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi.
-Comcast is pausing data plans for 60 days giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.
-Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s Internet or access late fees if they contact the company and let them know that they can’t pay their bills during this period.
-New customers will get 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95 per month. Additionally, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. There is no additional fee and it becomes the new base speed going forward.
Effective Monday for residents in the Beam service area in East Alabama, the following applies:
-Beam will partner with school districts to ensure the capability to learn remotely.
-Beam will partner with housing authority officials to accommodate their tenants with Internet service.
-Beam will offer free 50 Mbps Internet services for 30 days for ne customers with households including K-12 and/or college students who do not have current service. Call for details to sign up. Installation fees for these services will be waived for new customers meeting the above criteria. A valid school ID or proof of K-12 children in household is required.
AL.com is offering a free service so you can receive the most urgent coronavirus updates on your cell phone. To sign up, subscribe to Alabama Coronavirus Urgent Alerts. You can follow our coronavirus live updates here.
- The Year the Internet Thought I Was MacKenzie Bezos – WIRED
- Easy ways to get the fastest internet connection possible in your home – Komando
- Elon Musk says Starlink internet private beta to begin in roughly three months, public beta in six – TechCrunch
- Verizon is canceling home internet installations during the pandemic – The Verge
- Ethiopia’s internet shutdowns are disrupting millions of lives – Quartz Africa
- How to check if your service provider is throttling your internet – CNET
- 8 charts on internet use around the world as countries grapple with COVID-19 – Pew Research Center
- How to boost your home internet speeds while you’re stuck at home: Tech Support – Yahoo Money
- Welcome (Back) to the Appointment Internet – New York Magazine