All major US phone carriers have pledged to keep customers connected to their mobile lines even if they can’t pay their bills during the coronavirus outbreak.
FCC chairman Ajit Pai introduced a pledge (opens in new tab) on March 13 that Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and other providers have affirmed, bringing the total to 185 providers according to a news release (opens in new tab).
The FCC's Keep Americans Connected Pledge asks signees to help customers in three ways for at least the next 60 days: not cut off service to residential or small business customers who can’t pay their bills due to coronavirus disruptions, waive late fees incurred due to outbreak conditions, and open Wi-Fi hotspots to “any American who needs them.”
- Self-isolating? Here's how to use your library's apps for free ebooks and audiobooks
- Uber Eats offers free delivery across the US during outbreak
- The best Verizon Wireless plans in March 2020
- See all the best cell phone plans available right now
The specifics: carrier by carrier
AT&T (opens in new tab), Verizon (opens in new tab), and Sprint (via a tweet (opens in new tab) from CEO Michel Combes) have all publicly affirmed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, while AT&T and Verizon’s enterprise arm have also extended this claim to small business broadband, according to Android Police (opens in new tab).
T-Mobile (opens in new tab) also affirmed the pledge, but is also extending its plans’ data allowances: limited data plans on T-Mobile or Metro will get boosted to unlimited, customers using tethering and mobile hotspots will get 20GB of additional data, and low-income Lifeline plans get 5GB of more data.
Meanwhile, Mint Mobile customers will get free unlimited data through April 14, though they’ll need to navigate through the Mint Mobile app’s settings to buy more data in 3GB chunks - which will be refunded ASAP, according to Android Police.
- Working from home: everything to know about setting up a home office