With coronavirus continuing to spread, schools, offices, malls, have been closed down. Different companies are encouraging their employees to work from home during coronavirus pandemic; hence, many people are choosing to remain at home. While that might be a great time for those who like the idea of self-isolation, for others, it is about social distancing to decrease the likelihood of getting infected. In this critical time, while stores and public places lose business, there is so much pressure on internet service providers and streaming services.
As more people have started staying home due to the coronavirus outbreak, internet service providers are in the data cap limelight once again. Hence, the question of data caps is being raised, so let’s take a look at how the carriers have responded.
In case you are a U.S. resident and you are currently using an unlimited data broadband plan, then know that you are unlikely to be affected by a data cap. While the story might be very different for other internet plan users. For instance, the most popular carriers AT&T and Comcast ensures to provide plans that come with a 1TB data cap in place.
It would not be wrong to say that this much data is enough for casual streamers and online gamers under normal circumstances. While on the other hand, during the Covid-19 when everyone is opting to stay at home so they don’t catch the virus. They will burn through a data cap like that more quickly than ever. Let’s just take Netflix as an example for a reference, if you stream SD video, you will end up burning through up to 1GB per hour. While Streaming TV shows or movies at HD will increase the hourly data usage rate up to 3GB.
Motherboard made an effort to raise this issue by reaching out to some of the largest broadband providers in the U.S. to suspend data caps during this time of public health crisis. It also highlighted that imposing unnecessary and expensive data caps is not a good idea at all and they should be removed in general. Well, it is still not confirmed whether broadband providers will consider removing data permanently, but here is how some providers have responded to it:
How ISPs Showed Concerned about the Ongoing Coronavirus Situation
Comcast and RCN are the first internet providers that have announced to remove respond data caps in response to the coronavirus pandemic. If you are RCN customer, you will certainly be happy to know that the company has confirmed it is removing data caps during the coronavirus pandemic. They have decided to do so as millions of Americans will stay at home to slow the rate of COVID-19 expansion. On top of that, top U.S. companies have even asked their employees to work from home in order to alleviate the spread of the coronavirus. This is the reason why RCN high-speed internet service provider has suspended the data caps during this time to facilitate people who will be working from home.
The broadband provider normally offers its customers the option to upgrade to the unlimited plan by paying an additional $30 per month. But, thankfully, the company has announced to waive the fee completely. While on the other hand, with Comcast, things are not so upfront. Rather than taking an initiative to totally suspend the Internet data cap, it has confirmed that it has taken the right steps to make its Internet Essentials program more accessible for its customers.
If you are wondering what this program is about, then know that it is especially designed for Americans who have low-income and typically costs $9.95 per month. However, Comcast has also decided to offer complimentary internet access for 60 days. Besides that, it has also augmented download and upload speeds from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for Comcast customers. If you have opted for the 1TB capped plan, then what you need to know is that the cap is not suspended and you will have to pay its overage fees.
Verizon has admitted that it’s primary aim during the coronavirus pandemic is to ensure that government agencies, first responders in public safety, and healthcare have access to networks. Verizon’s entire focus is on keeping homes and small businesses connected throughout the global crisis. Also, for the next 60 days, it is going to waive late fees.
Sprint has also announced that is going to offer unlimited data for 60 days. If you are a Sprint customer, here is good news for you that the carrier will also offer you an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month, that too for the same period (which means 60 days).
The carrier has also confirmed that it is going to waive late fees for late bill submission. In case, its customers are unable to pay their bill due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, rest assured that the company will not terminate services. That’s not it, Sprint customers with long-distance calling plans will be able to enjoy free international calling.
According to T-Mobile, it would be offering unlimited data on all its mobile plans for 60 days. It is also going to offer a mobile hotspot service with additional 20GB for the same duration. Besides that, it assured that it is not going to terminate a small business or residential services due to their inability to pay bills on time during the coronavirus pandemic.