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COVID-19 and Internet and cellphone services

Produced by Greater Boston Legal Services and Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed March 31, 2020

If you cannot pay your bill because of COVID-19, many internet and cell phone companies will not stop your service. They have also agreed: 

  • not to charge you late fees, and
  • to open wi-fi hotspots to people who need them.  

Some companies also offer 60 days of free service to new customers.  Lifeline companies are giving people more services than usual because of COVID-19. Find out if you can get Lifeline.   See a list of extra COVID-19 benefits companies are offering.  

See if your provider is one of the companies who are helping in this emergency  

Talk to your provider if you cannot keep up with your bill.  If your phone or internet gets shut off, call Greater Boston Legal Services, Consumer Rights Unit: 617-603-1671. Leave a message.

Internet Service

Comcast is offering the following for free:

  • WiFi network free for everyone - see www.xfinity.com/wififor a map of hotspots
  • Unlimited data for its customers.
  • No disconnects or late fees for customers. Contact them and let them know you are having trouble.
  • Internet Essentials free to new customers: Low-income families who live in a Comcast service area can sign-up for Internet Essentials. New customers will get 60 days of free Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. For all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.

AT&T is offering its WiFi hotspots free for anyone to use around the country for 60 days, as of March 13.

Spectrum offers 2  free months of internet and WiFi services to new customers in households with Pre-K to 12 or college students who need remote education. The discount will be applied as a credit for your first 2 months of internet services. They waive any installation or pre-payment fees to help get you started. Make sure you read the fine print.

You can qualify for this offer if you:

  • Have a student of qualifying age at your service address with remote education needs
  • Have not subscribed to our internet services within the past 30 days

Call 1-855-243-8892 to sign up for this offer. 

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