On the heels of offering new, low-income Internet Essentials customers two months of free internet and raising the speed of that program’s service to 25/3 Mbps, Comcast–a mpls downtown council member and partner–today announced additional steps to help ensure people stay connected to the internet as more schools suspend classes and companies encourage employees to work from home due to the Coronavirus.

“During this extraordinary time, it is vital that as many Americans as possible stay connected to the internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer. “Our employees also live and work in virtually every community we serve, and we all share the same belief that it’s our Company’s responsibility to step up and help out.”

Comcast is taking steps to implement the following new policies for the next 60 days, and other important initiatives:

  • Xfinity WiFi Free For Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
  • Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, Comcast wants their customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans.  While the vast majority of their customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, they are pausing data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: They will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if they contact them and let them know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Their care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: As announced yesterday, it’s even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, 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.
  • News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, we’ve created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media.  Just say “education” into your X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, Comcast also created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus.  Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
  • 24×7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. They engineer their network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance our systems and network to ensure they are ready to support customer usage. Their engineers and technicians staff their network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. They are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.

Comcast also wants to share their announcement from yesterday that will help low-income Americans with internet access. Here are the main points of that announcement:

  •  Comcast will make it even easier for qualifying low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign up for Internet Essentials by offering new customers 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.
  •  Comcast is increasing Internet speeds for Internet Essentials service from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for all new and existing customers, which will be the speed of the service going forward. In this way, Comcast will ensure that Internet Essentials customers will be able to use their Internet service for all their increased needs as a result of this health crisis.
  • To sign up, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

For more information and updates from Comcast related to Coronavirus, visit:

http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19/

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