Homes have suddenly converted to offices and schools, and in 2020 both of these require Internet connectivity. If you or someone you know has been looking for an affordable home internet or hotspot option to support work, school and entertainment demands, check out the resources below. It is important to remember that not all vendors are able to provide service in all geographic areas.
If you have an existing cellular provider, but currently do not have a data plan, check with your existing provider to see if they have a COVID-19 data plan available.
Local providers (telco and coop organizations) have not been included, but may also have great resources for home internet:
- Early in the outbreak, the FCC agreement worked with providers to support home users.
- AT&T COVID-19 response: Offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low-income families.
- CenturyLink COVID-19 response: Follows FCC agreement, will waive late fees due to financial circumstances associated with COVID-19, and will suspend data usage limits for consumer customers for 60 days.
- Comcast COVID-19 response: Offers free WiFi for 2 months to low-income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time.
- Mediacom COVID-19 response: Follows FCC agreement, offering complimentary access to all Mediacom Xtream Wi-Fi Hotspots for 60 days, and extending the pricing of Mediacom’s Access Internet 60 broadband service to new customers at $19.99 per month for the next 12 months.
- Mediacom also has its ongoing Connect2Compete program – $9.95/month.
- Sprint COVID-19 response: Follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile COVID-19 response: Follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- Verizon COVID-19 response: Follows FCC agreement, plus giving all mobile customers 15GB of extra data from March 25th through April 30th.
- US Cellular: Follows FCC agreement. Also announced changes to cell phone data plans to allow more favorable hotspot situations.
- Kajeet provides a hotspot with content filtering for K-12 students. Currently back-ordered due to high demand. Can work with 5 major carriers.
If you don’t have access to any of these home options, many areas are opening up wi-fi drive-up areas:
ImOn locations in Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Iowa City
MediaCom Xtream Hotspot locations across Iowa
Remember that your traffic could be accessed by other users when traveling over public wi-fi. Do not send sensitive files or transmissions over public wi-fi!