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Comcast announces free WiFi, pausing data plans amid COVID-19

CHICAGO (WREX) — One internet provider is helping make sure you are able access the internet.

Comcast announced multiple initiatives to help ensure people are able to access the internet and not get charged for it.

“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.”

Here are the following policies which will be in place for the next 60 days:

  • 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 Data Plans: With so many people working and educating from home, Comcast says they want their customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. Comcast says while the vast majority of customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, they are pausing our data plans for 60 days giving all customers Unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees: Comcast 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. Comcast says care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
  • News, Information and Educational Content on X1 and Flex: For those with school-age students at home, Comcast has 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 says they've also have created a collection of the most current news and information on Coronavirus. Just say “Coronavirus” into your X1 or Flex voice remote.
  • 24x7 Network Monitoring: Underpinning all of these efforts, Comcast’s technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support our network operations. Comcast says they engineer their network capacity to handle spikes and shifts in usage patterns, and continuously test, monitor and enhance their 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. Comcast says they are monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.
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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University. He also been a producer and Assignment Editor at the station.

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