Web Services Lift Data Caps During Virus Outbreak
Web Services Lift Data Caps during Virus Outbreak
“Bring out yer dead! Bring out yer dead!”, the town coroner yells as he and his assistants drag the corpse wagon through the streets. Citizens bring out the latest plague (virus) victims, and the coroner’s crew loads them onto the wagon. The dead were primarily elderly, smokers, diabetics, and others with compromised respiratory systems.
Societal and government reaction has taken its own casualties. To isolate the virus, we’ve been asked to practice ‘social distancing’. Countless businesses have closed their doors or begun operating with skeleton staffs. Some sports leagues have cancelled games and even championship tournaments, Restaurants have closed their in-house service areas. Some public officials have even declared what amounts to martial law, imposing ‘sheltering in place’ by force.
How Has the Broadband Industry Responded?
Because of this forced isolation, demand for broadband service has skyrocketed. The market might have adapted by offering special waivers on its own. Officialdom, though, wouldn’t wait to find out. Seventeen U.S. Senators sent a letter to the CEOs of the eight largest web systems, demanding suspension of data caps, throttling, and overage fees until the crisis ends.
Most ISPs agreed to the demands. AT&T led the way. On March 12, Ma Bell system announced that, for the duration of the crisis, it will suspend broadband data limits for its residential web customers. An AT&T spokesman told Motherboard: “Many of our AT&T internet customers already have unlimited home internet access, and we are waiving internet data overage for the remaining customers.”
Within a few days, almost all other major providers followed AT&T’s example. On March 14, T-Mobile announced that it will lift the caps on all data plans for sixty days. Sprint then announced that it will lift data caps and provide up to 20 GB of mobile hotspot data. Comcast said it will lift all data caps for its Xfinity customers, won’t charge late fees, and won’t terminate service for a missed payment. Charter Spectrum said it will open hotspots for public use, and for households with high school or college students without Spectrum broadband subscriptions, will give sixty days of free broadband service for any tier up to 100 MBS.
UPDATE: For their video customers, Charter and AT&T are offering free previews of Showtime and other premium channels. Both companies will maintain the offer until the virus outbreak fizzles out.
What Does This Mean for You?
This could be the best possible time to sign up for new internet or video service. You’re unlikely to see offers like this again. Act before the virus panic ends, and the best offers go away.
To get the best deals, shop with Satellite Country. We represent all major providers, so we can give you objective advice about what works best for you.
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