Comcast extends COVID-19 policies, but balks at adding residential hotspots

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Comcast  will extend its relaxation of policies  for Xfinity customers through June 30.  The company cited the need to ensure students can finish out the school year from home and remain connected to the internet during the COVID-19 crisis.

The measures stop short of demands by three U.S. senators that the company expand its WiFi network to reach noncustomers who may not have the  funds for its basic Internet access program.

Comcast’s WiFi hotspots are often commercial areas away from residences. In other cases, the hotspots operate in businesses that are now closed.  The company has shown a reluctance to move hotspots into residential areas, citing technical issues such as potential congestion and a slowdown of Internet speeds. 

In northern Delaware, Comcast rival Verizon worked with New Castle County government to add WiFI hotspots outside county libraries.

WhyFly, an internet provider in  the Wilmington area opened five hotspots during the coronavirus crisis. See post below:

Originally announced on March 13, Comcast made the following policies that will now be extended into the summer:

  • No Disconnects and Waiving Late Fees: We will not disconnect a customer’s Xfinity Internet, Xfinity Mobile, or Xfinity Voice service, and we will waive late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills during this period. Our care teams are available to offer flexible payment options or help find other solutions.
  • Xfinity WiFi Free for Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots in business and outdoor locations 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.
  • Pausing  Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans to give all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • Internet Essentials: Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest  broadband adoption program. We are extending our offer of 60 days of complimentary service for new customers through June 30. Internet Essentials is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month.

“These extended measures will continue to keep Americans safe and ensure that households are equipped for students to learn and stay informed at home as the nation copes with this unprecedented disruption to our daily lives,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer. “Our services have never been more important, and we’re doing everything we can to keep people connected to the internet.”

For more information  visit:

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

Comcast employs 1,000 people in Delaware.

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