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Spectrum will give students free internet for 60 days

Published Mar 17th, 2020 6:35PM EDT
Coronavirus impact
Image: John Raoux/AP/Shutterstock

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  • Corporate America is increasingly stepping up to help consumers as the coronavirus crisis continues to pummel the country and keep many people stuck hunkering down at home.
  • Charter Communication’s Spectrum unit has announced that it will offer 60 days of free internet service for households that have at least one K-12 and/or college student at home.
  • Internet connectivity is more important now than ever, as it’s the main way most people are getting news updates about the virus — which has now infected more than 5,000 Americans — as well as how they’re performing their jobs and schoolwork as organizations increasingly shift to remote-work situations.
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internet connectivity has never been more important to most people than it is right now, given that hunkering down at home and quarantining to ride out the spread of the coronavirus means people are depending on their Internet connections for everything from news updates to being able to work from home.

It’s not just professionals and people with jobs who are increasingly shifting to a remote-work scenario in light of the coronavirus crisis, however. Schoolchildren, as well as high school and college students, are increasingly seeing their classes canceled outright or shifted to remote, online options. This is why Charter Communication’s Spectrum unit has decided to offer assistance to families specifically with those students in mind.

The Internet provider has announced that, for 60 days, it will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access to households with K-12 and/or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Moreover, that free package extends to any service level up to 100 Mbps.

All you have to do to enroll is call 1-844-488-8395, and installation fees will be waived for new student households.

Charter says it will also partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely. Additionally, Charter is opening up Wi-Fi hotspots across its footprint for public use, and the company says it will continue to offer its Spectrum Internet Assist, high-speed broadband program to eligible low-income households delivering speeds of 30 Mbps.

Charter’s network already ensures that more than 29 million customers including government offices, first responders, health care facilities, and businesses across 41 states can maintain connectivity. “The network is built to sustain maximum capacity during peak usage,” according to the company, “which is typically in the evenings, so a surge during the day would be well within the network’s capabilities to manage. Charter will continue to closely monitor this dynamic situation, and is well-prepared to continue delivering reliable connectivity.”

On a related note, a number of wireless carriers in the US last week signed on to the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge, which includes several dozen major wireless carriers like AT&T as well as Internet service providers like Comcast. The idea is to commit to maintaining service and waiving late fees for customers who have trouble paying because of the coronavirus crisis.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.