In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many internet service providers have agreed to continue providing service to customers regardless of their ability to pay (per the FCC Keep Americans Connected pledge), while others have taken their action a step further and are removing data caps during this trying time. Learn which internet providers are offering unlimited data so that that’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about while working from home, video conferencing over Zoom, and binge-watching shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime. And if you need to switch internet providers, check out our list of the top plans with unlimited data.
This guide includes COVID-19 response measures from the following internet service providers:
- Charter Spectrum
All internet and cell phone providers who signed the FCC Keep Americans Connected pledge agreed to:
- Avoid terminating service because of a customer’s inability to pay.
- Waive any late fees that customers may incur related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Open WiFi hotspots to the public.
This pledge, which was signed on March 13, 2020, was only good for 60 days, so ended May 12, 2020. However, the FCC then extended this pledge, which ended on June 30.
How Cell Phone Carriers Are Responding to COVID-19
In addition to signing the FCC Pledge, cell phone carriers, such as Verizon and AT&T, have taken extra steps to provide financial relief during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Learn more about what these carriers are doing to help you stay connected during this stressful time.
Comcast has signed the FCC pledge and committed to offering unlimited data to all Xfinity customers until June 30, 2020. It doesn’t appear that Comcast has extended the unlimited data offer.
However, Comcast Internet Essentials (for low-income households) customers will receive two months of service free, then the plan will cost $9.95/month after that. On June 19, Comcast extended the free two-month offer through the end of 2020. Comcast has also permanently increased Comcast Internet Essentials speeds to 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload to accommodate families working and going to school at home. Lastly, Comcast has made Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country available to anyone who needs them, regardless of whether they have an Xfinity internet plan or not.
On March 16, Cox committed to giving all customers unlimited data for the next 60 days, so until May 15, 2020. Cox hasn’t yet extended that time period. Other ways Cox has responded to COVID-19 include:
- Automatically upgrading residential customers on Starter, StraightUp Internet, and Connect2Compete packages to 50Mbps.
- Automatically upgrading Essential customers from 30Mbps to 50Mbps.
- Offering free Connect2Compete service (low-cost internet for families with a student at home) until July 15.
- Offering free support calls and desktop support through Cox Complete Care until July 15.
In addition to signing the FCC pledge agreeing not to suspend internet service, CenturyLink also suspended data use limits for customers until June 30. This ISP has not yet released information related to extending this deadline.
All AT&T home internet customers, including AT&T Fiber and AT&T Internet, will have access to unlimited data through September 30, 2020—this means no data overage charges for any AT&T internet customers.
The good news for Spectrum customers is that Spectrum’s internet plans already include unlimited data. As with many other providers, Charter Communications also signed the FCC pledge and will not terminate service and will open up nation-wide WiFi hotspots for everyone to use.
Mediacom lifted all customer data caps through June 30, and new customers who signed up for Mediacom’s Access Internet 60 plan were able to get it for $19.99/month for one year (reduced from $29.99/month). Mediacom also raised the speeds for their low-income service, Connect2Compete, to 25Mbps download and 3Mbps upload.
Sparklight, who originally only made unlimited data available until April 12, extended that pledge until June 30. In addition to the conditions of the FCC pledge, Sparklight also made a cheap internet plan available—15Mbps speeds for $10/month until May 18. Sparklight hasn’t made any further announcements related to additional COVID-19 relief measures.
Starry’s service doesn’t include data caps so customers already get to enjoy unlimited data. In response to COVID-19, Starry committed to making Starry Connect, an affordable broadband program, free through May. They have also signed the FCC pledge.
Plans offered by Charter Spectrum, Starry, Frontier, EarthLink, Optimum, Winstream, and RCN all already include unlimited data so you don’t have to worry about reaching your data cap.
Frontier’s internet service also doesn’t offer any data caps so Frontier customers can continue to take advantage of unlimited data at home. Otherwise, Frontier hasn’t made any additional announcements in response to the novel coronavirus.
Like Frontier and several other providers, EarthLink’s internet plans already include unlimited data and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Earthlink also signed the FCC pledge.
Optimum, who signed the FCC pledge, doesn’t include data caps on their plans. Plus, they offered free previews of select networks, including On Demand and live shows and movies until April 30, and free Showtime and HBO until May 14.
Windstream is another internet provider that already offers unlimited data with all of their plans.
All of RCN’s plans already include unlimited data—additionally, RCN signed the FCC pledge and committed to providing free WiFi and internet to all eligible low-income households until June 5.
Switch Internet Providers
If your internet provider isn’t on this list or is only offering unlimited for a short period of time, you may want to consider switching to a plan that doesn’t have a data cap. You may be surprised to learn that not all unlimited data plans are expensive. In fact, plans start as low as $29.99/month for high-speed internet and unlimited data. Check out some popular plans below: