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Communication is important in every facet of our lives in the best of times, and even more so in uncertain times like those we are facing today. As people around the world remain at home to prevent the spread of a global pandemic staying connected for telework, telehealth, remote learning, and family check-ins is more essential than ever.

While we stand united in our solitude, the Commonwealth’s cable and broadband industry stands united in its mission to keep us connected through the Coronavirus emergency according to Timothy O. Wilkerson, president, the New England Cable and Telecommunications, Inc (NECTA). Steps being taken by NECTA’s member companies in Massachusetts include expanded access to low-income broadband packages, free WiFi hotspots, and ratification of consumer protection policies. Dubbed as “essential” telecommunications workers are on the job to ensure continued service to all.

As local carriers step up to help minimize disruptions, here is what some providers are doing for their customers:

AT&T – is waiving fees on late payments, making public WiFi available to all, and allowing unlimited data on home service.

Boost Mobile – is offering complementary international calling rates for some countries, expanding data plans for all, and waiving reactivation fees.

Charter Communications  (Spectrum) – is offering free access to spectrum broadband and WiFi for new k-12 and college student households.

Comcast (Xfinity) – is offering free WiFi hotspots, free unlimited data, and commits to helping low-income families stay connected.

Cox – is eliminating data usage overage through mid-May, waiving fees on late payments, and upgrading services for those who qualify to 50 Mbps through May 15.

Sprint – is offering free international calling to designated countries, waiving fees on late payments, and next day shipping for all orders from sprint.com.

T-Mobile – is waiving fees on late payments, giving customers who qualify unlimited data through May 13, and giving an extra 20 GB of hotspot data.

Verizon Wireless – is offering free international calling to specified countries, waiving activation and upgrade fees, and giving an extra 15 GB of hotspot data.

The list above is only a partial list of Massachusetts providers. Contact your telecommunications provider to see what they are offering, and check their Coronavirus update webpages often for the latest information.

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