A global pandemic has forced the entire world to shut down and now, most of us are just finding ways to kill time before the emergency is over. To make lives easier, many online services are providing extra services to their customers. Netflix decreased the quality of their streaming to accommodate more people and Microsoft and Sony have upgraded their gaming facilities.
One more company that has been added to the list of providing additional benefits for quarantine is Verizon. The spokespeople have stated that it is now adding 15 GB of high-speed data to wireless plans for all the users automatically.
Furthermore, the service has also waived overage charges and late fees for users who are restricted to their houses. The subscription charges for internet and voice services on Lifeline plan have also been waived and they are reinstating the pledge of free international calling of consumer wireless and home voice customers to CDC-level3 countries
Their efforts are being appreciated by many as the global crisis means that many people cannot go out and work so paying bills this month might be difficult.
“We understand the hardships that many of our customers are facing, and we’re doing our part to ensure they have broadband internet connectivity during this unprecedented time,” said Verizon Consumer Group CEO Ronan Dunne. “With so many Americans working and learning remotely from home, having access to reliable and affordable internet is more important than ever before.”
These changes have come after the Federal Communications Commission issued a 60-day Keep Americans Connected Pledge. It asks the internet service providers in the United States to not cancel data plans of the users who are unable to pay the charges for the next two months.
A further request for waiving late fees was made for residential and small business customers due to the pandemic. The pledge also stated that companies should suspend data caps and fees for long-distance calls and ensure that accessible public Wifi hotspots are installed for “any American who needs them.”
So following he orders, Verizon consumers and small business customers will now get additional 15 GBs in their plans that can be used to connect multiple devices. This practice will be observed from March 25th to April 30th tentatively. Also, the users that have access to Verizon unlimited service will be provided with 15GB of 4G LTE hotspot data so streaming and other online activities become easier.
One thing that Version has left out from the pledge is the removal of data caps for mobile customers. Yes, they are waiving the charges but if you have a data cap, you might need to contact their services to get the incurred overage fees waived. Verizon said that “most of the company’s wireless customers are on unlimited wireless plans,” and notes that customers who aren’t are “encouraged to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots whenever available” as Wi-Fi connections don’t count against data usage.
Other internet services are also working on their plans to align it with the pledge. Comcast said that it will follow the rule of suspending internet data cap and waive overage fees for home internet customers for 60 days. FCC Chairman, Ajit Patil showed his satisfaction with the response from the service providers and said that they are doing the best they can.