June 20, 2024


Sapiens Digital

U.S. Carriers, ISPs Remove Data Caps During Coronavirus Outbreak

4 min read

Both wireless service and broadband internet are important, but they’re absolutely pivotal during the coronavirus outbreak as people need to communicate with family, friends, and co-workers. In response to the ongoing pandemic, several service providers are removing data caps for their customers. They’re prioritizing the ability to get online and online.

Some companies took immediate action earlier in the last week, and others are just now getting on-board with similar measures. It’s a good sign that carriers and internet service providers are agreeing to assist their customers as recommended in the ‘Keep Americans Connected Pledge’ introduced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Here’s what we know so far about what the major companies are doing.


Expect the nation’s largest carrier to remain prepared. Verizon announced it’s focused on public safety above all else, expecting a significant increase in terms of data usage. Yet the company doesn’t want anyone to be concerned. Given its size and available resources, Verizon feels confident that all customers should stay online throughout this global crisis.

Customers with Fios or 5G Home don’t need to worry about much. Verizon doesn’t restrict them with data caps to begin with. However, both residential and small business customers are free from late fees for the next 60 days. It sounds like Verizon will not turn off broadband internet for these customers while the coronavirus outbreak gets dealt with. So that’s a useful benefit if you’re located in an area where the disease has a stronger presence, and it also applies to customers with Verizon’s wireless service.

Further, the company’s Wi-Fi hotspots are open to all Americans during the same period.

Verizon has decided to accelerate its transition to 5G, too. It’ll allocate as much as an additional $1.5 billion toward the technology to “help support the economy during this period of disruption.” Customers with 5G-ready devices can latch onto the next-generation network today, and the increased investment should expand its coverage and reliability.


Late fees are deactivated, and AT&T committed to not terminate any of its services if customers are unable to pay immediately. Low-income households, meanwhile, can still sign up for ‘Access from AT&T’ to obtain wireless service for $10 per month.

AT&T also lifted data caps for customers with broadband internet, letting them get online without limitations. It’s important as many Americans are pushed out of their employers’ offices and into a work-from-home setting that requires a stable connection for several hours per day. AT&T’s broadband internet plans often charge sizeable overage fees, but they’re suspended as the Dallas-based company understands the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak and its ramifications.

Hotspots operated by AT&T are now open to the general public as well.


T-Mobile didn’t stop at the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and unleashed unlimited data on all plans for the next 60 days. Both T-Mobile and Metro customers also get 20B of mobile hotspot service per month, and international calls to select countries impacted by the coronavirus are free. Customers aren’t on the hook for late fees or at risk of terminated service, either.


Sprint, which should close on its merger with T-Mobile this spring, will also offer unlimited data to all customers and attach 20GB of mobile hotspot data. Additionally, this carrier decided to implement free international calling. Since they’re merging soon, Sprint and T-Mobile are rolling out identical benefits to their customers.

Late fees are waived, too. Sprint agreed to the FCC’s strategy that takes the pressure off customers who might experience illness or financial strain amid the coronavirus outbreak.


Comcast has opted to pause its 1TB data cap. Over the next 60 days, all Xfinity customers are getting unlimited broadband internet and don’t need to worry about late fees or termination of service if they miss a payment.

Wi-Fi hotspots, which Comcast offers throughout the United States, are open to all in need of a nearby wireless connection.

Xfinity customers with the Internet Essentials plan are getting two months of free broadband internet. Comcast is also raising data speeds to 25/3 megabits per second. New and existing customers on this plan will receive the free two months of access as well as Comcast’s upgraded downstream and upstream speeds.


Spectrum isn’t doing as much as other companies, but the Charter-owned brand knows its 29 million customers need reliable high-speed broadband internet. So it’ll offer free broadband internet and Wi-Fi access to households with students while also partnering with school districts to ensure classrooms can effectively go online. 

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