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Internet providers arrange to assist Southland students

In wake of school closures

OW Staff Writer | 3/20/2020, midnight

As many Southland educational institutions have closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a pair of internet providers have announced plans to provide free internet to households with students.

Charter and Comcast announced that they would offer 60 days of complimentary broadband to homes with K-12 or college students.

For households that do not already have a subscription, Charter said that beginning this week, it will provide free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi up to 100 Mbps, and that installation fees will be waived.

The company also said it will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of the offer, and that for eligible low-income households with school-aged children, it would continue to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps. It also pledged to open its Wi-Fi hotspots for public use without data caps or hidden fees.

Comcast, meanwhile, will waive fees for its Internet Essentials service to low-income households, President of Consumer Services Dana Strong said in a written statement.

Strong also said that the company will increase internet speed for the service from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps for both new and existing customers, and that the service will continue at that speed from now on. He said the new speeds are expected to be rolled out nationally beginning this week.

New Comcast customers will be sent a self-install kit that includes a cable modem with a Wi-Fi router, he said.

To enroll for Charter's service, call (844) 488-8395; for Comcast's, (855) 846-8376 for English speakers or (855) 765-6995 for Spanish speakers, or go to www.internetessentials.com.