The Coronavirus disease was first identified in Wuhan, the capital city of Hubei Province in Central China in 2019 but soon started to spread exponentially and was declared as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. Since its outbreak in December 2019, this possibly-lethal virus has affected many nations around the globe including the US where it has infected more than seven thousand people and taken 97 innocent lives up till March 2020.
Around the US, all public and private institutions were flummoxed by the sudden outbreak of Covid-19 that has led to an abrupt shutdown of all economic and social institutions including businesses for an indefinite period, leaving people sequestered at home.
As the nationwide infection rate continues to shoot up, the public health requirement for social distancing and self-isolation has forced entrepreneurs to work from home and operate their businesses remotely via the internet to fight the pandemic.
An increase in the number of enterprises operating from home has simultaneously led to an unprecedented rise in the demand for data networks as entrepreneurs need to stay online constantly to manage business operations such as holding meetings, collaborating with team-workers and delegating tasks by using various online platforms.
The question however is: Are the internet services successfully pulling through the record surges in web-traffic that they are currently facing?
Managing an enterprise from home is hard, but it becomes even harder when the blinking lights on your router keep turning red from green, and that’s what requires you to have reliable, fast and economical internet service so that you can lead your business lucratively during the time of the pandemic.
Internet Services Decide to Do Good for the State during the Rampant Spread of Coronavirus
If you are an entrepreneur trying to prevent your business from taking a nosedive during this dark time, then you’ll be a little relieved to know that some of the best internet services are drastically changing the way they do their business to give some solace to the people who require internet access.
AT&T internet is one of the top 5 ISPs in the US and offers DSL, fiber and fixed wireless internet access to millions of residents across 21 states. Amid Coronavirus pandemic, AT&T was the first service provider that announced to suspend data caps for broadband internet users who are working from home since millions of entrepreneurs and employees are forced to stay at home to mitigate the escalation of Corona virus.
As per the original policy of the company, some home-based AT&T users that had monthly internet subscriptions came with an abundant data limit up to 1TB that is followed by a fair overage fee, which is incurred by customers if in case they go over the cap on rare instances.
However, to facilitate work-from-home policies, Xfinity declared to remove broadband data caps, extra fees, and throttling so that all customers including entrepreneurs, students, and the overall general public can have unlimited access to the Xfinity internet and they can function smoothly during this extremely patchy time.
Moreover, Xfinity has pledged not to terminate even a single connection even if customers fail to pay their internet bills for 60 days during this exasperating time of economic and financial instability.
Apart from this, Xfinity also announced to keep its innumerable public Wi-Fi hotspots open to everyone to ensure that all businesses and institutions operating from home have access to a widespread yet seamless internet connection.
After AT&T’s announcement, various other leading Internet Service Providers followed suit and made amendments to their existing policies to ensure reliability of services, network availability and seamless performance for millions of stranded businesspersons.
On 16th of March, 2020, Cox released a statement about eliminating data overage charges for the next two months and offering credits to customers with a 500GB or unlimited plan. Moreover, it was stated that all new customers who subscribe to the Cox Starter Internet plan will be permitted to sign up for the service without a yearly contract and will get 50 Mbps download speeds.
Furthermore, just like AT&T, Cox has pledged that it won’t cancel internet subscription of any residential or small business users and will open its Wi-Fi hotspot network for everyone to meet the growing needs of internet connectivity due to the pandemic.
Mediacom Communications, the fifth-largest cable provider in the US has also ceased monthly broadband data blocks across all service tiers until the 15th of May, 2020.
It was also announced on March 16th that new customers can subscribe to Mediacom’s Access Internet 60 broadband service for $19.00/mo. for 12 months instead of $29.99/mo. for 12 months so that people working from home can switch their connection easily if they aren’t satisfied with the current service.
Additionally, Mediacom also declared to make its Wi-Fi hotspots publicly available, waive overage fees and tolerate late bill payments for the upcoming 60 days allowing entrepreneurs to focus on their business rather than worrying about service cancellation or internet bills.
Amid all major ISPs making changes to their policies and infrastructure to support the work-from-home policies of innumerable companies due to Corona virus spread, CenturyLink—the third-largest DSL internet provider in the US has also jumped on the bandwagon and pledged to suspend monthly data allowances, defer late fees and not to the cut-off internet connection of any household or small business customers in these dire times for the upcoming 60 days.
Together We Will Survive!
American businesses are closed down and entrepreneurs are forced to work from home due to the national healthcare crisis caused by the Corona virus pandemic. At this point, people are highly stressed out due to extreme social-deprivation, and worrying about paying bills for internet access and dealing with data caps and overage charges can take an extra toll on their mental health.
Working from home, coordinating with the team on Skype and delegation tasks over online work management platforms can be costly if at the same time your children are studying online, playing games, using social media or watching movies over the internet.
The current announcements made by the top ISPs regarding relieving data caps and overage fees along with allowing public access to Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide and practicing flexible termination policies for the next 60 days has come as a true blessing for all entrepreneurs or anyone who is working from home for that matter at this difficult time when the economy is undergoing financial and social constraints.