2020 Census and Bridging the Digital Divide
Several positive efforts have been made to expand broadband, wifi, and telephone services for the next 60 days. This helps to keep us connected in a number of ways, including bridging the digital divide to support participation in the 2020 Census.
Almost 200 service providers nationwide (including AT&T, Cox Communications, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon) have signed onto the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge. The pledge states that for the next 60 days, the company will:
not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
In addition, several providers are removing data limits as well as expanding services for low-income households. AT&T, Comcast, and T-Mobile, have all removed data caps for the time being. Expansion of services includes:
Comcast internet essentials is free for 60 days
HH with students – 60 days free of Spectrum or Altice
Connect2Compete – expand and improve service
Note, that Comcast’s Xfinity hotspots are available in some locations to fill out your census questionnaire for free. Find a hotspot here: https://hotspots.wifi.xfinity.