What internet companies are doing to help families during pandemic

In response to COVID-19 several internet companies are providing low-cost even free options for families that qualify to take advantage of.

Spectrum: Free 60-day internet access to qualifying homes for students (K-12, college) and teachers. To enroll call: 1-844-579-3743.

Altice Advantage: Free internet to new households through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. This service is provided through Optimum Internet and Suddenlink, so you'll need to go to alticeadvantageinternet.com and type in your zip code to see if the service is offered in your neighborhood. There is a $14.99 installation fee plus another one-time $20 charge. This includes your modem, smart router, and in-home WiFi. It's good through June 30, 2020.

Comcast Xfinity Internet: Offers two months free for low-income families who qualify for the 'Internet Essentials' program. The promotion ends May 13.

Lifeline Program: This is run through the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). It helps make services more affordable for low-income families by providing a monthly $9.95 discount on internet services.

Netzero Dial-Up Internet: Depending on where you live, you could get 10 hours of internet for free each month.

Connect2Compete: Offered through Cox, the first two months are free to those who qualify. You can also check out discounted equipment through "PCs For People."

Locally, you can check out Top Tech Experts located in northwest Houston at 1821 Bingle Rd. for computer help. They have been in business for 12 years and offer laptops and desktops as low as $100.

"We do all kinds of repairs. We do free diagnostics. We typically call back same day, and our prices are very affordable. Everything that we do (and) sell does come with a warranty. You get a 90-day warranty, basically," said owner Alex Diaz.

For anyone concerned about their internet bills adding up, hundreds of companies have agreed to service residential or small business internet customers through the "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" launched by the FCC. This means you will not have services terminated due to missed or late payments. All disruptions will be waived due to COVID-19. Also, Wifi Hotspots are free and open to the public's use.

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