In today’s digital age, internet access is not just a luxury but a necessity for many families. Recognizing the challenge of affording this essential service, Walmart and AT&T have collaborated to offer free internet services.
This initiative aims to level the playing field, enabling more people to work from home, participate in online education, and stay connected with loved ones.
The Genesis of the Initiative
The inception of this program was influenced by AT&T’s observation of the financial struggles faced by many families in affording internet services.
Inspired by similar efforts from companies like Boost Mobile, AT&T, in partnership with Walmart, decided to offer select internet and phone service packages at no cost. These plans, primarily available through prepaid networks and Cricket Wireless, are designed to be accessible and affordable.
How does the Free Service Work?
The foundation of this free internet offering lies in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, an initiative by the FCC. This program has been instrumental in helping families reduce their internet service costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both AT&T and Walmart utilize funds from this program to support customers who struggle to afford internet and phone services. The impact of this program is expected to extend beyond the pandemic, acknowledging the essential role of internet connectivity in modern family life.
Understanding the Program Details
Eligible customers who apply and are approved for the Emergency Broadband Benefit can enjoy significant discounts on their internet bills – up to $50 off, or $75 for those living on Tribal Lands.
Over 2,000 Walmart stores across the country are participating, making it convenient for customers to access this benefit. To avail of the free internet service, customers must apply through both Walmart and AT&T, choosing from the eligible plans listed on their websites.
Diverse Plans for Varied Needs
The collaboration offers a range of plans to suit different needs. For instance, there’s a plan offering 100GB of data and 5G access for just $5 monthly, post the $50 Emergency Broadband program discount. The AT&T prepaid 15GB plan provides 15GB of free internet post-discount, and an unlimited prepaid plan is available at $15 monthly after the discount.
The Unlimited Plus plan is another attractive option, offering high-speed data, a 10GB hotspot, 5G access, and 100GB of Cloud storage for only $10 a month. Cricket Wireless also presents similar plans, including 100GB data and 5G access starting as low as $5 a month after the program benefit.
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This joint venture by Walmart and AT&T marks a significant step towards digital inclusivity, ensuring that more families have access to the internet.
By leveraging the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, this initiative not only supports families during the pandemic but also sets a precedent for the importance of affordable internet access in the future. It’s a commendable effort to ensure that no one is left behind in our increasingly digital world.