By Foster Obi
Unlike greedy internet firms in Nigeria, global media and technology company, Comcast, is giving free internet access to its 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2020. This magnanimity is part of efforts by the company to help customers and even non customers wade through the current coronavirus pandemic with less stress.
Experts have described as unfortunate the fact that no internet firm in Nigeria has thought it wise to sacrifice free data to customers this period as corporate social responsibility. Rather the companies are bent on fleecing customers, raking as much money as they could get the peculiar nature of the period notwithstanding.
However as cities and towns in its area of operation begin to open up; Comcast is continuing its efforts to help people connect to the Internet during the COVID-19 crisis. Recently, the company announced it will extend free access to its 1.5 million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to anyone who needs them, including non-customers, through the end of 2020.
Before then, Comcast announced that it has extended an offer for 60 days of free home Internet access for new eligible Internet Essentials customers, to help provide additional support to students and families in need through the end of the year. Comcast will also continue to waive the requirement that those customers not have a past due balance with Comcast to qualify for the free offer.
“We saw a huge jump in usage after we opened up our public hotspots, and we’re excited to keep them open through the end of the year as the nation begins taking steps to reopen,” said Dana Strong, President of Xfinity Consumer Services. “We’re pleased to see so many families and individuals take advantage of our 60 days of free home Internet through Internet Essentials, and the free access to public Xfinity WiFi hotspots to get online during this time when connectivity is so important.”
Since taking the unprecedented step of making all of these hotspots available for free, hundreds of thousands of non-Xfinity customers have taken advantage, and overall usage by consumers of the free public WiFi hotspots has skyrocketed. Comcast’s public WiFi network is the largest of its kind in the nation, and three times larger than that of any other provider. It’s available in outdoor and business locations, all of which can be found online at www.xfinity.com/wifi.
Comcast has a history of making its public hotspots available for free in individual markets to help communities stay connected after local emergencies like hurricanes in the South, wildfires in California, and the recent tornadoes in Nashville.
Comcast Corporation is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses: Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the United States’ largest video, high-speed Internet, and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand, and also provides these services to businesses.