PORTLAND, Ore. — As authorities call on people to stay home, in an attempt to slow the growth of the coronavirus outbreak, Comcast has announced a series of actions the company says are aimed at helping more Americans stay connected to the internet. 

In a press release, the company says it will observe a number of policies for the next 60 days, with the aim of providing widespread Internet access.

Comcast says it will offer Xfinity WiFi free for everyone, with hotspots available to all, including non-Xfinity subscribers. To access the service, look for the “xfinitywifi” network name in a list of hotspots. For more information, go to www.xfinity.com/wifi.

As adults work from home, and students whose schools are closed study at home, Comcast says it will pause its data plans, and make unlimited data available at no additional charge.

Comcast also says that if a customer can’t pay their bills during this period, they can contact the company for advice on flexible payment options. No disconnects or late fees will be applied if the customer gets in touch with Comcast, the company says.

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Low-income families who are in an area with Comcast service can sign up for Internet Essentials, and, as new customers, are eligible for 60 days of free service. The service, which is normally available for $9.95 to qualified low-income customers, will also see an increase in speed, which will provide faster internet access.

The company also says its technology and engineering teams will monitor network usage, which is expected to spike during this period of quarantines and extended time at home. 

This article was originally published by The Oregonian/OregonLive, one of more than a dozen news organizations throughout the state sharing their coverage of the novel coronavirus outbreak to help inform Oregonians about this evolving heath issue. 

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