Comcast is extending free access to its public Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots through the end of 2020. Anyone can connect—whether you’re leaving your home for the first time in three months or working on the front lines. Hundreds of thousands of non-customers have already taken advantage of the complimentary service, sending the free public Wi-Fi hotspots’ overall usage through the roof.
“We saw a huge jump in usage after we opened up our public hotspots,” according to Dana Strong, president of Xfinity Consumer Services. “And we’re excited to keep them open through the end of the year as the nation begins taking steps to reopen.”
The telecom giant, which recently extended its offer of 60 days free home internet for new eligible Internet Essentials customers, also promised to waive the requirement that folks can not have a past-due balance to qualify. “We’re pleased to see so many families and individuals take advantage of our 60 days of free home internet … and the free access to public Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots to get online during this time when connectivity is so important,” Strong said in a statement.
Though freely available to the public, Comcast’s Wi-Fi network actually applies only to 1.5 million hotspots in business areas, retail locations, and transit hubs—a small slice of the company’s 18 million-plus footprint (including Xfinity residential networks). With that in mind, three U.S. senators last month called for the firm to lift the paywall on its public Wi-Fi hotspots so students without broadband access can get online during the pandemic.