Walmart, AT&T team up through emergency federal program to help more people access internet

Marianne Wilson
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Walmart and AT&T are working together through a program that expands wireless broadband options to people in underserved communities.

Walmart and AT&T have teamed up to offer eligible customers select home internet and wireless plans via AT&T Prepaid and Cricket Wireless for little or even no cost. The offers are available through the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program, a temporary federal government program that provides eligible customers a temporary benefit of up to $50 a month on eligible home internet or wireless service. The plans are available in more than 2,300 Walmart stores and on the chain’s website.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the digital divide in America as many underserved households were unable to afford broadband connectivity to work from home or enable their children to participate in remote learning,” said Mehrdad Akbar, VP of wireless and photo services, Walmart U.S. “Through our collaboration with AT&T, we are staying true to our mission and making this important resource available to our customers at an affordable price. This isn’t a problem that was created overnight, nor will it be solved quickly, but every step in the right direction helps.”

Customers who qualify for the EBB program have multiple options to find the best plan for their needs, Walmart said. Families on the move or working at home can connect to the internet with a mobile hotspot device on a data-only plan. The mobile hotspot with a data-only plan delivers internet access to up to 15 Wi-Fi-enabled devices like a computer, a tablet and more. If what a person needs is voice service and wireless internet access on your phone, then a smartphone plan is the ideal choice.

The AT&T Prepaid and Cricket offers start at $5 a month after the temporary EBB is applied.