AT&T will provide three months of free wireless service for nurses and physicians battling the coronavirus pandemic across the U.S., the latest goodwill gesture from corporate America during the crisis.
The telco revealed the news with the assistance of John Krasinski on his YouTube series “Some Good News,” which he launched two weeks ago as a way to provide uplifting and inspiring stories.
In Sunday’s episode, Krasinski and former Red Sox slugger David Ortiz surprised five nurses in the COVID-19 unit at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center with a field trip to Fenway Park, where they threw out the “first pitch” of the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Krasinski then told viewers that AT&T had reached out to partner with the “The Office” actor on the announcement of the carrier’s three-month free offer for health care workers.
According to Krasinski, AT&T asked him how the company could help — and he suggested the telco pay the mobile phone bills for U.S.’s doctors and nurses for one month. “Their response? ‘How about three,'” says Krasinski. “Now I may not know much, but I do know what good news looks like.”
Doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers “are working around the clock, on the front lines to combat the COVID-19 health crisis,” AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said in a statement. “We want to be there to keep them connected. And that’s exactly what FirstNet delivers.”
AT&T is delivering the free access to health care workers over the FirstNet network, built in a public-private partnership with the U.S. government’s First Responder Network Authority. FirstNet is purpose-built for first responders and prioritizes their calls and data traffic over the network. With FirstNet, AT&T also partners with public safety agencies to provide additional resources, including a dedicated fleet of portable cell sites.
Under AT&T’s offer, nurses and doctors who are already on a FirstNet Mobile – Responder plan will automatically receive the three-month service credit on a smartphone or tablet line of service. Those with existing AT&T service can migrate the line to FirstNet.
Starting April 13, new subscribers can activate a new FirstNet Mobile – Responder line of service if they qualify for service. For new enrollees, AT&T also is granting a $200 activation credit toward a FirstNet Ready smartphone (when they commit to a 30-month service agreement). Eligible physicians and nurses can find more info at digital.firstnet.com/currentoffers or visit an AT&T store, according to the telco.
Among other steps AT&T has taken to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, the company is waiving late-payment fees and has pledged to not disconnect customers’ service over nonpayment.
(Pictured above: A doctor walks past the emergency room at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York)