SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Springfield Public School families who take advantage of the free Wifi could soon have to pay for it.
This comes as Comcast will begin charging customers in the spring for going over a certain data threshold.
“I just thought it was really unfortunate because there’s a lot of families out here that really need it,” said Lydiana Matos of Springfield.
Matos reacted Tuesday to the news that she may soon have to pay Comcast $10 a month for Wifi, which is currently free for Springfield Public School families as students continue to learn remotely.
“It kind of sucks because we need it. They have to go to school. They can’t really go to the school. We need the WiFi. We don’t have no choice,” Matos added.
However, the charge is only for households that go over 1.2 terabytes of data a month.
A spokesperson with Comcast told Western Mass News that only a small percentage of customers actually use that much data.
Comcast said in a statement:
“1.2 terabytes is a massive amount of data that enables consumers to video conference for 3,500 hours, watch 1,200 hours of distance learning videos, stream 500 hours of high-definition video content a month, or play more than 34,000 hours of online games. Our data plan is structured in a way that the very small percentage of our customers who use more than 1.2 terabytes of monthly data and generate the greatest demand for network development and capacity pay more for their increased usage. For those superusers, we have unlimited data options available.”
Springfield Public Schools said in a statement to Western Mass News on Tuesday that "The WiFi usage necessary for students to learn remotely will not place a family’s WiFi usage over the limit...However, using WiFi for other services may cause a family’s WiFi usage to exceed the limit..."
However, Matos is worried.
“They’re on it all day, all day long, five days a week. Of course, they’re going to go over it,” Matos added.
Customers can check data usage for Wifi on their monthly billing statement. The closer you are to 1.2 TB, the more likely you are to go over and get charged an extra $10.
Comcast added that Springfield Public Schools had inaccurate information on their website and they’re working with the school district to correct it.