To keep customers connected during the coronavirus crisis, wireless provider Google Fi is increasing its data limit to 30GB for no extra charge.
The new Fi data limit for customers is now 30GB for both Flexible and Unlimited Plans. Flexible plan users have 15GB of high-speed 4G LTE normally. Unlimited plan users have 22GB of high-speed LTE. Under the new emergency service, Flexible users will see a doubling of their high-speed data. Unlimited customers will see an increase of 8GB of additional data. After users consume the 30GB high-speed data allotment, they'll be able to add additional data at the usual $10/GB price.
The Flexible plan is the original plan of high-speed data Google gave Fi customers. It allows users to pay for only the data they use. Google announced its new 22GB Unlimited data plan around six months ago. The new Unlimited plan requires users to pay for 22GB of data each month whether they use it or not.
In addition to giving customers more free, high-speed data, Google is also giving customers 60 additional days to pay their bill. Customers who owe their payment on say, March 28th, will find their payment deadline extended to May 28th, for example.
Google understands the current crisis and its toll on customers
Google understands the situation of customers during the current crisis. With social distancing as the order of the day, customers are working from home. Some have a reduction in pay as a result. Many customers are home permanently, with their jobs out indefinitely. In such a state, customers are filing unemployment claims. With 6.6 million unemployment claims within the last ten days, many are unlikely to see a paycheck any time soon. In the absence of funds, Fi will see a decline in on-time payments.
Google is aware of customers' inability to change their current unemployment and financial states. To help, it's giving customers 2 months of breathing room to at least alleviate fears. Keeping customers connected and carrying on during a hard time is the only way to keep customers calm and at their best. Even if customers can't change their current state, they can at least focus on the positive in the midst of it. And Fi's latest generosity is definitely positive.
60-day data increase and bill payment deadline could see an extension
While Google is saying customers will receive additional data for April and May, and giving customers a payment extension, there's no guarantee that things will return to normal in May. Under its "FAQ" section on Fi's support page, Google says that "we are continually monitoring the evolving developments and determining when to return to our standard policies. We'll keep this page updated." In short, this means that "when" Google returns to standard policy is up in the air.
The "when" question depends on the current pandemic and how soon customers can go back to work — if they can return to work. What this will mean for customers now in the unemployment line is anyone's guess. According to current estimates as to when the pandemic could end, sources say it could last as long as at least another 6 months. Some say the pandemic could last as long as 18 months, with another year or longer remaining.