AT&T offers three free months of FirstNet service to nurses and doctors


AT&T is expanding its FirstNet program to give three months of free service to medical professionals. 

Angela Lang/CNET

AT&T is showing its appreciation for those fighting coronavirus by giving nurses and doctors three free months of service as part of its FirstNet program. The news was announced late Sunday night on John Krasinski’s Some Good News online show. 

As part of the offer, those on the front lines of the pandemic will be able to receive the free service so long as they are on one of AT&T’s FirstNet first responder plans. The deal is open to all verified, state-licensed nurses and physicians in the U.S. and U.S. territories regardless of if they are new or existing FirstNet users. 

Doctors or nurses already on a traditional AT&T plan can switch to a FirstNet plan, which runs $40 per month for individuals for one line of unlimited talk, text and data. Those who also want unlimited mobile hotspot will pay $45 per month. 

Medical professionals currently on a traditional AT&T plan or on a family plan with multiple lines will need to switch their individual line to FirstNet to take advantage of this promotion. They will also need to verify that they are licensed within 30 days of activation. 

The process to switch, activate a new line and to verify a license can be done online. Additional signup details can be found on AT&T’s FirstNet site

In addition to the three months of free service, the carrier is also offering $200 off a FirstNet-ready phone when activating a new FirstNet plan. Most recent AT&T phones, including Apple’s latest iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max and Samsung’s Galaxy S20 5G line, support FirstNet though 5G phones are still limited to AT&T’s 4G LTE network.

FirstNet is AT&T’s special service for first responders that takes advantage of a special band of the carrier’s 4G LTE network to ensure that emergency personnel’s service takes priority compared to those on regular AT&T plans during times of emergency. 

AT&T has been deploying the network around the country including adding portable sites around known hotbeds for the coronavirus, such as New York City, to boost capacity and allow FirstNet devices to be faster than traditional AT&T phones.

The announcement is the latest from a wireless carrier to help out during the coronavirus pandemic. In March Verizon announced that it would be giving extra high-speed data and hotspot data for its customers while AT&T added more hotspot data for those on its unlimited plans. T-Mobile similarly announced last month that it would be making all plans on its network, even older tiered ones, unlimited for 60 days during the pandemic in addition to giving out extra hotspot data. 

Last November, as part of its efforts to help get its then-pending Sprint merger approved, T-Mobile announced plans to give first responders free service for ten years under a program it calls “Connecting Heroes.” While the merger was finalized earlier this month, the carrier has yet to announce when that program will be available.

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