Most Internet service providers have offered self-install as an option prior to COVID-19, but it was the pandemic that required all of them to expand their contactless and self-install options. With that in mind, let us look at the services available from eight of the largest ISPs in America.
AT&T technicians have been instructed not to enter a residence unless necessary to complete an install or repair. Self-install is preferred for new installations. AT&T has created a new guide that walks customers through the process, and you can have someone walk you through it over the phone.
CenturyLink technicians will enter the home unless the resident prefers that they do not. They now have disinfectant supplies as part of their regular equipment and adhere to social-distancing guidelines per the CDC and in addition to any guidance specific to the state they are operating in. This company mails self-installation kits and does not deliver by hand. It also provides over-the-phone assistance.
As of this writing, Cox is once again allowing vaccinated technicians to enter homes but is doing so on a case-by-case basis. If your technician is unable to enter your home for whatever reason, he or she can drop off a self-install kit, or you can have it mailed to your home. You will then be walked through the process via video chat. The Cox Easy Connect program is one of the nicest examples of such an app.
Frontier technicians are entering client homes as well. They wear protective equipment, adhere to social-differencing requirements, and take other safety precautions. While most ISPs do not require it, Frontier requires that all people in the home wear masks at all times while the technician is present. Frontier ships self-install kits and provide self-install options online via its website.
Mediacom never stopped service within homes. They do, however, adhere to local social-distancing guidelines. Technicians are also instructed to complete as much of the install as possible outside the home. Mediacom ships self-install kits. Instructions are included in the kit. They are also posted online, and you can request assistance over the phone if you run into problems.
Spectrum had suspended professional installations but is once again offering them as of this writing. Technicians must still wear face masks and practice social distancing. They must also disinfect equipment prior to and after use. In addition, when Spectrum technicians arrive at your home, they will take their temperature and perform health self-assessment before exiting the truck. Self-installation kits are available and tend to be mailed within five business days but can be hand-delivered as well.
Verizon is once again offering professional installations but not to its entire service. Those areas where it is still not available will get the service soon, but no date is specified. Self-install kits are available too, and if your home is already wired, Verizon offers one of the most user-friendly kits.
Like Verizon, Xfinity is once again offering professional installations but not in all areas. Each Xfinity local team makes the decision on which services to offer. If a technician does come into your home, all residents must wear a facemask and maintain a distance of at least 10 feet. Xfinity is one of the first ISPs to offer self-installation pre-pandemic and their excellent kits have remained largely unchanged.
Self-installation may seem intimidating, but most ISPs have done a good job of making the process rather simple for the average person. Be mindful that the information provided above is accurate per the official websites, but the service in your particular area may vary.