Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced nearly 80 broadband and telephone services providers and commissions have signed on to what it’s calling the “Keep Americans Connected Pledge.” The agreement is aimed at ensuring residents and small businesses don’t lose broadband and phone service during the current Coronavirus pandemic, which has led to many service and employment disruptions.
“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected. Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and—importantly—take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus,”FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a press release.
Here’s the full text of the pledge:
Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days to:
(1) not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
(2) waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
(3) open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them
In all, 76 companies and trade commissions were listed in the press release as complying with the pledge, including major providers like Comcast and AT&T as well as local and regional companies.
(Update: 03/13/20: We’ve updated the list below to detail some of the specific plans, offers, and discounts companies have announced so far.)
- ACIRA – Powered by Farmers Mutual Telephone Company & Federated Telephone
- Allstream Business US
- Antietam Broadband
- Atlantic Broadband
- AT&T: Removing data caps for its home internet customers.
- BOYCOM Vision
- Burlington Telecom
- Cable One
- Central Arkansas Telephone Cooperative
- Charter: Offering 60 days of free broadband and Wi-Fi access to homes with K-12 and/or college students if they don’t already have Spectrum services of up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees waived.
- Cincinnati Bell
- Citizens Connected
- Comcast: Updating its Internet Essentials plan to increase speeds and offer 60 days of free service for new customers.
- Consolidated Communications
- Cox Communications: Offering a free month for qualifying new customers on its Connect2Compete low-cost plan.
- Digital West
- East Ascension Telephone Company
- Education Networks of America
- Emery Telecom
- Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative
- Google Fiber
- Grande Communications
- Granite Telecommunications
- Great Plains Communications
- Hiawatha Broadband
- Hill Country
- IdeaTek Telcom
- Lafourche Telephone Company
- Lakeland Communications
- Long Lines Broadband
- Mammoth Networks/Visionary Broadband
- Mediacom: Upgrading speeds and offering 60 days of free service for qualifying families on its low-cost Connect2Compete program, discounted pricing on its Access Internet 60 service, halting data caps through May 15th, and offering free WiFi hotspot access for 60 days.
- Ninestar Connect
- Northwest Fiber
- Orbitel Communications
- Pioneer Communications
- Premier Communications
- Range Telephone Cooperative
- Reserve Telephone Company
- Sacred Wind Communications
- Shawnee Communications
- Socket Telecom
- Starry: Expanding broadband access in affordable and public housing communities in New York City.
- TDS Telecom
- TelNet Worldwide
- T-Mobile: Efforts covering the next 60 days include removing data caps on T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile plans, adding 20 GB of hotspot service, and increasing data allowances for schools and students in its EmpowerED programs.
- TracFone Wireless
- Uniti Fiber
- US Cellular
- Vast Broadband
- Vyve Broadband Investments
- Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom
- Wave Broadband
- West Telecom Services
- ZenFi Networks
Trade commissions including ACA Connects, Competitive Carriers of America, CTIA, INCOMPAS, NCTA—The Internet and Television Association, NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association, USTelecom, and WISPA have also signed on.
The pledge follows recent moves from companies like Comcast and AT&T to improve service or waive certain fees and data caps in the wake of impacts from the spread of Coronavirus. We’ll continue monitoring how individual companies respond to the current situation, especially any moves that affect customers.
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