Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, multiple wireless and internet providers have joined the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge.”
With an unprecedented number of individuals working from home or laid off, wireless and home internet options are the lifelines people and companies are relying on to maintain some semblance of normalcy. In view of that, according to a statement on the FCC’s website, “in multiple phone calls with broadband and telephone service providers and trade associations, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai emphasized the importance of keeping Americans connected as the country experiences serious disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak. And in order to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances, he specifically asked them to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.”
The pledge calls on providers to “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.” The pledge also says providers will “waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.” Any company taking the pledge also agrees to “open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.”
Within 24 hours of Chairman Pai’s calls, dozens of companies have joined the pledge, including the four main wireless carriers, The Rural Broadband Association, Charter, Comcast, Windstream and a slew of regional companies.