On Friday, March 13, the Federal Communications Commission has created an initiative that asks telephone and broadband providers to support the ever-increasing numbers of adults and children working and attending classes from home in response to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.
At this time, more than 390 broadband and telecommunications providers and trade associations have signed the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” which calls for termination of services to be postponed for the next 60 days for both homes and small businesses due to the inability to pay bills because of the outbreak.
The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads as follows:
"Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, [[Company Name]] pledges for the next 60 days 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;
waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them."
FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel asked the FCC to go even further, requesting that service providers also lift and eliminate data caps and overage charges, ensure that hospitals have connectivity, and make sure there are enough wif-fi hot spots to loan to school-age children without internet access at home.
To see if your provider has signed the pledge, click here to visit the FCC's Keep Americans Connected page.