FCC Keeps Americans Connected Pledge through End of June due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

 

  • Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the extension of his Keep Americans Connected Pledge until June 30, 2020. Since launching the pledge last month, more than 700 broadband and telephone service providers committed for 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 their Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.  Chairman Pai is now asking providers to extend these offerings to consumers and small businesses until the end of June. Earlier this week, the Chairman held calls with providers representing the vast majority of broadband and telephone subscribers in the United States as well as trade associations to relay this request.

“Hundreds of providers have stepped up to the plate to keep Americans connected to communications services in this time of need,” said Chairman Pai. “This includes the largest and some of the smallest providers across the country. I salute them for making broadband available to Americans who increasingly rely on it for work, school, healthcare, and communicating with loved ones. And given our nation’s current situation, I’m urging these companies to extend these important offerings—uninterrupted service, waiving of late fees, and continued availability of Wi-Fi hotspots—until June 30. Companies representing the vast majority of broadband and telephone subscriptions have already agreed to this extension. I thank them for stepping up to the plate once again during this national emergency, and I encourage others to do so as well.”

While the FCC encourages all providers that have signed the pledge previously to extend their commitments to June 30, some providers, particularly those in small markets and rural areas, may not be able to do so as a result of financial challenges. Those providers should contact KACpledge@fcc.gov by May 12 if they wish to opt out of the extension.

The FCC encourages consumers to contact their service provider directly to make them aware of their specific circumstances and to discuss options. Consumers can also visit consumercomplaints.fcc.gov. For more information on Chairman Pai’s Keep Americans Connected Initiative, visit www.fcc.gov/keepamericansconnected. For updates on the FCC’s wide array of actions to keep consumers connected during the coronavirus pandemic, visit www.fcc.gov/coronavirus.

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