The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a pledge that they are calling on all internet-service providers (ISPs) to sign. The pledge is designed to “keep Americans connected” as an increasing number find themselves relying on a working internet connection for their livelihood.
COVID-19 has become a global pandemic almost overnight. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, schools are going virtual and employers across the country are asking their workforce to begin to work remotely. While this social distancing
The pledge asks that ISPs commit to keeping their internet services active for at least the next 60 days. If COVID-19 is still running rampant at that time, we can expect to see that service guarantee ask extended for the duration of the pandemic.
During those 60 days, participating ISPs are agreeing to:
- Open Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them, even if they are not paying customers.
- Waive any and all late fees incurred by residential or small business customers that can’t afford them due to economic hardship caused by COVID-19.
- Agree not to terminate service to any residential or small business customers that are not able to pay the bill due to coronavirus-related upsets.
So far several dozen telecommunication companies have endorsed this pledge, with more expected to join everyday. Big names who have endorsed the pledge include Charter, Comcast, Google, Sprint and Verizon.
Of course, some companies have taken steps of their own to help support the fallout of COVID-19. Last week AT&T announced that they are temporarily removing data caps for all of their customers. Comcast is offering its low-income internet service for free for 60 days and increasing the speed that’s included with that package.
COVID-19 is officially a pandemic. The response to it is global in scale, and it’s great to see so many companies coming together to help people cope with the fallout. As more people find themselves working or learning from home, a stable internet connection will become more important than ever.