Brodband Providers Connection Pledge Coronavirus June 30

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Major internet providers pledge to not shut off anyone’s service through June

The companies extended their pledge not to disconnect customers.

Apr 28, 2020, 9:01 am*

Tech

Andrew Wyrich 

Andrew Wyrich

Several major broadband and mobile providers are pledging to keep their customers connected to the internet through June as part of their response to the coronavirus pandemic.

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AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cox, and T-Mobile announced on Monday they will not terminate customers service or charge them late fees through June 30th.

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The companies are part of more than 700 that signed a pledge from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promising not to disconnect customers as they grapple with the repercussions from the pandemic.

CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

The “Keep Americans Connected” pledge, which is non-binding, asks the providers to not terminate service if customers can’t pay bills, to waive late fees, and to open Wi-Fi hotspots to Americans. The pledge was for 60 days. It launched on March 13 and is set to run out the second week of May.

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Experts have argued that the FCC could be doing more during the coronavirus emergency, and there have been reports of customers having their services terminated despite the companies signing the pledge.

Specifically, some experts said the FCC’s decision to repeal net neutrality rules in 2017, which abdicated its authority over broadband providers, put them in a position where they could only ask companies to stick to the pledge rather than require them to do so.

While the companies have pledged another few months of not disconnecting customers, some advocates have begun pushing Congress to make sure that broadband and other utilities are not shut off for an extended period of time after the coronavirus emergency has slowed.

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*First Published: Apr 28, 2020, 8:57 am