Hybrid fiber wireless provider Starry is eliminating balances through July 31 for subscribers who opted into its COVID-19 relief program during the FCC’s “Keep America Connected” pledge period and requested full or partial payment relief during that period. It’s a dramatic move in COVID-19 telecom debt forgiveness.
Starry also announced other COVID-19-related initiatives. The company is expanding the Starry Connect program to 9,400 units of public and affordable housing nationwide. The program partners with housing owners to provide broadband with no data caps, long-term contracts or “complex individual eligibility requirements” for $15 per month.
The company – which had made its service free to current and new Starry Connect customers through the end of July—also is making its customer care technical support available to all consumers nationwide, not just Starry subscribers.
Starry is available in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, Denver and Washington, DC. “We know that the economic impacts of COVID-19 will continue for many months to come,” Virginia Lam Abrams, Starry’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Strategic Advancement, said in a press release about the COVID-19 telecom debt forgiveness. “By zeroing out the balances owed to us by subscribers who have been adversely affected by this health crisis, it’s our hope that this small gesture helps people get back on their feet with one less thing to worry about. It’s our way of saying, ‘we’ve still got your back.’”
In June, Starry told financial analysts at MoffettNathanson Research that it was experiencing 10% per month subscriber growth. The company says it has a roadmap that will cover 30 million people and hopes to take 30% of the addressable market in areas where they launch.
Starry was a big winner in the 24 GHz auction conducted last year. The company gained 104 licenses for 51 partial economic areas in 25 states. The licenses cover more than 60 million people and 25 million households.