WASHINGTON, March 25, 2020—Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today announced that 580 broadband and telephone service providers have now taken his Keep Americans Connected Pledge, an increase of 190 from last Thursday. Chairman Pai also commended providers that have responded to his call to go above and beyond the Pledge by taking additional pro-consumer actions to enhance Americans’ connectivity during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The Keep Americans Connected Pledge is enabling American consumers across the country to have broadband connectivity in these unprecedented times,” said Chairman Pai. “I’m pleased to see that more and more providers are signing on to show their commitment to their customers. And many of these companies have gone even further, offering things like free service for low-income Americans and students, the easing of data caps, and increasing broadband speeds at no cost. These actions are helping many Americans transition to telework, telehealth, and remote learning.”
By taking the Pledge, a broadband or telephone service provider commits for the next 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 its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
New pledge-takers include: Agate Mutual Telephone, Agile Network Builders, AirFiber, Amplex, ANI Networks, Arlington TV Cooperative, Arvig, Astrea, Barnesville Municipal Telephone and Internet, Bays-ET Highspeed, Beresford Municipal Telephone, Blanca Networks, Blue Ridge Communications, Bluebird Network, Bravado Wireless, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Bulloch Telephone Cooperative, BullsEye Telecom, Cal-Ore Telephone Co., Calaveras Telephone Company, Callabyte Technology, Cambridge Telephone Co., Cameron Communications, Cameron Telephone Company, Cass Cable TV, CDE Lightband, Celerity Networks, Christensen Communications Company, Chugwater Telephone, Cimarron Telephone Company, Citizens Telephone Cooperative, City of Bardstown, Kentucky, Co-Mo Connect, Coast Communications Co., Coleman County Telephone Cooperative , Colorado Valley Communications, Colorado Valley Telephone Cooperative, COLTONTEL, Conifer Communications, Conterra Networks, CopperNet Systems, CresComm Wifi, Cross Telephone Company, Crown Castle, Custer Telephone Cooperative, Dojo Networks, Douglas Fast Net, Ducor Telephone Company, Eastern Indiana Wifi, Elizabeth Telephone Company, Ellington Telecom, EM3 Networks, EPB Chattanooga, Farmers Telephone, FastTrack Communications, Firefly Fiber Broadband, Foresthill Telephone Co., Fourway.NET, Free Conferencing Corporation, Fusion, Fusion Cloud Company, Fusion Cloud Services, Fusion Communications, Fusion Telecom of Kansas, Fusion Telecom of Missouri, Fusion Telecom of Oklahoma, Fusion Texas Holdings, Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association, Getwireless.net, Google Fi, Grand Telephone Company, H & B Communications, Haefele Connect, Halstad Telephone, Harmony Telephone Company, Hemingford Cooperative Telephone Company, Home Telephone Co., HomeTel, IGL TeleConnect, Inland Cellular, Intelligent Computing Solutions, ITS, ITS Fiber, KanOkla Networks, Kerman Telephone Company, KM Telecom, La Ward Communications, La Ward Telephone Exchange, Lake Livingston Telephone Company, Lakeside Networks, LARIAT.NET, LCI Fiber Optic Network, Lincolnville Telephone, Lingo Communications, Lipan Telephone, Lismore Coop Tel Co., Logix Fiber Networks, Lonsdale Telephone Company, McCormack / Ellington Telecom, MiBroadband, Mid-States Services, Minburn Communications, Missouri Valley Communications, Mobius Communications Company, Monitor Telecom, Morristown Utilities, Mountain West Technologies, Mulberry Telecommunications, Mutual Telephone Company, Myakka Communications, Nemont Communications, Nemont Telephone Cooperative, Nex-Tech Wireless, Next Powered by NAEC, NNTC Wireless, Northwest Ohio Broadband, NOS Communications, NTUA Wireless, Nucla-Naturita Telephone Company, NUconnect, Nunn Telephone, NWN Corporation, OACYS Technology, OEC Fiber, OptimERA, OTELCO, Otter Tail Telcom, OzarksGo, Park Region Mutual Telephone Company, PD Fiber, Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative, PGTelco, Piedmont Communications, Pinnacles Telephone Co., Pinpoint Communications, Plains Cooperative Telephone, Planters Telephone Cooperative, Ponderosa Telephone Co., Pottawatomie Telephone Company, Project Telephone Company, ProValue.Net, Public Service Telephone Co., Quantum Internet and Telephone, Randolph Communications, Resonance Broadband, RiverStreet Networks, Roggen Telephone Cooperative, Rothsay Telephone Company, Runestone Telecom Association, Sagebrush Cellular, SecureNetMD, SEI Communications, Sierra Telephone Company, SinglePoint Global, Siskiyou Telephone Company, Slopeside Internet, Southwest Minnesota Broadband Service, SPITwSPOTS, Splash Wireless Internet, Spring Grove Communications, Star Communications, Surry Communications, Swiftel Communications, Swyft Connect, Taylor Telecom, TEC, Telemedia Solutions, Terra Nova Telecom, ThinkSecureNet, Tidewater Telecom, Total Highspeed, TWN Communications, United Fiber, United Wireless Communications, Valley Telephone Company, Vergennes Broadband, Vermont Telephone Co., Volcano Telephone Company, VTel Wireless, West Central Wireless, Wheat State Technologies, Wide Voice, Wiggins Telephone, Wilkes Communications, Winchester Wireless, Wind River Internet, Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association, WOW! Internet, Cable & Phone, WTC, and Wyandotte Cable.
Additionally, the Cloud Communications Alliance, Rural Wireless Association, and Telecom Alliance have endorsed the Pledge.
Providers that have gone above and beyond the Pledge include:
AT&T: Offering free data plans for certain school-issued tablets for 60 days, waiving wireless voice and data overage fees for all customers, expanding eligibility for its low-income Internet program and offering new program participants two free months of service, and creating a $10 million fund to support distance learning.
Atlantic Broadband: Introducing a new low-cost broadband plan for new customers that is free for the first two months.
Cable One: Introducing a new low-cost broadband plan for low-income consumers for 60 days and allowing unlimited data on all Internet services for 30 days.
Claro: Eliminating data caps in wireless plans, increasing capacity of hotspots, and increasing data allotment for Lifeline customers.
Comporium: Offering 60 days of free broadband service to households with students that don’t currently have broadband and waiving installation fees.
GCI: Upgrading broadband plans for existing customers and offering free entry-level plans for new customers through the end of May, including free Wi-Fi equipment for new customers who are students or teachers.
Hughes: Raising data caps and prioritizing educational services.
TDS Telecom: Offering free broadband to new customers who are low-income and/or families with children or college students for the next 60 days.
T-Mobile: Introducing new low-cost smartphone plans, reducing prices for hotspot devices and doubling the data allotment for those devices.
Vast Broadband: Offering free broadband for two months for Black Hills State University students who don’t currently have home Internet.
Verizon: Providing two months of free broadband and voice service for current Lifeline customers, introducing a new broadband option for low-income households, increasing high-speed data allotments for existing wireless customers, waiving activation fees on new wireless lines, and free international calling to COVID19-impacted countries.
Windstream: Offering two months of free service and waived activation fees for new low-income customers.
For updates on the FCC’s wide array of actions during the coronavirus pandemic, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/coronavirus. For more information on the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/keepamericansconnected.