Internet providers won’t cut off service during COVID-19 crisis

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Stingrays mimic cell towers, and are used by both criminals and police.
You won‘t lose internet access if you can‘t pay your bill.during the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo: Miguel Á. Padriñán/Pexels CC

Internet service providers AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Verizon and many more have pledged to not cut off service from customers who can’t pay their bills because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Internet access is important during the crisis to keep the public informed, but also to let people work from home, attend school remotely, and keep in touch despite social distancing.

Internet providers take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge

Yesterday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai urged broadband and telephone service providers to take his Keep Americans Connected Pledge. He got a huge positive response.

In addition to the companies already named, the list those that agreed to Pai’s proposal includes Sprint, US Cellular, T-Mobile and TrakFone, as well as Charter, Frontier, Google Fiber, Pioneer, and lots more. The full list can be found on the FCC website.

The pledge commits a company to “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.”

Providers also promise to waive late fees. And are opening Wi-Fi hotspots to anyone who needs them.

Staying connected during the COVID-19 crisis

In urging broadband providers to sign his Keep Americans Connected Pledge, FCC Chairman Pai spoke the importance of internet access during this medical crisis.

“As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected,” said Pai. “Broadband will enable them to communicate with their loved ones and doctors, telework, ensure their children can engage in remote learning, and — importantly — take part in the ‘social distancing’ that will be so critical to limiting the spread of this novel coronavirus.”

Cult of Mac offers extensive coverage of the effects COVID-19 is having on Apple and the tech industry.