Today's Regulatory Mix: FCC Announces Over 750 Providers Extend Keep Americans Connected Pledge, House Committee Announces Forum with FCC Chairman
FCC Announces Over 750 Providers Extend Keep Americans Connected Pledge
The FCC announced that 774 broadband and telephone providers have taken the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and extended that commitment through June 30.
Last month, Chairman Pai announced he was extending the Pledge, originally set to expire on May 12, to June 30. And since that announcement, the number of companies covered by the Pledge has actually increased rather than decreased, as more companies have signed onto the Pledge for the first time than declined to extend it.
By taking the Pledge, each of these companies has committed through June 30 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.
“I’m pleased that the overwhelming majority of companies taking the Pledge has agreed to extend that commitment through the end of June and that new companies have joined this effort,” said Chairman Pai. “This will help ensure that Americans can continue to communicate with loved ones, access education, and get healthcare remotely as they practice social distancing. I am grateful to all who are working to keep Americans connected and those who continue to go above and beyond to help consumers during this pandemic.”
House Committee Announces Forum with FCC Chairman
In a press release, Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Ranking Member Bob Latta (R-OH) announced that the Subcommittee will hold a teleconference forum on Tuesday, May 19, with FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to discuss critical consumer protection, broadband and spectrum issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted significant issues that fall under the purview of the FCC, including the lack of affordable high-speed broadband in too many cities, towns, and rural communities across the country, dangerous robocall scams, the allocation of our nation’s airwaves, expanding access to telehealth and more,” Doyle and Latta said. “We look forward to hearing from Chairman Pai about the steps the FCC is taking to ensure consumers are protected and staying connected to the internet during this pandemic.”
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.