PROVIDER RESPONSES TO COVID-19

Synopsis of Telecommunications and Cable Television Provider Responses to COVID-19

(As of April 3, 2020 at 3:00pm)

Connected Nation Texas (CN Texas) has been tracking what Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are doing to improve your access during these difficult times. ISPs across the Lone Star State have pledged to do a variety of things to relieve the strain on families and businesses.

The following information was compiled from responses to the Texas Public Utility Commission’s Filings for Project No. 50664 and responses provided directly to CN Texas. If you are an ISP that does not report to the PUC, and you’d like to be included on this page, please send your response to jharris@connectednation.org.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC)

Keep America Connected Pledge issued March 13, 2020. Many providers operating in Texas have signed on to this pledge. It essentially states that for the next 60 days:
  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

ACCESS ONE, INC.

To assist customers impacted by COVID-19, Access One has implemented the following voluntary measures:

  1. We are honoring the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge.
  2. We are not collecting deposits for new or upgrading customers who let us know their incomes are impacted by COVID-19.
  3. We are not disconnecting the services of any customers who let us know they are unable to pay because of COVID-19.
  4. We are not assessing late payment charges nor are we reporting late payments to credit reporting agencies while the state disaster declaration is in place.
  5. We are anticipating deferred payment plans and flexible payment arrangements to accommodate customers who let us know they are impacted by COVID-19.

ALENCO COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

As we are grateful for our health-care providers and the guidance or our federal, state and local leaders at this time, we are monitoring the situation closely and are providing assistance where possible. As such our company recognizes the importance of communications services during times such as these, and is doing everything we can to make sure Texans remain "connected" during these trying times.

The communications services provided by Alenco and other rural telecommunications providers allow for the social distancing that is being called for to flatten the curve of this Pandemic. We are working diligently to provide the services that allow for remote access for employees, remote learning opportunities, access to telemedicine and access to e-commerce and other vital communications enabled tools. Alenco has signed onto the Federal Communication Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep American's Connected" pledge. As a part of this pledge, for the next 60 days:

  • Alenco will 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;
  • Alenco will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • Alenco is working with Schools and communities to provide Wi-Fi hotspots for our students.

We have voluntarily increased bandwidth to customers who are on our fiber networks.

ALTICE USA, WHICH PROVIDES SUDDENLINK SERVICES

For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, Altice USA is offering its Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband solution for free for 60 days to new customer households within our footprint. Eligible households interested in this solution can call 888-633-0030 to enroll in the Suddenlink region, which includes Texas.

Altice USA has signed the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge," promising that, for the next 60 days, it will not cut off broadband or telephone service to any customers, even those unable to pay their bills; waive late fees incurred because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and open their Wi-Fi hotspots to all.

Altice USA has aligned with public health authorities and has a team dedicated to its response to the pandemic and business continuity plans to ensure the continuation of services.

As employees interact with customers and the general public, Altice USA has taken steps to limit exposure to and spread of the virus. Altice USA has put restrictions on travel, is postponing large-scale events, encouraging virtual meetings, and providing remote work solutions.

Deep cleaning practices and more frequent cleaning have been implemented in Altice USA stores and offices.

Altice USA is in contact with large hospital systems, schools and government agencies to ensure they have the connectivity services they need to assist the public during this time.

AT&T TEXAS

Consistent with FCC Chairman Pai's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" announced and concerns raised by members of Congress, which we share, AT&T is proud to support our customers by pledging that, for the next 60 days, we will:
  • Not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Waive any late payment fees that any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer may incur because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Waive domestic wireless plan overage charges for data, voice or text for residential or small business wireless customers incurred because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Keep our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
To provide further relief and support, AT&T announced:

Unlimited AT&T Home Internet – All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. Additionally, we’ll continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through our Access from AT&T program. We’ve expanded eligibility to Access from AT&T to households participating in the National School Lunch Program and Head Start. Additionally, we’re offering new Access from AT&T customers two months of free service.

Helping You Work and Learn Remotely – Businesses, universities and schools can keep their teams and classrooms connected through conference calls and video conferencing with Cisco Webex Meetings with AT&T for 90-days, and seamlessly forward calls to both mobile and landline phones with AT&T IP Flexible Reach.

Distance Learning – We’ve created a new Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund to give parents, students and teachers tools they need for at-home learning. The fund also will provide resources to maintain meaningful connections and bonding opportunities for those isolated from family and friends. Our first contribution of $1 million will go to Khan Academy. This collaboration will improve and expand online learning resources to meet growing demand from parents, teachers and students, including those who rely on free resources and need Khan Academy the most. It will also support the development of new resources designed specifically for COVID-19 school closures.

AT&T is underwriting expenses for a “one-stop” resource center to support eLearning Days from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) available to all educators in schools to help them handle school closures and the increase in virtual learning due to COVID-19.

Serving Those who Serve – AT&T is redirecting more resources to provide communication services and tools for first responders, health care professionals, educators and other essential customers. This additional support will help ensure these customers can continue providing critical support to the country and their communities, particularly to first responders using the FirstNet network.

As first responders across the country stand on the front lines to support our nation’s response to COVID-19, they can have confidence knowing that with FirstNet they’ll have the unthrottled connectivity and priority communications they need to respond during this public health emergency. It’s this type of unparalleled emergency support that distinguishes FirstNet, the only nationwide wireless broadband communications platform dedicated to America’s first responders and public safety community, from best-effort commercial wireless networks built for consumer use.

Visit AT&T’s dedicated COVID-19 website for additional details and the latest updates.

BIG BEND TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC.

We have signed onto the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

  • Deposits will be waived for new or upgrading customers who report to us that they need new or additional services but are unable to provide deposits because their incomes are impacted by COVID-19.
  • We are not disconnecting the services of any customers who let us know they are unable to pay because of COVID-19.
  • No late payment charges will be assessed, and late payments will not be reported to credit reporting agencies, while the state disaster declaration is in place.
  • Early cancellation penalties are waived during this disaster.
  • We will make every effort to accommodate deferred payment plans and flexible payment arrangements for customers who let us know they are impacted by COVID-19.

BRAZORIA TELEPHONE COMPANY

Btel understands the uniquely important role we have as a communications provider. Thanks to our substantial investments in fiber technology, the advanced communications network Btel operates will enable customers across our rural service territory to practice the recommended social distancing by working remotely, accessing remote or distance learning tools for their families, engaging in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need and/or utilizing telemedicine resources.

Btel is working actively to ensure that we continue to supply these critical services to our customers for the duration of this emergency. On March 18, 2020, Btel informed its national association, NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, that it was participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Under this pledge, Btel will 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 COVID-19 pandemic. Btel has also pledged to waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic Regarding opening Wi-Fi hotspots. Btel does not currently operate any Wi-Fi hotspots but is working with local officials and schools to see if we can offer such assistance.

On March 19, 2020 Btel management made the decision to offer an upgraded internet speed for all customers experiencing increased need for working or studying from home. This increase will be at no additional cost to the customer and will remain in effect for 60 days.

BRAZOS TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE INC.

As we are grateful for our health-care providers and the guidance or our federal, state and local leaders at this time, we are monitoring the situation closely and are providing assistance where possible. As such our company recognizes the importance of communications services during times such as these, and is doing everything we can to make sure Texans remain "connected" during these trying times. The communications services provided by Brazos and other rural telecommunications providers allow for the social distancing that is being called for to flatten the curve of this Pandemic. We are working diligently to provide the services that allow for remote access for employees, remote learning opportunities, access to telemedicine and access to e-commerce and other vital communications enabled tools.

Brazos has signed onto the Federal Communication Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep American's Connected" pledge. As a part of this pledge, for the next 60 days:

  • Brazos will 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;
  • Brazos will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and o Brazos will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

In addition to items in the pledge, Brazos will waive the installation fee for new service activations in the months of April and May.

CAP ROCK TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

The communications services provided by Cap Rock Telephone Cooperative, Inc. and other rural telecommunnications providers allow for the social distancing that is being called for to flatten the curve of this Pandemic. We are working diligetly to provide the services that allow for remote access for employees, remote learning opportunities, access to telemedicine and access to e-commerce and other vital communications enabled tools.

During this time, Cap Rock Telephone Cooperative, Inc. has taken the following steps to assist its customers and community:
  • Cap Rock Telephone has signed onto the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep American's Connected" pledge. As part of this pledge, for the next 60 days:
    • Cap Rock Telephone will 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;
    • Cap Rock Telephone will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and
    • Cap Rock Telephone will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

CENTRAL TEXAS TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

CTTC has signed onto the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

  • Deposits will be waived for nev‘ or upgrading customers who report to us that they need new or additional services but are unable to provide deposits because their incomes are impacted by COVID-19.
  • We are not disconnecting the services of any customers who let us know they are unable to pay because of COVID-19.
  • We have waived any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will make every effort to accommodate deferred payment plans and flexible payment arrangements for customers who let us know they are impacted by COVID-19.
  • We have public WiFi hotspots in several communities, and we are working on making WiFi available to the more remote schools in our service area.

CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, PROVIDING SERVICES AS SPECTRUM

In the coming weeks, many will be affected either directly or indirectly by COVID-19 and, more than ever before, Americans will rely on high speed broadband in nearly every aspect of their lives. Charter is committed to serving our 29 million customers and ensuring they maintain reliable access to the online resources and information they want and need.

To ease the strain in this challenging time, beginning Monday, March 16, Charter commits to the following for 60 days:

  • Charter will significantly expand access to high speed broadband for households that include K-12 and college students, and we are working with school districts and public libraries on remote learning opportunities.
    • Free Spectrum Internet Assist service, with speeds of 30 Mbps, is available for low income families who are not already enrolled in the program.
    • Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband at any service level up to 100 Mbps (or 200 Mbps in certain markets) and Wi-Fi access to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. A free self-installation kit will be provided to new subscriber households. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
    • Charter will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely.
    • Spectrum Internet does not ever impose data caps or hidden fees.
    • Additionally, Charter will continue to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, our high speed, low cost broadband program for eligible low-income households.
  • Charter will not terminate service for residential or small business customers who face difficult economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Similarly, Charter will not charge late fees for those customers facing difficult economic circumstances related to the pandemic.
  • Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use.
    • A map with all of our Wi-Fi hot spots is available here.
  • These efforts include but also go far beyond the FCC's Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Spectrum News has opened its websites to ensure people have access to news and information.

Charter has also donated airtime to run 1,000 COVID-19 public service announcement (PSA) spots per week, including on all Spectrum News Networks, for four weeks to our full footprint of 16,000,000 video subscribers at an approximate value of $3,000,000 each week. Additionally, Charter will run the PSAs on our digital video and streaming apps.

As the country works collaboratively to contain this pandemic, broadband internet access will be increasingly essential to ensuring that people across the country are able to learn and work remotely, that businesses can continue to serve customers, and that Americans stay connected and engaged with family and friends. Charter's advanced communications network will ensure our more than 29 million customers — including government offices and agencies, first responders, health care providers and facilities, and businesses — across 41 states maintain the connectivity they rely on. Charter is working closely with federal, state, and local government officials, community leaders, and alongside others in the industry to ensure we are meeting needs, sharing appropriate information, staying abreast of developments, and maintaining the appropriate access to geographies that may be operating under a state of emergency.

Our network is built to exceed capacity at peak usage, which is typically in the evenings. We monitor our own networks 24x7 and consult regularly with other connectivity providers. It is still early, but thus far, across our network and theirs, any increase in daytime network activity has been modest, far below capacity, and even still well below typical evening usage. Charter will continue to closely monitor this dynamic situation and is well prepared to continue delivering reliable connectivity. Charter has extensive business and workforce continuity plans in place that will be adjusted as needed to best serve all our customers and employees.

CHEROKEE TELEPHONE COMPANY

We are still issuing disconnect notices but it is a company policy that all disconnects are suspended and we will not be disconnecting customers for non-pay until further notice and are working with customers to enter into payment arrangements in an effort to minimize the customer accruing an unpaid bill they may have little chance to pay if this policy remains in effect for any length of time.

COLEMAN COUNTY COOPERATIVE, INC.

As we are grateful for our health-care providers and the guidance or our federal, state and local leaders at this time, we are monitoring the situation closely and are providing assistance where possible. As such our company recognizes the importance of communications services during times such as these, and is doing everything we can to make sure Texans remain "connected" during these trying times.

The communications services provided by CCTC and other rural telecommunications providers allow for the social distancing that is being called for to flatten the curve of this Pandemic. We are working diligently to provide the services that allow for remote access for employees, remote learning opportunities, access to telemedicine and access to e-commerce and other vital communications enabled tools.

CCTC has signed onto the Federal Communication Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep American's Connected" pledge. As a part of this pledge, for the next 60 days:

  • CCTC will 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;
  • CCTC will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • CCTC will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

COLORADO VALLEY TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

We are sensitive to the impact this is having on our customers and employees, while also recognizing the importance of keeping our fellow Texans connected. With these thoughts in mind we have implemented the following measures:

  • Signed the FCC's Keep America Connected Pledge to pledge for the next 60 days 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;
    • waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
    • open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

COMCAST, WHICH PROVIDES XFINITY SERVICES

Comcast has made it even easier for low-income families who live in a Comcast service area to sign-up for Internet Essentials, the nation's largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. Additionally, for all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program's Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream. That increase will go into effect for no additional fee and it will become the new base speed for the program going forward.

Comcast has signed the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge," promising that, for the next 60 days, it will not cut off broadband or telephone service to any customers, even those unable to pay their bills; waive late fees incurred because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and open their Wi-Fi hotspots to all. For a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots, visit www.xfinitv.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the "xfmitywifi" network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.

Comcast has created new educational collections for all grade levels in partnership with Common Sense Media. Just say "education" into the X1 or Flex voice remote. To help keep customers informed, Comcast also has created a collection of the most current news and information on coronavirus. Just say "coronavirus" into the X1 or Flex voice remote.

Comcast is pausing its data plans for 60 days, giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.

Comcast's technology and engineering teams will continue to work tirelessly to support network operations. Engineers and technicians staff network operations centers 24/7 to ensure network performance and reliability. Comcast is monitoring network usage and watching the load on the network both nationally and locally, and to date it is performing well.

CONSOLIDATED COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

We understand the critical importance of connectivity at a time like this and have implemented numerous measures to ensure business continuity and to prevent interruptions to services or support.

We have joined the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge during this pandemic event.

We have offered free Internet to families with no Internet access in our service area, subject to terms outlined in this offer.

CROWN CASTLE FIBER LLC

Crown Castle Fiber is a facilities-based and resale provider of telecommunications services to enterprise customers and carriers. Crown Castle Fiber's services and infrastructure are essential to the maintenance, repair, recovery and restoration of telecommunications services in response to the COVID-10 crisis. In accordance with Governor Abbott's March 31,2020 order and the US Department of Homeland Security Guidance, Crown Castle Fiber provides an essential service and continues to operate to maintain its communications network.

Crown Castle has taken the following measure during the COVID-19 Emergency:

  • Suspended late payment charges and service disconnections due to non-payment for 60 days in accordance with the Federal Communications Commission Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

CUMBY TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

As we are grateful for our health-care providers and the guidance or our federal, state and local leaders at this time, we are monitoring the situation closely and are providing assistance where possible. As such our company recognizes the importance of communications services during times such as these, and is doing everything we can to make sure Texans remain "connected" during these trying times.

The communications services provided by CTC and other rural telecommunications providers allow for the social distancing that is being called for to flatten the curve of this Pandemic. We are working diligently to provide the services that allow for remote access for employees, remote learning opportunities, access to telemedicine and access to e-commerce and other vital communications enabled tools.

CTC has signed onto the Federal Communication Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep Americans Connected" pledge. As a part of this pledge, for the next 60 days:

  • CTC will 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;
  • CTC will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • CTC will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to y American who needs them.

In addition to items in the pledge CTC has taken the following actions specifically within its community:

  • CTC has installed Five (5) free, drive up, Wi-Fi access points at community locations for students and those working from home.

EASTEX TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

On March 16, 2020, Eastex informed its national association, NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, that it was participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Under such pledge, Eastex will 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 COVID-19 pandemic. Eastex has also pledged to waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In regard to opening Wi-Fi hotspots, Eastex does not currently operate any Wi-Fi hotspots but is working with local officials and schools to see if we can offer such assistance.

In addition to the above, Eastex is reaching out to local schools and leaders to explore initiatives to increase student connectivity and allow greater access to distance learning. Eastex is proactively exploring service promotions and other ways in which its network can be harnessed to increase connectivity for students, teachers, and others throughout its territory. We will provide a subsequent update on these efforts.

Eastex’s non-regulated affiliate is waiving connection fees and providing two months of free broadband Internet service to qualifying customers within the Cooperative’s service area to promote distance learning opportunities.

Eastex is working with local school districts in its service area to establish numerous Wi-Fi hot spots at various locations throughout the community permitting students to access distance learning resources provided by the affected school districts. Thus far, Eastex anticipates establishing multiple free Wi-Fi hotspots for the Livingston, Big Sandy, Coldsprings-Oakhurst, Waskom, Elysian Fields, Rusk, Laneville, and Henderson School Districts, but has contacted all school districts to ensure that they are aware that the Cooperative is available to assist. For those new hotspots that require construction, Eastex has prioritized those efforts consistent with its approved tariffs and the Cooperative’s Emergency Operations Plan.

Eastex continues to monitor for traffic spikes in its network to ensure that it can meet increased demand as more customers work from home and implement other social distancing tactics.

ETEX TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC

We recognize the importance of our customers having the ability to stay connected during this time of crisis. The high quality communications services, specifically broadband service, provided by Etex and its affiliates are enabling its customers and their families to work from home, participate in online classes that have temporarily replaced school classrooms, engage in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need, access telemedicine resources, access supply goods and services in this time of crisis and stay in contact with family and friends. Etex is taking appropriate precautions to ensure the availability of critical services for the duration of this crisis.

We are participating in the Federal Communications Commission's ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

  • For the next 60 days, Etex will not disconnect any customer who is unable to pay because their income has been impacted by COVID-19 and we will not charge any late payment fees.
  • In addition to the measures we are implementing for residential customers, Etex is also working with all businesses whose income has been impacted by COVID-19 to develop a payment plan that allows them to continue receiving telecommunications services.
With many of our local schools closing for the remainder of the school year, Etex understands the importance of students having broadband connectivity that allows access to distance learning. Etex is working with our local schools to provide additional hotspots for community access to internet service.

As demonstrated during this COVID-19 crisis, broadband connectivity is of upmost importance to every Texan and even more so to those Texans that live in rural areas like those that Etex serves. Etex has seen customer requests for broadband service double in just the last week.

FIVE AREA TELEPHONE COOP., INC

As we are grateful for our health-care providers and the guidance or our federal, state and local leaders at this time, we are monitoring the situation closely and are providing assistance where possible. As such our company recognizes the importance of communications services during times such as these, and is doing everything we can to make sure Texans remain "connected" during these trying times.

The communications services provided by Five Area Telephone Cooperative, Inc. and other rural telecommunications providers allow for the social distancing that is being called for to flatten the curve of this Pandemic. We are working diligently to provide the services that allow for remote access for employees, remote learning opportunities, access to telemedicine and access to e-commerce and other vital communications enabled tools.

During this time, Five Area Telephone Cooperative, Inc., has taken the following steps to assist its customers and community:

Five Area Telephone Cooperative, Inc. has signed onto the Federal Communication Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep American's Connected" pledge. As a part of this pledge, for the next 60 days:

  • Five Area Telephone Cooperative, Inc. will 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;
  • Five Area Telephone Cooperative, Inc. will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • Five Area Telephone Cooperative, Inc. will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

GUADALUPE VALLEY TELEPHONE COOP

GVTC signed onto the Federal Communication Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep Americans Connected" pledge and therefore pledges for the next 60 days 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;
  • waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them. (Note: GVTC does not have Wi-Fi hotspots.)

HILL COUNTRY TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

Last week. the Federal Communications Commission issued a press release detailing its efforts to ensure that during the current pandemic. Americans who are affected will not lose access to their broadband or telephone connectivity. The FCC has termed this effort the "Keep Americans Connected Pledge." Within 24 hours of the FCC's outreach to the industry seeking support for this effort, HCTC signed onto the pledge and was listed in the FCC's press release along with a number of companies from across the nation supporting the measure, including AT&T, Sprint. Verizon, T-Mobile and a number of other smaller regional providers.

As part of this pledge, HCTC has agreed that for the next 60 days we will:

  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 our Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

In addition to the commitments made through his pledge, HCTC is proactively working to find creative solutions to assist our local school districts to serve students and their families who may not currently have internet service at home. To enact distance learning curricula in the face of school closures. students and teachers alike will be heavily reliant on reliable broadband connections to remain productive and complete required coursework. HCTC is committed to assisting our schools in addressing this critical need.

INNERCITY FIBERNET, LLC

We endeavor to use our absolute best efforts to ensure that these critical communication systems are up and running 24/7/365. We are also ready, willing and able to respond to customers' requirements to turn up new circuits to meet the bandwidth requirements of the metroplex during this time of crisis.

LA WARD TELEPHONE EXCHANGE, INC.

La Ward has also activated its Emergency Operations Plan and is proactively working to assist local schools to enact distance learning. La Ward technicians have been educated and provided the necessary tools to ensure their health and safety.

Additionally, La Ward has pledged to the FCC for the next 60 days to support the Keep Americans Connected Pledge as follows:

  • La Ward will 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;
  • La Ward will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavinis pandemic; and
  • La Ward will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

LIPAN TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC.

As we are grateful for our health-care providers and the guidance or our federal, state and local leaders at this time, we are monitoring the situation closely and are providing assistance where possible. As such our company recognizes the importance of communications services during times such as these, and is doing everything we can to make sure Texans remain "connected" during these trying times.

The communications services provided by Lipan Telephone and other rural telecommunications providers allow for the social distancing that is being called for to flatten the curve of this Pandemic. We are working diligently to provide the services that allow for remote access for employees, remote learning opportunities, access to telemedicine and access to e-commerce and other vital communications enabled tools.

Lipan Telephone has signed onto the Federal Communication Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep American's Connected" pledge. As a part of this pledge, for the next 60 days:

  • Lipan Telephone will 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;
  • Lipan Telephone will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • Lipan Telephone will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

LIVINGSTON TELEPHONE COMPANY

Recently, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") issued a press release detailing its efforts that during the current pandemic, Americans affected by the virus will not lose access to their telephone and broadband services called the "Keep Americans Connected Pledge." LivCom (under its parent name USConnect) has taken the FCC's Pledge to keep Americans connected supporting their efforts. As part of this pledge, LivCom has agreed that for the next 60 days that:

  1. LivCom will 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. will 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.

LivCom has extended its student connect program (a discounted Internet offering) to all students and teachers. LivCom has worked closely with the district on its emergency learning plans and is offering to connect students who have not had service for 90 days for free through then end of the school closure. The district used its emergency phone message system to get the message to parents of 9-12th graders. LivCom designated a customer representative to handle the calls. LivCom also opened an expanded hotspot next to its business office (which has a large field for parking) that will automatically authenticate all student issued chrome books and provide access to download/upload assignments from their vehicles. LivCom is also working with the school to get fiber access to free lunch drop-off locations. LivCom has added hours to its technician schedules to fulfill all student and teleworker request for connection.

PATHWAYZ COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

Verified the ability to operate and manage equipment used in providing telecom and internet services remotely in the event of a quarantine travel restrictions

PEOPLES TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

We recognize the importance of our customers having the ability to stay connected during this time of crisis. The high quality communications services provided by Peoples and its affiliates are enabling its customers and their families to work from home, participate in online classes that have temporarily replaced school classrooms, engage in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need, access telemedicine resources, access supply goods and services in this time of crisis and stay in contact with family and friends.

We are participating in the Federal Communication Commission's ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

For the next 60 days, Peoples:

  • will not disconnect any customer who is unable to pay because their income has been impacted by COVID-19; and
  • will not charge any late payment fees.

In addition to the measures we are implementing for residential customers, Peoples is also working with all businesses whose income has been impacted by COVID-19 to develop a payment plan that allows them to continue receiving telecommunications services.

With many of our local schools closing for weeks and sometimes the remainder of the school year, Peoples understands the importance of students having connectivity that allows access to distance learning. We have reached out to the local schools in our service areas to inform them that we will provide one month of free broadband service, where available, to any student that currently does not have broadband service. Additionally, for any school where Peoples has facilities to provide 10 Gbps service, we are increasing the school's connection to the full 10 Gbps and for schools that are subscribing to less than 1 Gbps, we are increasing their service to 1 Gbps. These increased speeds will be provided at no additional cost to schools until September 2020. Where Peoples does not currently have equipment in place to offer a school 10 Gbps service, we are evaluating what equipment would be needed to provide such service. The biggest roadblock right now in procuring this equipment is the delivery time of the equipment. Currently, there is such a demand for the equipment that the delivery time is very long. Peoples is looking at the need for additional hotspots for schools and community facilities.

PHONOSCOPE, INC.

Given the exigent circumstances in this unfolding and fluid situation, the telecommunication services provided by Phonoscope are more crucial than ever in order to insure that members of the public in our service areas are able to get the connectivity necessary to engage in their work, social and educational routines.

  • We will not terminate service to any of our residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • We will waive any late fees that any of our residential or small business customers may incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • We are making Wi-Fi hotspots available to any member of the public who needs such where we have the ability to provide.

POKA LAMBRO TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE

As we are grateful for our health-care providers and the guidance or our federal, state and local leaders at this time, we are monitoring the situation closely and are providing assistance where possible. As such our company recognizes the importance of communications services during times such as these, and is doing everything we can to make sure Texans in our service area remain connected during these trying times. The communications services provided by Poka Lambro and other rural telecommunications providers allow for the social distancing that is being called for to flatten the curve of this pandemic. We are working diligently to provide the services that allow for remote access for employees, remote learning opportunities, access to telemedicine and access to e-commerce and other vital communications enabled tools.

We have signed onto the Federal Communication Commission ("FCC")'s "Keep American's Connected" pledge. As a part of this pledge, for the next 60 days:

  • We will 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;
  • Poka Lambro will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic; and
  • The company will open our WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them.

In addition to items in the pledge Poka Lambro has taken the following actions specifically within our community:

  • We are working with school officials to see that, as much as possible, students have access to Internet services at home.
  • The company is also taking steps to activate new WiFi hotspots for student and public use.

RIVIERA TELEPHONE COMPANY INC

We recognize that it is more important now than ever for Texans to stay connected. During these trying times, high quality telecommunications services are allowing people all across the state to work from home, use remote or distance learning, engage in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need , and-perhaps most importantly given the nature of this crisis-access telemedicine resources.

We have signed onto the Federal Communications Comrnission ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

  • We are not disconnecting the services of any customers who let us know they are unable to pay because of COVID- 19.
  • No late payrnent charges will be assessed while the state disaster declaration is in place.
  • Early cancellation penalties are waived during this disaster.
  • We will make every effort to accommodate deferred payment plans and flexible payment arrangements for customers who let us know they are impacted by COV1D-19.

We launched "Connect our Students" initiative to provide internet service to all students in our service areas without charging them installation charges or monthly recurring charges during the time that we are dealing with COVID-19.

SPARKLIGHT, FORMERLY CABLE ONE

A 15 Mbps internet plan for $10 per month is available for the next 60 days to help low income families and those most impacted from coronavirus challenges, such as seniors and college students. No documentation will be required to sign up for this plan. Sparklight has signed the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge," promising that, for the next 60 days, it will not cut off broadband or telephone service to any customers, even those unable to pay their bills; waive late fees incurred because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and open their Wi-Fi hotspots to all.

Sparklight has made unlimited data available on all internet services for the next 30 days.

Sparklight stands ready to support critical infrastructure with speed upgrades and other requests to ensure ongoing and reliable service for local educators and health care professionals, including customers under federal rural healthcare and E-rate programs.

TAYLOR TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

During these trying times, our reliable telecommunications services are allowing our customers to practice the recommended social distancing and work from home, use remote or distance learning, engage in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need, keep in touch with loved ones remotely, and access telemedicine resources. Such connectivity is crucial to helping slow the spread of the virus.

Taylor Telecom is following the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge. For example, we are not disconnecting the services of any customers who let us know they are unable to pay because of COVID-19.

We are also doing our best to expand services to students and other customers who need additional connectivity during this time.

  • We are providing a special student plan (see attached FAQ and rate sheet) to help families—including low income families—provide connectivity for remote learning. We are working with school districts to try to reach all students in our area.
  • We have engaged subcontractors to help support our employees in order to perform as many installations as quickly as possible.
  • We are increasing spares to better ensure continuity of service even if there are longer-term supply chain issues or restrictions on business/movement going forward.

View the Student Rate Plan Options PDF

TEXAS CABLE ASSOCIATION

The Texas Cable Association (TCA) is working with its company members that provide high-speed broadband to ensure that all Texans can stay connected at a time when being connected is more important and necessary than ever. TCA has issued the following statement attributed to TCA President Walt Baum:

"Reliance on broadband networks has become critical as Americans spend more time in isolation while trying to continue to attend school, work, stay informed and entertained, and connect with friends and family. In Texas and across the nation, cable companies are answering the call for reliable and expanded access to highspeed internet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The Texas Cable Association is working closely with state leadership to make sure Texas has the tools it needs to help our state during this time, including using our capabilities to get credible, accurate information out to Texans. As part of this commitment, our four cable company members are donating air time to run a Public Service Announcement by Gov. Greg Abbott which promotes simple and effective ways for Texans to respond to the coronavirus.

"Network demand recently has grown due to increased work-from-home and school-from-home. Cable networks are already engineered to handle spikes and shift in usage patterns, such as large traffic increases around events such as the Superbowl or the Olympics.

"In addition, cable's regional and national centers are carefully monitoring network performance around the clock. Cable companies have national, interconnected networks; if needed, traffic can be shifted to redundant systems. We are confident that internet capacity will continue to perform, even under increased demand.

"Cable broadband providers also have expanded existing initiatives that provide internet services for low income families; with schools in Texas now closed, we want all students to be able to continue their education without interruption."

TEXAS TELEPHONE ASSOCIATION

Regarding customer health and well-being, TTA has endorsed the Federal Communications Commission Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Pledging companies have agreed for a period of 60 days to waive late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to COVID-19. In addition, such companies pledge not to terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus. Companies taking the pledge also agreed to open any existing Wi-Fi hotspots to anyone who needs them. These commitments will help ensure connectivity and aid rural Texas customers and small businesses facing challenges due to the global health and economic crisis.

During these trying times, reliable telecommunications services are enabling Texans from every corner of the state to practice recommended social distancing measures by working from home, using remote or distance learning resources, engaging in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need, keeping in touch with family members and communities remotely, and—perhaps most importantly given the nature of this crisis—accessing telemedicine resources. The industry remains vigilant in monitoring and managing network performance to serve customers in this challenging time.

TOTELCOM COMMUNICATIONS, LLC AND NORTH TEXAS TELEPHONE COMPANY

Totelcom and NTT are both actively working to assist those impacted by the COVID-19. We are grateful to have deployed reliable networks throughout our service territories that can be utilized to help keep our customers connected during this disaster. Our services are allowing our customers to practice the recommended social distancing by working from home, using remote or distance learning, keeping in touch with loved ones remotely, engaging in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need, and/or accessing telemedicine resources.

Specifically. Totelcom and NTT have implemented the following voluntary measures to assist customers:

  • We support the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge, meaning we are not disconnecting services and are not charging late payment fees for customers who are unable to pay due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • We are providing free installations to connect service for households with students.
  • We are also providing public WiFi access points for students and other members of the public.

VALLEY TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE INC.

During this time when employers are encouraging employees to work from home and government officials at all levels are encouraging citizens to exercise social distancing tactics to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, VTCI is cognizant of the uniquely important role that it plays as a telecommunications provider in keeping our members connected. Thanks to the advanced telecommunications network VTCI and its affiliates operate, customers across our rural service territory can practice the recommended social distancing by working remotely, accessing remote or distance learning tools for their families, engaging in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need, and/or utilizing telemedicine resources. Due to our important role during this crisis, VTCI is taking appropriate precautions to ensure that it is able to supply critical services to customers for the duration of this emergency.

In addition to the above, VTCI is reaching out to local schools and leaders to explore initiatives to increase student connectivity and allow greater access to distance learning. VTCI is proactively exploring service promotions and other ways in which its network can be harnessed to increase connectivity for students, teachers, and others throughout its territory. We will provide a subsequent update on these efforts.

VTCI has further informed its national association, NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, that it was participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Under such pledge, VTCI will 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 COVID-19 pandemic. Eastex has also pledged to waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In regard to opening Wi-Fi hotspots, Eastex does not currently operate any Wi-Fi hotspots but is working with local officials and schools to see if we can offer such assistance.

VERIZON WIRELESS

Verizon is prepared to serve customers during COVID-19 crisis

  • Our fiber optic and wireless networks are meeting the shifting demands of customers and continue to perform well.
  • Waiving wireless data overage charges to support customers who may be financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Offering free international calling to CDC level 3 countries to keep customers connected.
  • Signed the FCC’s “Keep America Connected” pledge and committed 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, and to waive any late fees that they incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Waiving internet and voice service charges for current Lifeline customers for two billing cycles.
  • Adding 15GB of data for no charge to the plans of wireless and small business customers on metered plans, 15GB of 4G LTE hotspot data to wireless customers on unlimited plans, and 15GB of data to Jetpack plans.
  • Offering free international calling to CDC level 3 countries to keep customers connected.
  • Waiving activation fees on new lines of service or upgrades.
  • Offering unlimited domestic calling to wireless customers on limited-minute plans through April 30.
  • Created a coronavirus hub page, https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus/, across the Yahoo ecosystem that aggregates trusted and reliable news and content.

Verizon is partnering with first responders, governments, schools, and public health agencies to deliver on critical missions

  • Tripled the data allowance for Verizon Innovative Learning schools.
  • Giving first responders priority access to our networks.
  • Deploying portable cell sites to add network capacity at Emergency Operations Centers, mobile testing sites and quarantine areas nationwide.
  • Supporting industry-specific telehealth apps to help healthcare agencies care for patients and enable testing with connected technologies.
  • Enabled thousands of conference lines for federal, state, local and healthcare organizations to enable new, secure work-from-home strategies.
  • Launched new interactive voice response services (IVRs) to help both healthcare and public sector agencies prioritize and more effectively route incoming coronavirus-related calls.
  • Working with government agencies to stand up additional call centers and work-from-home solutions.

Verizon is investing in the U.S. economy and donating to critical organizations nationally and internationally

  • Investing more in our economy by increasing our capital guidance range from $17 - $18 billion to $17.5 - $18.5 billion in 2020.
  • Supporting our communities through a combined $13 million donation to nonprofits directed at supporting students and healthcare first responders, including No Kid Hungry, the American Red Cross, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) COVID-19 Response Fund, Direct Relief, and the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s global response.
  • Donating $2.5 million to Local Initiatives Support Corporation, a national nonprofit that invests in economic opportunity for people and communities across America, as part of the launch of Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live, a weekly streaming entertainment series in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19. Over the course of the series, all viewers will be encouraged to tag their favorite local businesses and make advance purchases for when the businesses reopen. As consumers engage, Verizon will unlock an additional $2.5 million in funds, bringing the total donation to a potential $5 million.

VTX1 COMPANIES

During this time when employers are encouraging employees to work from home and government officials at all levels are encouraging citizens to exercise social distancing tactics to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, VTCI is cognizant of the uniquely important role that it plays as a telecommunications provider in keeping our members connected. Thanks to the advanced telecommunications network VTCI and its affiliates operate, customers across our rural service territory can practice the recommended social distancing by working remotely, accessing remote or distance learning tools for their families, engaging in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need, and/or utilizing telemedicine resources. Due to our important role during this crisis, VTCI is taking appropriate precautions to ensure that it is able to supply critical services to customers for the duration of this emergency.

VTCI has further informed its national association, NTCA, the Rural Broadband Association, that it was participating in the Federal Communications Commission's Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Under such pledge, VTCI will 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 COVID-19 pandemic. Eastex has also pledged to waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In regard to opening Wi-Fi hotspots, Eastex does not currently operate any Wi-Fi hotspots but is working with local officials and schools to see if we can offer such assistance.

In addition to the above, VTCI is reaching out to local schools and leaders to explore initiatives to increase student connectivity and allow greater access to distance learning. VTCI is proactively exploring service promotions and other ways in which its network can be harnessed to increase connectivity for students, teachers, and others throughout its territory. We will provide a subsequent update on these efforts.

WEB FIRE COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

We recognize the important responsibilities that we and other Internet and telecommunications providers have to our customers during this emergency, and we are taking our service responsibilities very seriously because it is so important that Texans stay connected during this time of crises. Such connectivity is crucial to helping slow the spread of the virus.

Web Fire is actively working to assist those impacted by the COVID-19. We are grateful to have deployed reliable networks throughout our service territories that can be utilized to help keep our customers connected during this disaster. Our services are allowing our customers to practice the recommended social distancing by working from home, using remote or distance learning, keeping in touch with loved ones remotely, engaging in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need, and/or accessing telemedicine resources. Specifically. Web Fire has implemented the following voluntary measures to assist customers:

  • We support the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") Keep Americans Connected Pledge, meaning we are not disconnecting services and are not charging late payment fees for customers who are unable to pay due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • We are providing free installations to connect service for households with students.
  • We are also providing public WiFi access points for students and other members of the public.

WEST TEXAS RURAL TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE

We recognize the important role rural communications providers hold in keeping our customers connected during this crisis.

We have:

  • Suported the Federal Communications Commission Keep Americans Connected Pledge. As part of this pledge, we have agreed for the next 60 days we will:
    • not disconnect services
    • are not charging late payment fees for customers who are unable to pay due to the economic impacts of the Coronavirus.

WESTEX CONNECT

At WesTex Connect our focus today is the same as it’s always been for 21 years — ensuring you have the most reliable wireless internet service experience possible. Which couldn’t be more important than it is now! As this COVID-19 virus crisis creates an environment where you are likely looking to use any internet service differently. Spending increased time online: tel-a-health, paying bills, working from home, school work on a tablet or learning with your phone at a remote location. At WesTex Connect we are taking a range of actions to ensure we continue to meet your needs at this critical time. We are ALL in this together!! In cooperation with the City of Abilene, Abilene & Wylie Independent School Districts, plus other communities & school districts around the Big Country...

WesTex Connect will be rolling out FREE WI-FI Hotspots through-out the Big Country...

  • WesTex Connect will be lighting up PE Shotwell Stadium's north parking lot
  • Wylie Bulldog Stadium (west parking lot)
  • Abilene Convention Center (north parking lot)
  • Clyde, Texas: City Pavillion @ 106 Cedar (across from the Clyde Chamber)
  • Merkel, Texas: Badgers Stadium and/or City Park w/ Watertower
  • Sweetwater, Texas: Sutherlands Lumber (parking lot)

All one needs to do is drive into the respective parking lot, stay in your vehicle, keeping the Social Distancing requirements & rules in play, pull up settings on the device, search available networks, log on WesTex_Connect_WIFI, click connect (no password required) & use the FREE WI-FI provided by WesTex Connect.

Work in Progress

  • Anson, Texas: Tigers Stadium and/or City Park
  • Roscoe, Texas: City Park
  • Tuscola, Texas: City Park
  • TBD - Need one (1) in Fisher & Shackelford County

Tech Reqs: Each location will have ample bandwidth to serve 200-500+ simultaneous users depending on demand.

WES-TEX TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

For community outreach we have begun opening free Wi-Fi access points at several of our central office buildings throughout our service area for the intent of serving furloughed school students with no internet access and have been notifying local school district superintendents as access points become available in their districts. We are awaiting board of director approval for signing the Keep America Connected Pledge, but are working within the spirit of that pledge until we can officially institute all the aspects of the FCC's pledge.

XIT RURAL TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

As Texas and the rest of the United States rise to meet the challenges created by the global COVID-19 pandemic, XIT Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc. ("XIT") recognizes the critical role that rural telecommunications providers must play during this rapidly-developing public health emergency. Accordingly, XIT continues to increase its efforts to safeguard the strength of its networks and the health and wellbeing of its workforce, customers, and local communities.

Below are some of the specific steps XIT has taken so far in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Joining the Federal Communications Commission Keep Americans Connected Pledge;
  • Working with area schools to provide internet for students who do not have access at home;
  • Converting wi-fi hotspots in XIT's serving area into publicly-available internet access points;
  • Working to deploy additional wi-fi hotspots in towns located in XIT's service territory;
  • Prioritizing and dedicating personnel to serving XIT customers with trouble tickets to ensure maximum continuity of service during this crisis

YK COMMUNICATIONS, LTD

During these trying times, our reliable services are allowing customers to practice the recommended social distancing, work from home, use remote and "telelearning" to continue educating children displaced from our schools, engage in online commerce to obtain the supplies they need and access telemedicine services when needed. Such connectivity is crucial to helping slow the spread of the virus. YKC has pledged to the Federal Communications Commission our support of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.

  • We are not disconnecting services or charging late fees to customers who let us know they are unable to pay because of COVID-19 financial issues.
  • We have communicated with three of our school districts to provide free planning, installation and equipment to extend the outdoor coverage and capacity of their existing Wi-Fi networks. These additions will allow students and general public population with "drive-up Wi-Fi" access to parking lots and sports stadiums while still making it possible to practice social distancing guidelines.

ZAYO GROUP, LLC

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission recently recognized that "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 [the world] stay connected. 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."

Zayo is considered a critical component and "Essential Service" to the Covid-19 response process, as we provide bandwidth to critical response companies that need that bandwidth to battle Covid-19 and/or keep the economy running.

Zayo continues to work to install and repair Essential Services to local businesses, and state and federal agencies in the area in response to the Covid-19 situation. The Department of Homeland Security has provided Zayo with authorization letters to allow our technicians the ability to travel to and access critical infrastructure facilities during curfews and restricted travel periods, as well as the ability to obtain fuel during any restriction period.