PROVIDER RESPONSES TO COVID-19

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

(As of May 12, 2020 at 3:19pm)

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, research conducted by CN Texas, and responses provided directly to CN Texas. If you are an ISP providing services in Texas and you’d like to be included on this page, please send your response to jharris@connectednation.org.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC)

The “Keep Americans Connected Pledge" was first issued on March 13, 2020. On April 30, 2020, Chairman Ajit Pai extended the pledge through June 30, 2020. Many providers operating in Texas have signed on to this pledge:

  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
The FCC has temporarily waived Lifeline usage requirements and general de-enrollment procedures until June 30, 2020. Three FCC orders, released on March 17, March 30, and April 29, will help ensure that no current Lifeline subscribers are involuntarily removed from the Lifeline program during this time of national crisis. The orders also direct the Lifeline program administrator to pause any involuntary de-enrollment of existing subscribers until that date. Additionally, on April 29, 2020, the FCC temporarily waived the requirement that consumers seeking to qualify for the program based on their income must provide at least three consecutive months of income documentation. To learn more about other low cost broadband options visit everyone.org.

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

As an essential service provider in this time of crisis, our products – internet, video, mobile, news - play a critical role in keeping customers connected and informed. Whether it’s providing internet solutions to healthcare providers, school districts and police departments, enabling remote working options for employers and online learning capabilities for students, or offering around-the-clock news coverage of the global pandemic, we know our customers are relying on us now more than ever.

We are proud to have signed the FCC's 'Keep Americans Connected Pledge,' which provides relief to customers impacted by this pandemic, and have extended our commitment through June 30.

We are also offering our Altice Advantage product to new households with students for free for until the end of the 2019-20 school year, opened our outdoor emergency Wi-Fi hotspots, and are in touch with hospital systems, local governments and schools to see how we can aid in their efforts to help. To learn more about these offerings and relief efforts, visit optimum.com/keepyouconnected or suddenlink.com/keepyouconnected.

Our advanced fiber broadband networks, which we have invested in heavily over the last few years, can deliver for customers the quality and reliability for all their evolving personal and professional connectivity needs, including the increasing demands the current environment will cause. We remain hyper-focused on network reliability and performance, with our engineers, operations centers and crews dedicated to making sure our services continue to perform as expected.

And, as always, our customers can rely on our digital tools – mobile apps, online portals, chat – for easy, 24/7 access to accounts and support. We encourage customers to use these digital tools for non-urgent matters so that our customer care representatives can focus on questions related to the pandemic.

AT&T TEXAS

Consistent with FCC Chairman Pai's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" and concerns raised by members of Congress, which we share, AT&T is proud to support our customers by pledging that, for 60 days, we will:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.*
  3. 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.*
  4. Keep our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.

*To submit a waiver request, visit https://att.com/help/covid-19/waive-overage-fee/

Our newest benefits include more mobile hotspot data, accessory discounts, flexible return policy, curb-side pick-up, door step delivery and free express shipping. 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. We're also offering schools a way to save on unlimited wireless broadband connectivity for students. Through May 22nd, qualified schools activating new lines on qualified data-only plans for school-issued tablets, 4G LTE-enabled laptops and hotspot devices will get the wireless data service at no cost for 60 days.
  • Distance Learning — We've created a new $10 million 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.
  • AT&T Supports First Responders, Medical Personnel and Others in need impacted by COVID-19 with Nourishing Meals— First responders and medical personnel are playing a critical role in helping care for their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. That's why we've committed $5.5 million to provide nourishing meals for first responders, medical personnel, and others in need impacted by COVID-19. We'll be collaborating with local organizations in communities most impacted by the pandemic.
  • 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 AT&T also announced three months of free wireless service for frontline nurses and physicians nationwide on the FirstNet network. Visit FirstNet.com to learn more.

Connecting Military and Family at No Cost— We're helping keep our military and their families connected during this difficult time. We've worked out an agreement with the Navy Exchange Command that allows military personnel stationed on selected Navy ships to make calls to their loved ones through April 30 at no cost to the Navy or its sailors.

Reducing Retail Locations — Due to coronavirus, we will begin to close additional AT&T stores across the nation, significantly reducing our retail footprint to a minimum number of locations required to serve first responders, healthcare workers, government users and our customers Where possible, we will keep at least one retail location open within a 20-mile radius in urban and suburban areas, and just over a 30-mile radius in rural areas. To locate a retail store that will remain open to serve your area, please visit our store tracker at www.att.com/stores.

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

BIG BEND TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC.

Big Bend Telephone has 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.

On April 8, 2020, BBT was added to the list of less than 50 companies nationwide who are recognized for going above and beyond to help consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic. While over 650 service providers have taken the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge”, BBT is one of a select group of those carriers being recognized for taking additional steps to promote remote learning at no extra cost to consumers.

Specifically, the FCC notes that BBT is:

  • Increasing the speeds of all customers until May 31
  • Offering two months of free broadband to new customers
  • Suspending data overage charges
  • Extending school district networks to students without access
  • Providing Wi-Fi to first responders and utility technicians
  • Establishing Wi-Fi hotspots for educational purposes
  • Established community open Wi-Fi access in strategic community locations across service area

“We thank and applaud our staff for their commitment and hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Russell Moore, BBT General Manager/COO. “The BBT team remains busy completing critical connections throughout our 18,000 square mile serving area. This includes schools, students, anchor institutions, healthcare professionals, first responders, businesses, and residents.”

During these trying times, BBT's priority is taking care of our customers and the communities we serve. We are dedicated to making sure those within our service area have access to crucial voice and internet services. Together we will stay connected and focused on a brighter future.

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.

It is especially important that Texans stay connected in the face of this public health crisis. 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, and access telemedicine resources. Such connectivity is crucial to helping slow the spread of the virus.

During this time of significant need, CTTC has implemented the following voluntary measures to assist its customers:

  • CTTC has signed onto the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) Keep Americans Connected Pledge.
    • We have public WiFi hotspots in several communities.
    • We have increased bandwidth to our serviced schools to provide additional options for students who do not have internet access at home to utilize the school internet in the parking lot.

CENTURYLINK

May 5, 2020 - FCC Chairman Ajit Pai launched the Keep Americans Connected Pledge March 13. CenturyLink was among the original list of companies that took the pledge and today, the company committed to extending it through June 30.

At CenturyLink, we know our customers are counting on us to keep our network running so our children can continue to learn and the world’s businesses can continue to run efficiently. We continue to stand ready, willing and able to meet our customers’ near-term and long-term needs and have been ensuring traffic continues to flow smoothly across our network, regardless of increased demand. We are waiving late fees and will not terminate a residential or small business customer’s service through June 30 due to financial circumstances associated with COVID-19. Today, we recommitted to the FCC’s ‘Keep Americans Connected Pledge’ outlining these actions. We are also suspending data usage limits for residential customers during this time period due to COVID-19.

For most customers, they do not need to contact us to ensure their service remains active. However, due to system limitations, our pre-paid customers may need to contact us if they are unable to access the internet due to a missed payment.

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.

April 29, 2020 - Charter extended its previously announced 60-day free broadband internet & WiFi offer for households with students (K-College) and educators who do not already have a Spectrum account through June 30, 2020.

Customers who live in a Spectrum market and do not currently have broadband, should contact Spectrum at 1-844-488-8395 to sign up. A free self-installation kit will be provided to new student and educator households.

Additionally, Charter will not charge late fees or terminate service for residential or small business customers who notify the company they are facing financial difficulty related to the coronavirus pandemic through June 30. Charter also will keep Spectrum WiFi hotspots across its footprint open for public use during this time-period and as always, does not impose data caps or hidden fees.

For more information, please go to policy.charter.com/extendedsupport.

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 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.

  • Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: Through June 30, eligible new customers can sign up to receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is the nation’s largest, most comprehensive internet adoption program for low-income households. We work in partnership with tens of thousands of school districts, libraries, municipalities, and nonprofit community partners to help bridge the digital divide and support digital literacy. We recently expanded Internet Essentials eligibility to include all low-income families, including seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities.
  • Speed Boost for All Internet Essentials Customers: We’ve permanently increased speeds for all of our new and existing Internet Essentials customers across the country.
  • Support For University Students: Xfinity is now offering eligible university students who live in our service areas and need internet service a Visa prepaid card worth about two months of
  • Internet service. No upfront fees, no installation costs.
  • Free Xfinity WiFi For Everyone: Through June 30, Xfinity WiFi hotspots located in businesses and outdoor locations across the country are available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity internet subscribers. 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.
  • Unlimited Data: While the vast majority of Xfinity customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, Comcast is pausing its data plans through June 30 giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.
  • No Disconnects or Late Fees for Xfinity Internet, Mobile, or Voice Customers: We will not disconnect a customer’s Xfinity Internet, Xfinity Mobile, or Xfinity Voice service, and we will waive late fees if they contact us and let us know that they can’t pay their bills through June 30. Sky has also committed to working with customers who might find it difficult to pay their bills and ensure they are supported appropriately. Comcast Business customers can find more information here.
  • Virtual Tools for Businesses: Comcast Business is supporting customers as they begin to run their businesses from home, providing free trials of apps and services including virtual project management, business text messaging, and collaboration tools that will help them stay productive and secure.
  • Cybersecurity Protection: With the influx in COVID-19-related cybersecurity schemes, our team of security experts continue to work 24/7 to monitor our network using a mix of highly sophisticated technologies, threat intelligence, and proprietary AI-powered software, which helps us to detect and block hundreds of thousands of cyber events every second.

CONSOLIDATED COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

Consolidated Communications joins other major carriers throughout the nation and pledges to Keep Americans Connected during this pandemic event. Consolidated Communications will:

  • ensure that all residential or small business customers maintain continuity of voice and data connectivity regardless of their ability to pay their bills due to 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 anyone who needs them.

In addition, Consolidated Communications does not have data caps on broadband Internet services, which means customers working from home or learning remotely don’t have to be concerned about usage caps affecting their ability to perform their jobs or participate in online classes.

This pledge applies to residential and small business customers. If you have been directly impacted by COVID-19 and need the concessions outlined above, please contact us at 1.844.YOUR.CCI.

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.

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.

Between April 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020, any residential customer who contacts Eastex may qualify for the COVID-19 Relief promotion by providing:

  1. a current student ID,
  2. a report card from the current school year, or
  3. a tuition receipt for the current school year

Qualifying customers will receive two free months of their new or existing internet service and Eastex will waive applicable nonrecurring service order charges and term commitments associated with requests for new service. Free educational Wi-Fi hotspots Eastex is providing free construction, equipment and labor assistance to turn up new Wi-Fi hotspots accessible to students, teachers and school administrators of local area independent school districts.

To date, Eastex has installed hotspots for the following ISDs at the following sites, and users should look to the ISDs for access details and instructions.

School District Hotspot Location(s)

  • Big Sandy ISD - Tjaks Convenient Store, Hulen’s Grocery Store, Alabama Coushatta Indian Reservation, Pentecostal Lighthouse
  • Elysian Fields ISD - Mount Zion Methodist Church in DeBerry, Community 4 VFD in DeBerry
  • Livingston ISD - Trinity River Authority, Indian Springs Community Center, Bethel Baptist Church, Soda Baptist Church, Fellowship in the Pines, Pentecostal Lighthouse Waskom ISD - Each of Waskom ISD’s three campuses

Eastex will continue to help our members and the communities we serve remain connected to essential broadband and telecommunications services during the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage interested parties to follow us on Facebook @eastexcoop and on Twitter @EastexTelephone for the most up-to-date news and information about our activities.

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.

FIDELITY COMMUNICATIONS

On March 16, Fidelity Communications announced that is opening WiFi hotspots across its footprint for public use during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in order to keep individuals and communities connected to the online resources they want and need.

WiFi hotspots can be accessed free of charge in Fidelity local office parking lots.

Additionally, Fidelity announced that as of March 13, 2020 it is offering payment deferrals and waiving late fees for its customers for 60 days. The company plans to reassess after 30 days based on the continued impact and evolving nature of the virus.

"We live and work in the communities we serve and these are our friends and neighbors impacted by effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19), so we want to do our part to help," said Julie Laulis, President and CEO. "We understand that our customers rely on their Internet service to stay connected to family, work, school and information, and we are committed to ensuring they receive the assistance they need during this time."

Customers can call 800-392-8070 for more information.

Announced on April 7 in an effort to assist with COVID-19 relief efforts across their 21-state footprint, Fidelity Communications and the other Cable One family of brands have donated $150,000 to the Meals on Wheels America COVID-19 Response Fund and $150,000 to local food banks in the markets they serve.

In addition to monetary donations, Fidelity and the other Cable One family of brands have opened more than 120 free WiFi hotspots in local office parking lots and other public areas across their footprint for public use during the pandemic in order to keep individuals and communities connected. Company associates are also making masks for first responders, sending gift baskets and hot meals from local restaurants to hospitals and police and fire stations for first responders, and donating books to senior centers to name just a few efforts.

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.

GRANDE COMMUNICATIONS

Originally announced on April 6, the company made the following commitments that will now be extended through June 30, 2020:

  • Grande is offering free internet and WiFi for 60 days to all qualifying low-income households, especially students in low income households who do not already subscribe to the company's internet service and who enroll in the Internet First program.
  • The Internet First program is affordable internet designed to help families and students in low-income households to have reliable access to the internet. It will enable them to home school, do homework, and access educational resources and more. Grande is partnering with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of the program's extension and the tools to help students learn remotely.
  • The Internet First program includes 25Mbps high-speed internet service at $9.95 per month and is available to all eligible new residential customers who do not currently have Grande service. Installation fees will be waived for eligible students and new customers.
  • More information on Internet First is available at mygrande.com/internet-first.
  • Grande will not terminate service to any residential or business customer because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by COVID-19. Customers can reach out to make special arrangements to keep services active.
  • Grande will waive any late fees that any residential or small business customer might normally incur because of their economic circumstance related to COVID-19.

Grande continues to see excellent performance of their network with engineers, field technicians, and operations centers on point 24/7 to meet shifts in usage patterns and increased traffic. While many are still working, learning and connecting from home, the company remains vigilant in monitoring all network and support systems to ensure customers receive the fastest and most reliable connections and service.

"Now, more than ever, keeping people connected is a critical priority," said Chris Fenger, Chief Operating Officer of Grande Communications. "In extending these measures, Grande will continue to help ensure that customers are able to continue to work, learn, and stay informed from the safety of their own homes. We are committed and ready to do our part in supporting our employees and our customers during this time."

In addition, Grande is supporting the broader communities it services with its newly launched Everyday Hero program. Residents are invited to nominate a local hero in their community via the website. In the coming weeks, the company will launch its partnership with Feeding America to donate 10% of installation fees for 30 days.

For details on all Grande programs and additional updates on the company's response to COVID-19, please visit mygrande.com/we-care.

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.
In search of ways to aid our community in need, GVTC and The GVTC Foundation have collaborated with seven local food pantries, three Boerne ISD schools, and the GVTC Central Office of Blanco to bridge the homework gap for area students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The increasing demand for essential services such as the internet inspired an effort that may help hundreds of locals currently experiencing hardships.

WiFi Hotspots Now Available

Effective April 21, 2020, GVTC will provide free WiFi hotspots at seven food bank locations and three schools across its service area for area students and community members to utilize until public areas that regularly offer free internet reopen. These organizations are located throughout Greater San Antonio, the Texas Hill Country, and South Central Texas, and include:

While exercising social distancing and other CDC safety guidelines, individuals will be able to access free WiFi in the parking lots of these ten locations from their vehicles until further notice.

The GVTC Foundation Donates $87K Locally

In addition, The GVTC Foundation has committed $87,000 in emergency funds to nearly 20 nonprofits providing support in GVTC’s area: ten food pantries, five senior centers, three school meal programs, and one medical center.

All organizations include: Blanco Good Samaritan Center, Provisions Food Pantry in Bulverde, C.R.R.C. of Canyon Lake, Gonzales Christian Assistance Ministries, Habitat for Safe Seniors, Hill Country Daily Bread Ministries, Hill Country Family Services, Hope Center Food Pantry Outreach, New Braunfels Food Bank, Hope Hospice, RCBC Helping Hands Food Pantry, Bulverde Spring Branch Activity Center (Sr. Center), Rainbow Senior Center at Kronkosky Place (Boerne), Comal County Senior Citizens Foundation, Boerne Community Coalition, Boerne Blessings in a Backpack, SJRC Texas, Roy Maas Meadowland Campus in Boerne, and Acacia Medical Mission.

You Give, We Give

As everyone navigates these uncertain waters, GVTC admires the communities’ desire to help where they can, and its Round Up for Change® program is an excellent way for both GVTC and its customers to contribute locally. The Round Up for Change® program was created to help The GVTC Foundation support area communities. It allows customers to donate a small amount each month by rounding up their bill to the nearest dollar amount. All proceeds raised from this program are then matched at 100% by GVTC and donated to The GVTC Foundation to fund community efforts.

Signing up is easy. Simply visit gvtc.com/roundup and select the “Login to Enroll” button to follow enrollment instructions. Or, you can call us directly at 800-367-4882 and speak to a customer service representative directly.

One Community

“It’s important that we remain strong and connected during this pandemic. As GVTC continues to provide essential communications services, we will continue to support one another in our community the best we can. That’s the GVTC way,’ said Ritchie Sorrells, GVTC President & CEO.

For more information and the latest updates on how GVTC and The GVTC Foundation are stepping up during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit gvtc.com.

HILL COUNTRY TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

In these uncertain times, we wanted to let you know that we're working hard around the clock to keep our customers connected.

  • We reached out to all school districts we serve in 15 different counties across Texas to identify students & teachers in need of Internet service.
  • We are providing service free of charge through the remainder of the school year to those in need.
  • We were one of the first carries nationwide to adopt the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge".
  • We are providing connectivity to many who have never had it. We are investing many thousands of dollars in our communities to make this happen.
  • We rolled-out broadband-only service and are providing copper customers with the maximum level of broadband available without any upcharge.
  • We rolled-out broadband-only service and are providing copper customers with the maximum level of broadband available without any upcharge.
  • Anyone in need of extra levels of service during this time who cannot afford it will be assisted.
  • As always, we are continuing to provide the fastest speeds, all without throttling bandwith.

Check back often on our website for COVID-19 updates & connect online via our social media channels.

HOTWIRE COMMUNICATIONS

Hotwire Communications is committed to the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge. Please check this website regularly for the most current and up to date information about Hotwire and our response to the Covid-19 Pandemic which will be consistent with CDC guidance as well as local, state and federal mandates.

As we continue our response to the global impact of COVID 19, Hotwire Communications remains committed to protecting the health, safety and well-being of our customers and employees while continuing to do everything in our power to bring you the best and fastest technology services without any disruptions. As multiple US Governors are asking residents to stay at home, we all rely on internet connectivity more than ever, and we’re working hard to make it possible to keep America connected.

We have designated secure, separate locations for our Network Infrastructure and Customer Service teams in order to ensure our most critical functions remain available to our customers. Additionally, the internet service you receive from us is NOT data-capped and our direct fiber connection ensures you get the speed you want.

Our Call Center representatives are still on hand 24x7x365 to remotely walk you through any technical support issues you may have.

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.

LAKE LIVINGSTON TELEPHONE COMPANY

Lake Livingston Telephone Company recognizes the unprecedented nature of this situation and greatly appreciates the State and Commission's efforts to monitor and provide guidance on the many issues that surround this pandemic.

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 LLTC 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, LLTC, has taken the following steps to assist its customers and community:

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

  • LLTC 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;
  • LLTC 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
  • LLTC 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.

MID PLAINS RURAL TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC

Mid-Plains Rural Telephone Cooperative recognizes the unprecedented nature of this situation and greatly appreciates the State and Commission's efforts to monitor and provide guidance on the many issues that surround this pandemic.

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 Mid-Plains Rural Telephone Cooperative 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, Mid-Plains Rural Telephone Cooperative, has taken the following steps to assist its customers and community:

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

  • Mid-Plains Rural Telephone Cooperative 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
  • Mid-Plains Rural Telephone Cooperative 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

NEWWAVE COMMUNICATIONS

April 28, 2020 – Phoenix, AZ – NewWave Communications today announced that it will extend its commitment to the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge in an effort to provide continued connectivity for customers and communities and to ease the financial burden of those impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

NewWave originally committed to the pledge on March 13, 2020, and it will now extend the following activities through June 30, 2020:

  • Waiving of late charges and suspending disconnection of internet services for residential and small business customers who are unable to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.
  • Opening of free WiFi hotspots in local office parking lots and other public areas across its footprint for public use during the crisis in order to keep individuals and communities connected. NewWave and the other Cable One family of brands have opened more than 140 WiFi hotspots since March 16, 2020, and work continues to open additional WiFi hotspots in other public areas.

Beyond the pledge actions, the company will also continue to make available through June 30, 2020 a low-cost 15 Mbps residential internet plan for $10 per month to help low-income families and those impacted from coronavirus challenges, such as seniors and college students.

“Access to internet service is critical during these unprecedented times, and we remain committed to ensuring our customers and communities stay connected to family, work, school and information,” said Julie Laulis, President and CEO.

Customers can call 844-546-3278 for more information.

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.

SOUTH PLAINS TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC

SPTC recognizes the unprecedented nature of this situation and greatly appreciates the State and Commission's efforts to monitor and provide guidance on the many issues that surround this pandemic.

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 SPTC 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, SPTC, has taken the following steps to assist its customers and community:

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

  • SPTC 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;
  • SPTC 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
  • SPTC will open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

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

  • Provide, at no charge, and where facilities exist, until May 31st, a 30x30 symmetrical broadband connection to any student within our regulated service area whose family does not currently subscribe to broadband.
  • Increase, at no charge until May 31st, subscribers to the next level broadband tier when the tier they subscribe to is not sufficient.

SPARKLIGHT, FORMERLY CABLE ONE

On April 28, 2020, Sparklight announced that it will extend its commitment to the Federal Communications Commission’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge in an effort to provide continued connectivity for customers and communities and to ease the financial burden of those impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Sparklight originally committed to the pledge on March 13, 2020, and it will now extend the following activities through June 30, 2020:

  • Waiving of late charges and suspending disconnection of internet services for residential and small business customers who are unable to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the pandemic.
  • Opening of free WiFi hotspots in local office parking lots and other public areas across its footprint for public use during the crisis in order to keep individuals and communities connected. Sparklight and the other Cable One family of brands have opened more than 140 WiFi hotspots since March 16, 2020, and work continues to open additional WiFi hotspots in other public areas.
Beyond the pledge actions, the company will also continue to make available through June 30, 2020 a low-cost 15 Mbps residential internet plan for $10 per month to help low-income families and those impacted from coronavirus challenges, such as seniors and college students.

“Access to internet service is critical during these unprecedented times, and we remain committed to ensuring our customers and communities stay connected to family, work, school and information,” said Julie Laulis, President and CEO.

Customers can call 877-692-2253 for more information.

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

TDS TECHNOLOGIES

TDS is committed to offering reliable, resilient communications service to our customers, in good times and in times of crisis. We anticipate the COVID-19 viral outbreak will increase Internet usage demands as more customers find themselves working, learning and otherwise staying at home.

Our network infrastructure is built and maintained to anticipate future demand, not simply to keep up with what today might bring.

Our Business Continuity Plan further addresses crisis events. The cornerstone is a robust, redundant network with backup systems strategically placed to safeguard against unexpected disruptions in the network. We are taking steps to monitor available bandwidth and will increase staffing to address isolated incidents, if they arise.

We are committed to supporting customers who are the hardest hit by the economic challenges attributed to the outbreak. Customers directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic will remain connected to internet and phone service and late fees will be suspended for at least the next 60 days.

New customers with students or financial need will be eligible for 60 days of free internet access, to help assist with work- or school-at-home scenarios.

PLEASE NOTE: The last day to take advantage of this offer was April 16, 2020. We will honor this offer for any customer that requested service up through April 16, even if they have yet to be installed.The intent of the offer was to help households impacted by COVID-19 be able to get internet to help with distance learning. After reviewing many of the distance learning decisions and school end dates for the schools in our serving area, we believe that the majority of customers who need the service for home schooling have already signed up. Seniors and supervisors can continue to honor this on a case by case basis through the end of the month.

Customers that received this 60 day free offer are promo eligible, and they can call in and will remain eligible for 60 days following the end of their 60 day free offer. We are looking at possibly automatically extending discounts to these customers and additional communication will be sent if needed.

If you have any service-related questions or concerns, please reach out to us at 1-844-239-9621.

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 STATEWIDE TELEPHONE COOPERATIVE, INC.

As the national and state impacting pandemic continues, TSTCI wanted to assist in keeping the PUC advised of our members' commitment to continuing to provide quality telecommunications, including broadband, to their customers, students, medical facilities and their communities.

Texas Statewide Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (TSTCI), a statewide and a rural broadband association that represents more than 24 small rural companies, share that their members are already exceeding the recommendations of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) requested pledge. These companies and their employees live where they work and are headquartered in rural communities all across Texas. The companies' combined geographic service areas cover almost 46,000 square miles of Texas' vast rural area. Well before this pandemic happened, most of these rural companies were already deep into the deployment of fiber for their customers and their infrastructure. These companies are good stewards in and of their communities — as such, the majority have recently deployed dozens of free-use Wi-Fi "hotspots" in order to make access more widely available for their communities and especially rural students. These hotspots allow students to access their school networks for classes and homework, as well as the interne to do any necessary research.

Like other critical and essential workers around our state and around our country, TSTCI member companies are working around the clock during this crisis to ensure that every rural resident in their service areas have access to broadband internet access. These dedicated companies whose rural linemen and installers are considered essential workers are working in unprecedented circumstances. While they are taking every precaution available for them, they do face exposure risks as they continue to do the work of providing this vital service to the vast farm and ranch areas of rural Texas.

The TSTCI members listed below have either committed to the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" and/or have implemented policies exceeding this pledge. As the FCC and the PUC recognized, small rural providers are working with their communities to ensure consistency of service. With the challenges that many Texans/Americans are facing, the Keep Americans Connected pledge hopefully is another tool to give many Texans/Americans assurance that they will not lose their broadband/telephone connectivity in these trying adverse circumstances.

The FCC specifically requested that broadband/telephone service providers, and trade associations take the Pledge. Nationwide, more than 700 companies and associations have signed the Chairman's Pledge. The Keep Americans Connected Pledge reads:

Given the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on American society, Texas Statewide Telephone Cooperative, Inc 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 economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic,. and
  • open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.

TSTCI and the following TSTCI member companies have signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge and/or have implemented policies which encompass the request. We are proud to report that many member companies are going above and beyond the pledge to support their communities and their schools:

COMPANY NAME/SERVICE OFFICE LOCATION

  • Alenco Communications - Joshua, TX
  • Border to Border Communications (Hilliary Co.) - Zapata, TX
  • Brazos Telephone Cooperative - Olney, TX
  • Cameron Communications - Sulphur, LA
  • Cap Rock Telephone Cooperative - Spur, TX
  • Coleman County Telephone Coop. - Santa Anna, TX
  • Colorado Valley Telephone Coop. - La Grange, TX
  • Cumby Telephone Cooperative - Cumby, TX
  • Dell Telephone Cooperative - Dell City, TX
  • Electra Telephone Co. (Hilliary Co.) - Electra, TX
  • ENMR Telephone Cooperative - Clovis, NM
  • Five Area Telephone Cooperative - Muleshoe, TX
  • Industry Telephone Company - Industry, TX
  • La Ward Telephone Exchange - La Ward, TX
  • Lake Livingston Telephone Company - Livingston, TX
  • Lipan Telephone Company - Lipan, TX
  • Livingston Communications - Livingston, TX
  • Mid-Plains Rural Telephone Coop. - Tulia, TX
  • Poka Lambro Telephone Cooperative - Tahoka, TX
  • South Plains Telephone Cooperative - Lubbock, TX
  • Southwest Arkansas Telephone Coop. - Texarkana, AR
  • Tatum Telephone Co. (Hilliary Co.) - Tatum, TX
  • Taylor Telecom - Merkel, TX
  • Wes-Tex Telephone Cooperative - Stanton, TX
  • West Plains Telecommunications - Muleshoe, TX
  • XIT Rural Telephone Cooperative - Hereford, TX

Each company manager is available to provide you any additional information you may desire and many have filed individual information in this Project. In addition, if I can be of additional assistance to you in providing more information about how these companies are serving the needs of their rural customers, in the regular course of business and during this unusual time, please contact Weldon R. Gray, CEO-TSTCI, 903-658-0055 or weldon@tstci.org

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.

WINDSTREAM

Windstream has signed the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge. Through June 30, Windstream will not suspend service to residential and small business customers because of the inability to pay their bills specifically due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Also, during this time, Windstream will waive any late fees because of customers’ economic circumstances specifically related to the coronavirus pandemic. If customers find themselves needing help due to these circumstances, contact Windstream to discuss available options.

Additionally, Windstream offers a variety of internet service plans for new and existing customers with no data caps and no overage charges. Discounts also are available for low-income customers through the Lifeline Assistance Program. For more information on current offers, visit www.windstream.com.

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.