AT&T Extends Connectivity Pledge

It appears that the FCC is encouraging ISPs to extend their pledge to keep subs connected, even if they can't afford to pay, during the pandemic. 

Following Verizon and Comcast's announcements that they were extending the pledge from mid-May to June 30, AT&T said it was on board as well. 

Verizon suggested that it was the FCC's new pledge, but a spokesperson for FCC chairman Ajit Pai had no comment on whether the FCC had urged the extension to June 30. 

Pai asked ISPs to sign the Keep Americans Connected pledge, which was initially for 60 days.  

Look for other ISPs to extend their pledges--more than 700 signed the first one. 

The pledge is to: 

(1) "not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;  

(2) "waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and  

(3) "open its WiFi hotspots to any American who needs them."  

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.