Comcast Extends Connectivity Pledge

FCC chairman Ajit Pai's office had no comment on whether he had urged ISPs to extend the FCC's connectivity pledge from mid-May to June 30, but following Verizon's announcement it was extending its pledge to June 30, saying that it was the FCC's new pledge, Comcast announced that it, too, would extend the deadline, as well as offer unlimited data until that date at no additional charge. 

Comcast said that until that date: 

1. "No Disconnects and Waiving Late Fees: 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 during this period. Our care teams are available to offer flexible payment options or help find other solutions. 

 2. "Xfinity WiFi Free for Everyone: Xfinity WiFi hotspots in business and outdoor locations across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit 

 3. "Pausing Our Data Plan: With so many people working and educating from home, we want our customers to access the internet without thinking about data plans. While the vast majority of our customers do not come close to using 1TB of data in a month, we are pausing our data plans to give all customers unlimited data for no additional charge." 

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

Comcast also said it would extend for another 30 days its complimentary service to new customers of its Internet Essentials low-income broadband plan, which usually costs $9.95 per month. 

“These extended measures will continue to keep Americans safe and ensure that households are equipped for students to learn and stay informed at home as the nation copes with this unprecedented disruption to our daily lives,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable CEO, in a statement. “Our services have never been more important, and we’re doing everything we can to keep people connected to the internet.”

John Eggerton

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.