Washington, D.C. – The Rural Wireless Association endorses Federal Communications Commission Chairman Pai’s plan for broadband and telephone service providers to ensure connectivity for Americans in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Chairman Pai has requested that companies voluntary pledge for a 60-day period to: (1) not terminating service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills; (2) waiving any late fees that customers may incur in paying their bills; (3) opening Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them; (4) relaxing data cap policies; and (5) waiving long-distance and overage fees.
Rural wireless carriers are locally-owned and integral pieces of their rural communities. As part of these rural communities, they are engaged in collective efforts to create a safe and sustainable environment for rural Americans and those traveling to and through their rural service areas not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but at all times. In serving their own rural neighbors and friends, rural carriers are intimately aware of the concerns and interests of the rural communities they serve and have already made good on the Chairman’s pledge and even gone beyond by being flexible to accommodate this crisis for each and every one of their customers on a case by case basis.