Changes to the Lifeline Program
In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, re-certification requirements have been waived for 60 days. If your re-certification date occurs between March 17 and May 16, you have until May 16 to re-certify. For more information, see the FCC's website here.
FCC and ICC Orders
The Illinois Commerce Commission has requested that all publicly-regulated Illinois electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater utilities case all disconnections and threats of disconnection during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency.
The order also calls on all public utilities to suspect late payment fees until May 1, 2020.
Full information on the actions taken by the ICC during the COVID-19 crisis is available here.
The Federal Communications Commission also announced their "Keep Americans Connected" pledge, which encourages companies and trade associations to pledge to do the following:
- not terminate service to any customer because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic,
- waive any late fees that result from the coronavirus pandemic, and
- open Wi-Fi hotspots to Americans who need them.
The list of companies who have signed the pledge are available on the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected" webpage here.
Additional Steps Taken
Many companies are taking steps to help their consumers weather the COVID-19 public health crisis. If your company is not listed here, they may still offer a program that you can learn about by contacting them.
AT&T has taken a number of steps in response to the COVID-19 crisis. You can review those steps here.
Comcast has boosted the speed of its Internet Essentials program and is offering the first two months free to consumers who qualify for that program. More Additional steps the company has taken are available here.
Frontier has lifted data caps. For more information about other steps Frontier is taking, you can click here.
Information about the steps wireless service providers are taking is available here.