UPDATE Earlier this month, Inside Towers reported that DISH Network settled an investigation by The Department of Justice into alleged telemarketing violations. DISH agreed to admit guilt and pay $126 million in civil penalties and $84 million to four states — North Carolina, California, Illinois, Ohio — plus the Federal Trade Commission. The $210 million total settlement is a result of violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
This week, the North State Journal reported that a portion of the monetary reparations might go towards rural broadband in North Carolina. According to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, the state will obtain $13,986,000 from the settlement. Stein added that the penalty is the “largest-ever obtained” in the state for violations of do-not-call laws.
“Companies cannot use aggressive tactics to take people’s hard-earned money,” he said in a statement. “That’s why do-not-call and telemarketing protections exist, and I’ll continue fighting to hold companies and bad actors accountable when they violate these protections and go after North Carolinians.”
Stein urged the General Assembly “to consider ways to use these funds to address broadband access in North Carolina.” “This pandemic has underscored the importance of addressing the gaps in broadband access,” he said. Stein added that children in rural areas require broadband for completing schoolwork and that “access to reliable internet is imperative to students’ success.”
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