UPDATE Yesterday, Inside Towers reported that NTCA members will continue to keep customers connected, despite financial losses incurred while doing so. Now, members of the fixed Wireless Internet Service Providers Association will do so as well. The FCC Keeping Americans Connected pledge ended June 30, though many carriers are keeping some of the elements of the commitment.
WISPA members generally follow the tenets of the pledge as part of their normal business operations, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will continue to work with their customers to continue to keep them connected as the pandemic rages on, according to the association.
“We are planning to honor the spirit of the Keep Americans Connected Pledge even after it expires,” said Paladin Wireless CEO Stephen Fortmann. “Our customers are some of the most vulnerable in our society. As long as we are able to extend a helping hand, we will do it.”
And as John Greene, CEO of New Lisbon Telephone Company, puts it: “Today it is a return to business as usual for the big telcos, cablecos, and wireless providers. I’m glad to say that most small independent providers never had data caps,” so nothing changed for its customers on June 30.
WISPA recently polled its members on the cost of keeping Americans online during COVID-19. “Our survey shows that our average member lost approximately eight percent of their monthly revenue as a result of keeping their communities connected during the pandemic,” said WISPA President/CEO Claude Aiken. This occurred during a time, “when they were busy working with localities to lift students out of the homework gap. Community service is in our members’ DNA, and I am proud of their commitment to serve those who need service the most.”
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