AG urges telecoms to keep phones and internet connected

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Attorney General Leevin Taitano Camacho has joined a group of 27 Attorneys General led by Attorney General Josh Stein and Attorney General Herbert Slatery in urging the telecommunications industry to make further commitments to protect consumers who are struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 and in calling upon the FCC for support.

“We are asking the FCC and local telecom companies to keep essential lines of communication open for our people,” said Attorney General Camacho. “As we stay at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it is now more important than ever for our community to have phone and internet access that we depend on to connect with family, school and work.”

On March 13, 2020, the FCC announced that many companies had pledged for 60 days to (1) not terminate service to residential or small business customers for nonpayment; (2) waive late fees; (3) open Wi-Fi hotspots to anyone who needs them.

In the letter to the FCC, the attorneys general ask that telecom companies:

• Extend the pledge for an additional 90 days through August 11, 2020,
• Use fair and reasonable payment plans,
• Reconnect previously disconnected customers,
• Expand data caps; and
• Educate their customers on the COVID-19 related services they are providing and about COVID-19 related scams.

Attorney General Camacho is joined in signing this letter by the attorneys general of North Carolina, Tennessee, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Guam, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.