WTA Calls on Congress to Help Small ISPs with Costs of Keeping Americans Connected Pledge

Today, WTA sent a letter to Congressional leaders asking them to include funding to reimburse small ISPs for costs associated with taking the FCC’s Keeping Americans Connected pledge during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter states that “as the COVID-19 pandemic surged across the country and state and local governments shut down many businesses, schools, and anchor institutions, the Federal Communications Commission asked Internet service providers to take the Keep Americans Connected pledge. More than 800 providers pledged: 1) to not terminate communications services due to a customer’s inability to pay; 2) waive late fees; and 3) open additional, free hot-spots where needed.

The Keeping Critical Connections Act (S. 3569, H.R. 6394), bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation introduced this spring, would establish and fund a program at the FCC to reimburse small ISPs for some of the costs they incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping the FCC pledge…I ask that you consider including a mechanism and requisite funding along the lines outlined in the Keeping Critical Connections Act in legislation moving through Congress before the end of the year.”