Texas Cable Association members sign pledge to keep service active during COVID-19 pandemic

Texas

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Cable Association says it’s working with company members “to ensure all Texans stay connected at a time when being connected is more important and necessary than ever.”

Comcast, Charter Communications (Spectrum), Altice USA (Suddenlink) and Sparklight (formerly Cable One) are among the first U.S. cable and telecommunications companies to sign the Federal Communications Commission’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge,” TCA President Walt Baum says.

Companies that sign the bill promise that, for the next 60 days, they will not cut off broadband or phone service to any customers, even those unable to pay their bills. They also agree to waive late fees incurred due to customers’ economic circumstances related to the pandemic and open Wi-Fi hotspots to everyone.

Baum also mentioned since schools are closed and have moved to remote learning, it’s another reason to make sure internet infrastructure is available and consistent.

“Cable broadband providers also have expanded existing initiatives that provide internet services for low income families; with schools in Texas now closed, we want all students to be able to continue their education without interruption,” Baum said.

What companies are doing

Altice USA, providers of Suddenlink services, is offering free broadband for 60 days to families with school-aged kids who don’t currently have home internet.

Eligible households should call 888-633-0030 to enroll.

Charter, providers of Spectrum services, says it will expand access to high-speed broadband for households with school-age children and college students.

Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband at any level and Wi-Fi access to those who don’t already have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 844-488-8395.

Comcast, providers of Xfinity, says it’ll offer its Internet Essentials service, normally $9.95 per month, free for 60 days to new qualifying households. Comcast also says it increased the speed and people won’t be charged an additional fee.

For more information, go to Comcast’s website.

Sparklight’s internet plan for $10 per month is available for the next 60 days to help low-income families and those “most impacted from coronavirus challenges,” like senior citizens and college students.

For more information, go to Sparklight’s website.

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