National Broadband Resources
FCC Keep Americans Connected Initiative
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the Keep Americans Connected Initiative https://www.fcc.gov/keep-americans-connected. More than 550 companies and associations have signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. For 60 days, providers pledge to:
- Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
- Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
- Open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
National Digital Inclusion Alliance
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) is a unified voice for home broadband access, public broadband access, personal devices and local technology training and support programs. The NDIA works collaboratively to support digital inclusion and digital literacy programs while serving as a bridge to policymakers and the general public. NDIA has compiled a COVID-19 Resources Page with a resource library of free and low-cost internet sites. To learn more, visit https://www.digitalinclusion.org/.
West Virginia Broadband Resources
Alpha Technologies has announced the West Virginia Work Remote Connection Initiative (WV-WRC). The WV Work Remote Connection Initiative (WV-WRC) is offered at no cost for up to 90 days. The WV-WRC provides the following:
- Remote workers take their workstations offsite and utilize available internet;
- Alpha technicians will install the necessary software to allow for a secure connection to the workplace;
- Alpha can either physically relocate the businesses’ server(s) to its secured data center located in South Charleston, West Virginia, or create a virtual copy of the business server for 90 days;
- Any out-of-date server software or hardware will be temporarily upgraded;
- Voice and video solutions will also be provided, if requested, to support business continuity; and
- Technical support and training will be provided
After the 90-day term, Alpha Technologies will work with each business to return to their previous state of business or continue the WV-WRC for an extended period of time based upon sustainability. The WV-WRC will help West Virginia businesses weather the storm, while also protecting our economy. Businesses seeking assistance should call 304-201-7485 or visit http://www.alpha-tech.us/.
Armstrong is committed to providing our customers with safe and reliable services, while being mindful of the rapidly increasing needs for high-speed data, up-to-date information, and a consideration of additional financial difficulties during this time.
As the situation continues to unfold, we are relaxing our data allowance policy, have opened all Zoom Wi-Fi Hot Spots in our communities, and have increased the download speed of Zoom to 150 Mbps. The speeds of our entry level internet offering, Zoom Express, have been temporarily upgraded to 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. To ensure our customers are connected to the latest updates, we are offering temporary free promos on several news channels, as well as a variety of popular entertainment channels to our video customers.
If customers are facing financial challenges, they are encouraged to reach out, as we are currently offering payment extensions and have temporarily suspended disconnects. For the protection of our customers and field employees, we have simplified our service offerings to limit or eliminate time spent in homes.
For more information, please follow Armstrong at https://armstrongonewire.com/COVID19FAQ, or call 877-486-4666.
Beginning March 14, 2020 and for the next 60 days, AT&T offers assistance for Voice (wireless and landline) and Internet services. All assistance is detailed here: https://about.att.com/pages/COVID-19.html. AT&T has signed the Keep Americans Connected Pledge. To provide further relief and support, AT&T announced:
- Unlimited AT&T Home Internet: All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data. AT&T will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through its Access from AT&T program.
- AT&T World Connect Advantage: Business customers currently on or who purchase an AT&T World Connect Advantage package receive 50 percent off the current rate in a monthly bill credit (max
- Working and Learning Remotely: Businesses, universities and schools can keep their teams and classrooms connected through conference calls and video conferencing with Cisco Webex Meetings with AT&T for 90-days, and seamlessly forward calls to both mobile and landline phones with AT&T IP Flexible Reach.
- Distance Learning: AT&T is underwriting expenses for a “one-stop” resource center to support eLearning Days from the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) available to all educators in schools to help them handle school closures and the increase in virtual learning due to COVID-19.
Customers experiencing financial hardship may call 800-288-2020 for AT&T broadband, residential wireless or small business services and 611 from your AT&T device for wireless. To learn more, visit att.com or the MyAT&T app for support.
Learn more at http://arxweb.com/ or call 304-781-1000.
Beginning on March 16, 2020, and continuing for 60 days, Charter will significantly expand access to high-speed broadband for households that include K-12 and college students.
Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband at any service level up to 100 Mbps and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription. Installation fees will be waived for new student households. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.
Spectrum Internet does not impose data caps or hidden fees. Charter will continue to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, its high speed, low cost broadband program for eligible low-income households and offers the following:
- Charter will not terminate service for residential or small business customers who face difficult economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Charter will not charge late fees for those customers facing difficult economic circumstances related to the pandemic.
- Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use.
- A map with all of Wi-Fi hot spots is available here: www.Spectrum.com/WiFi-Hotspots
For more information or to enroll in Spectrum’s https://www.spectrum.com.
As the world fights the coronavirus, Citynet is understands its critical role in providing reliable network services. The Citynet team is committed to serving our customers during this critical time with an unrelenting focus on network operations, which provide critical connectivity and lifelines support. Citynet has implemented procedures to protect its customers and employees and continues to follow the latest guidance while maintaining network services.
Our Network is Strong and Reliable: Citynet’s Network Operations Center deploys multiple layers of redundancy for optimum reliability. Network engineers actively test and monitor the network and make any adjustments necessary to maintain optimum performance with increased usage. Customers can utilize CityCare for additional network monitoring and performance services.
Local Support is Always Available: Citynet continues to provide local support, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. Citynet will constantly review, update, and refine its approach to ensure business continuity and reliability. Most technical support can be successfully performed remotely. Customers can contact Citynet to request extended free trials to provide the communication and security tools necessary for successful telecommuting:
- Cisco WebEx Video Conferencing, for increased business reach while telecommuting;
- Cisco AnyConnect, virtual private networks that simplify network access and security; and
- DUO Two-Factor Authentication, to protect data and devices.
ClearFiber is offering special assistance to customers who need financial assistance due to circumstances related to COVID-19. Customers may make payment arrangements for up to 90 days by consulting with a customer service representative. ClearFiber will continue service during this time without disconnection. In addition, ClearFiber is offering the following services and assistance:
- Students who need financial assistance due to the COVID-19, can make payment arrangements for up to 120 days by consulting with a customer service representative. ClearFiber will keep service on without disconnecting.
- New customers that have had issues caused by COVID-19 can receive free installation, activation, and two months service for free.
- To learn more about ClearFiber, visit https://www.goclearfiber.com/ or call 1-800-253-3109.
Comcast has opened its Xfinity Wi-Fi network nationally for free, offered unlimited data for free, confirmed commitments to low-income families by adjusting its Internet Essentials program for residents in Comcast service areas.
- Xfinity Wi-Fi Free Ffr Everyone: Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots, visit www.xfinity.com/wifi. Once at a hotspot, consumers should select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots, and then launch a browser.
- Pausing Our Data Plan: Comcast customers can access the internet without thinking about data plans. Comcast is pausing data plans for 60 days giving all customers unlimited data for no additional charge.
- No Disconnects or Late Fees: Comcast will not disconnect a customer’s internet service or assess late fees if the customers contact Comcast to request arrangements. Comcast care teams will be available to offer flexible payment options and can help find other solutions.
- Internet Essentials Free to New Customers: Comcast has announced that low-income families who live in a Comcast service can sign-up the Internet Essentials broadband adoption program. New customers will receive 60 days of complimentary Internet Essentials service, which is normally available to all qualified low-income households for $9.95/month. For all new and existing Internet Essentials customers, the speed of the program’s Internet service was increased to 25 Mbps downstream and 3 Mbps upstream.
For more information and updates from Comcast, visit http://www.comcastcorporation.com/COVID-19/.
Digital Connections-Prodigi is assisting its customers by waiving all installation charges as well as any late fees. Prodigi will not suspend any services for nonpayment during this time.
As a community-driven company, Prodigi is working with local officials to install free Wi-Fi hotspots at key locations, including area community centers, volunteer fire departments, and churches. Prodigi will install free Wi-Fi at these locations to provide drive-up internet service, enabling those in need to use the parking areas of these locations to access the internet from their vehicles. Prodigi is providing this service free of charge.
Prodigi continues to explore ways to make internet available to residents and businesses throughout its service area. To discuss service or payment arrangements, visit http://www.prodigiwv.net/ or call 304-777-4444.
Frontier has signed the FCC Keeping Americans Connected pledge and provides the following resource: https://frontier.com/resources/covid-19.
Hardy Telecommunications recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing employees to work more from home, students to continue their education from home, and practically everyone to search for more entertainment and other online sources to ease stress. We understand, and we want to help.
So Hardy is temporarily increasing our OneNet broadband speeds for our residential customers for free. For the month of April, effective April 1, we are increasing download speeds by 10 Mbps and upload speeds by 5 Mbps (basically a speed tier boost for our regular packages) for OneNet residential customers free of charge. This is a temporary measure that we’re taking to help members in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis, and the free increase is subject to extension depending on Hardy’s economic circumstances and the pandemic situation.
We are continuing our policy of providing internet service with no data caps even with our temporary free speed increase. Hardy Telecommunications also is waiving any late fees for customers incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit https://hardynet.net/ or call 1-800-838-2497.
Beginning in March 2020, Micrologic will not charge late fees or disconnects for the next 60 days. Micrologic continues its existing practice of providing internet service with no data caps or contracts. Micrologic will continue business services and may adjust residential services as needed to protect the safety of its customers and employees. Learn more at http://www.micrologicwv.com/ or call 866-3WLogic.
Raven Rock Networks
Raven Rock Networks, Inc. fully understands and appreciates our critical role in providing enterprise-grade networking service to commercial, residential and public-sector clients in our region. Raven Rock has accounted for the possibility of natural disasters, societal interruptions and other extreme conditions. The Raven Rock network features multiple layers of redundancy to ensure optimal reliability, stability and availability while its Network Operations Center and Engineering Teams continuously monitor, test, and implement adjustments to ensure optimum service.
Raven Rock adheres to its corporate responsibility to maintain or improve the health, safety, and quality of life for both our team and our clients, working with various industry vendors to develop industry-first solutions to the current pandemic situation by implementing “Minimal Contact Best Practices.” These efforts include but not limited to; additional and improved remote support options, contactless installations and deployments, and customized network routing to increase remote-workforce efficiency in operations. We are all in this together, and only together will we all succeed.
For more information regarding Raven Rock Networks, Inc., our service area and/or services provided visit www.ravenrocknetworks.com or call 866.261.0710.
RT21.NET is wireless broadband Internet service for Jackson County. In keeping with its existing services, the company does not impose data caps and provides free basic service to students. In addition, RT21.NET offers the following services to its customers:
- Two-month grace period for non-payment,
- Guaranteed bandwidth service levels,
- Bandwidth use allowed to exceed purchased service level,
- Free equipment replacement, and
- No fees for service changes.
RT21.NET is secure, reliable, high-speed wireless Internet, with an operations center in Jackson County and multiple connections to the Internet, ensuring the highest quality service. To learn more, visit http://www.rt21.net/Site/Home.html or call 440-RT21NET (782-1638).
Shentel will temporarily increase the speed of every eligible small business and residential broadband data customer to a minimum speed tier of 50 Megabits per second. Shentel will provide a 750 Gigabyte data allowance at no additional charge regardless of their current plan. In addition, Shentel will waive all installation fees for new broadband data subscribers and increase data allowances by 250 GB for all customers whose current rate plan includes a monthly data allowance. These changes take effect immediately and will remain in effect through April 30. To learn more, visit https://www.shentel.com/ or call 1-800-SHENTEL (743-6835).
Sprint has signed the FCC Keep American Connect pledge and for the next 60 days will support residential and small business customers by not terminating service if they are unable to pay their Sprint bill because of the coronavirus, and waiving late fees incurred because of economic circumstances related to the pandemic, along with the following:
- Starting on March 17, per-minute calling rates for international long distance calls to countries identified by the Center for Disease Control as Level 3 are waived through May 31, 2020. Customers are still responsible for any monthly charges for add-on international long-distance calling plans.
- By March 18, customers with metered data plans will receive unlimited data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost. Sprint will provide customers with an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost.
- Beginning March 18 – April 1, customers with mobile hotspot-capable handsets who don’t have mobile hotspot today will now get 20GB as well per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) at no extra cost.
For more information about these changes, visit Sprint.com. Customers who prefer can easily take advantage of Sprint’s various self-service and digital options to get the help they need through the My Sprint App and the Online support center.
E-Learning Initiative: Sprint’s 1Million Project Foundation, which supports 350,000 high school students who lack critical internet access at home, is working to accelerate receipt of more than 100,000 new devices intended for use next school year to deploy them as soon as possible. Learn more at https://www.ctia.org/news/blog-wireless-industry-responds-to-covid-19.
Sprint Forward-Boost Mobile
Beginning March 19, 2020, Boost Mobile customers will automatically receive complimentary international calling rates from the U.S. to countries defined by the CDC as Level 3 through April 30, 2020. Learn more at: Boost Mobile’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Beginning March 21, customers currently on an unlimited data plan with Boost Mobile, will automatically receive an additional 20 Gigs of mobile hotspot on their plans at no extra cost through April 30, 2020. Customers currently on a tiered plan with Boost Mobile, will automatically receive an additional 20 Gigs of data through April 30, 2020. Visit https://www.boostmobile.com/shop/sprint-forward-welcome or My Boost App for more information.
Suddenlink (Altice USA)
Altice USA has joined the Keep Americans Connected Pledge recently announced by the Federal Communications Commission. As part of the pledge, Altice USA has committed for the next 60 days to:
- Not terminate broadband and voice service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
- Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
- Open Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Altice USA has committed to helping schools and students stay connected during this unprecedented time. For households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access, the company is offering its Altice Advantage 30 Mbps broadband service for free for 60 days to any new customer household within the Suddenlink footprint. Eligible households interested in this program can learn more by visiting www.alticeadvantageinternet.com or call 888-633-0030.
Existing customers facing financial difficulty are encouraged to contact Altice USA to request assistance. Consistent with the Keep America Connected pledge, Altice USA has pledged not to terminate broadband and voice service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus. Customers must contact Altice USA to request assistance. For more information about Suddenlink services, assistance, and programs, visit www.suddenlink.com or call 844-790-7475.
All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile wireless customers who have cellular phone plans with data will be granted unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming). They’ll also receive an additional 20GB of mobile hot spot/tethering service for those two months. The company is working to provide
Lifeline low-income customers with up to 5GB of free data per month over the next two months.
E-LEARNING INITIATIVE: T-Mobile is increasing the data allowance for free to schools and students using its EmpowerED digital learning programs to ensure each participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days. https://www.ctia.org/news/blog-wireless-industry-responds-to-covid-19.
Verizon recently increased speeds at no extra cost. The company reports that it places no data caps on its home internet broadband services. Verizon also offers a low-cost Lifeline plan for qualified families. For Mobile Data and Fixed Serviced, Verizon has signed the Keep Americans Connected pledge and offers additional assistance. Effective March 23, 2020, Verizon will:
- Will waive overage charges and late fees to support customers who may be financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis;
- Announces two months waived internet and voice service charges for current Lifeline customers and new affordable internet option for low-income households;
- Adds 15GB of high-speed data for wireless consumer and small business customers to be automatically applied with no customer action necessary;
- Verizon provides first responders with priority and preemption abilities for voice and data; and
- Consumer and small business Fios and DSL broadband internet plans have no data caps.
E-LEARNING INITIATIVE: Verizon announced support for relief efforts across communities impacted by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by tripling its monthly data allowance for its Verizon Innovative Learning schools and committing $10 million to nonprofits directed at supporting students and first responders. Learn more at https://www.verizon.com/about/news/verizon-helps-eliminate-worry.
Statement from the West Virginia Public Service Commission
The West Virginia Public Service Commission (WVPSC) has requested that all public utilities in West Virginia suspend utility service terminations except where necessary as a matter of safety or where requested by the customer. On March 13, 2020, WVPSC Chairman Charlotte Lane issued the following message:
“In consideration of the rapidly unfolding events surrounding the coronavirus, and Aware that citizens of this state are facing a health threat and the prospect of economic disruption, and Understanding that utility services are helpful in maintaining communications and safe, clean, and sanitary conditions, The Public Service Commission of West Virginia, effective immediately and until further notice, is urging all utilities to suspend utility service terminations except where necessary as a matter of safety or where requested by the customer. The Commission will provide additional information as warranted.”
Note: Internet service is not regulated by the WVPSC. If you have any questions or concerns about other public utilities, please call the WVPSC at 304-340-0300 or toll free at 1-800-344-5113