Cell Phone Service
The “Keep America Connected Pledge”
Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, US Cellular, Sprint, Spectrum and Comcast are among the companies that have signed the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge.” The aim is to ensure that consumers don’t lose their broadband or telephone connectivity during this period of uncertainty because they can’t pay.
Companies taking the pledge must agree, over the next 60 days, to not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills because of the coronavirus pandemic, waive late fees because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus and open company Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Electrical Service Will Not be Disconnected for Non-payment
Maine law requires CMP and Emera Maine to ask for PUC approval to shut off electric service during the winter disconnect period, which currently runs through April 15.
Specifically, the new COVID-19 response law gives the governor the power to:
“In consultation with the Public Utilities Commission, suspend the termination of residential electricity and water services during the period of emergency and up to 60 days after the state of emergency is terminated.”
Central Maine Power Company has asked to extend that period due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Emera Maine has taken a similar posture. “We can set up payment plans, see if customers are eligible for low-income assistance or a debt forgiveness program, and make referrals to other services. Since we remain in the winter heating season, we are not disconnecting residential customers for nonpayment.”