Comcast and Verizon (Engadget’s parent company) are extending their pledges to keep people online as the US grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic. Both providers have announced that their no-disconnect policies will now last through June 30th for home, small business and wireless subscribers. As before, anyone who can’t pay their bills during the period just has to notify the appropriate company to avoid disconnections and late fees.
We’ve asked AT&T and T-Mobile if they’re following suit. Multiple major telecoms adopted the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge in mid-March as the government agency stressed the importance of enabling remote communication for work and school, not to mention to offset the economic impact.
The networks didn’t provide detailed justifications, but Comcast said it had extended its policy to help students “finish out the school year” while staying home. And practically speaking, this is an acknowledgment that many lockdowns won’t lift quickly. Remote work, job seeking and education will likely continue for a while as states and cities reopen, making no-disconnect policies vital until the economy returns to something vaguely resembling normality.