Coronavirus

NJ Prohibits Internet, Phone Providers From Terminating Service During COVID-19 Crisis

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What to Know

  • New Jersey announced Monday it is prohibiting cable and telecommunications providers from terminating Internet and voice service due to nonpayment during the COVID-19 crisis
  • The order also prohibits all service downgrades, service reductions, or late fees due to nonpayment unless they are imposed in accordance with a policy approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
  • Additionally, the order mandates that any Internet or voice service that was disconnected after March 16 due to nonpayment must be reconnected without additional fee to the customer

New Jersey announced Monday it is prohibiting cable and telecommunications providers from terminating Internet and voice service due to nonpayment during the COVID-19 crisis.

On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 126, prohibiting cable and telecommunications providers from terminating Internet and voice service due to nonpayment until 30 days after the current public health emergency has ended.

"Most of our service providers voluntarily took these steps, in accordance with FCC policy, to protect their customers during this difficult time, and we are grateful for their partnership,” Gov. Phil Murphy said“However, these policies have been implemented inconsistently among companies, so today we are prohibiting the termination of Internet and voice services due to nonpayment during this time."

Murphy went on to say that these services are crucial, particularly during COVID-19 health crisis.

"Our children need Internet access for remote learning, our workforce needs the resources to telework, and families need to be able to keep each other informed. It is critical for our New Jersey residents to maintain these connections and not have their ability to communicate with the outside world severed," Murphy said.

The order also prohibits all service downgrades, service reductions, or late fees due to nonpayment unless they are imposed in accordance with a policy approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.

Additionally, the order mandates that any Internet or voice service that was disconnected after March 16 due to nonpayment must be reconnected without additional fee to the customer.

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