The head of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday slammed wireless carriers over what he described as unsuitably slow progress in restoring communications in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael. “Even though efforts to restore communications services have been going well in most of the areas affected by Hurricane Michael, the slow progress in restoring wireless service in areas close to where the hurricane made landfall is completely unacceptable,” FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement. Saying the actions of the companies on the ground don’t match the “urgency” conveyed by the commission, Pai announced he was joining with Florida Gov. Rick Scott in pushing a list of demands. The officials are now calling on wireless carriers to waive the monthly bills of subscribers in the affected areas, at least for the month of October, and allow them to change carriers without paying a contract penalty. Pai added that he’s directed the FCC’s Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau to investigate the matter. However, two of the largest carriers—AT&T and Verizon—are at least already offering to waive the bills of those in counties struck hardest by the hurricane. Prior to the Michael’s landfall as a Category 4 storm, AT&T announced it would credit and waive fees for those in the affected areas. The company is currently offering credit through October 21 to subscribers in the Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gulf, Liberty, Taylor, and Wakulla counties. “We began preparing for this storm before it arrived and our work continues today,” said an… [Read full story]
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