US operators seek Covid cash - Mobile World Live

US operators seek Covid cash

14 MAY 2020

US telecoms players urged politicians to provide financial aid to cover mounting costs associated with Covid-19 (coronavirus) relief packages for their customers.

Jonathan Spalter, CEO of industry group USTelecom, told a congressional hearing many operators faced “a substantial cost” because of the aid they were providing subscribers and called for legislation to “keep providers on a sound financial footing”.

Commitments made by service providers include not chasing late payments or disconnecting customers in arrears.

T-Mobile US and Verizon recently predicted a hefty hit to their finances after committing to a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) move to provide consumer aid until 30 June.

Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) CEO Steven Berry backed the call for relief, stating “reduced revenues are starting to have a real impact” on operators’ ability to keep staff employed, maintain their networks and keep consumers connected.

USTelecom members include mobile giants AT&T and Verizon, while CCA represents T-Mobile US and an array of smaller regional operators.

Various proposed legislation could deliver a total pot of $6 billion to the FCC to cover the costs of smaller operators and consumer bills during the pandemic if passed into law.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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