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How Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai is Responding to the Coronavirus

David Jelke

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WASHINGTON, March 17, 2020— The Federal Communications Commission is taking steps to respond to the uncertainty posed by the coronavirus, according to agency officials.

These increasingly serious efforts mirror those actions taken by many other government and private-sector entities, such as the declaration of a national emergency, localized orders for residents to shelter-in-place, and the White House’s national guideline to limit social gatherings to less than 10 people.

As written in yesterday morning’s Broadband Roundup, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced a pledge to Keep America Connected.

Watch Broadband Breakfast Live Online on Tuesday, March 17, at 12 Noon ET: Broadband, the Coronavirus and “Keep America Connected”

Many telecommunications corporations have already taken up the pledge, in which service providers maintain that they will not disconnect their constituents for the next 60 days.

When asked whether Pai will extend the pledge beyond 60 days, a spokesperson said that he will “assess the situation with respect to the pandemic as we come closer to the end of the 60-day period.”

What about rank and file employees of the FCC?

“The FCC has advised employees that unless it is absolutely necessary for them to work from the office, they should telework until further notice,” according to the spokesperson. “That being said, a substantial majority of FCC employees are teleworking.”

In fact, the spokesperson confirmed that Ajit Pai “is setting the example by teleworking himself.”

The FCC has also encouraged all this from their employees in the spirit of “greater social distancing” and to “minimize congregating at the workplace and on mass transit.”

 

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