FCC Allows Rural Carriers to Waive DSL Fees During Pandemic

The FCC Wireline Competition Bureau is allowing rural price cap carriers to wave certain fees to moderate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fees include those for late payment, installation and cancellations for consumers signing up for or switching DSL providers. The goal of the FCC DSL fees action is to facilitate telework and remote learning.

The Wireline Competition Bureau enabled the waivers through its approval of requests from the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) and John Staurulakis Inc. (JSI). The organizations asked for the waivers to give them the flexibility that would enable them to quickly meet the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected campaign.

The FCC has implemented a series of steps since the pandemic hit, including but not limited to establishing the “Keep America Connected” pledge, temporarily waiving some Lifeline program rules, relaxing high-cost Universal Service Fund rules, and allowing cellular carriers to temporarily borrow spectrum from each other in ways that enables networks to meet increasing demand.