Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai will visit Texas on Sept. 5 to see the damage Hurricane Harvey caused the region and to meet with those working on recovery initiatives.
The planned visit comes at a time when communications providers are donating money and other resources to help hard-hit areas of Texas and Louisiana recover from the multi-billion-dollar damages inflicted by the hurricane and its aftermath, feet of rain and overflowing reservoirs in some areas.
As of yesterday, at least 283,593 subscribers had no service from their cable or wireline providers, according to an FCC report. That's up from more than 189,487 on Monday. In addition, 21 non-mobile switching centers (versus 19 the day prior) were out of service and 33 switching centers (compared with 22 the day before) were using back-up power, FCC said.
Verizon is working with state and local governments to identify four non-profit groups to receive $10 million, it said on Tuesday. Verizon also has multiple other relief efforts underway, such as relieving wireless customers of certain fees and giving an additional 3 Gbp/s to prepaid customers, matching employee donations and deploying mobile equipment to supplement cellular service in South Texas.
Comcast NBCUniversal pledged $500,000 in cash to Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner's
Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund and the
American Red Cross. And the operator also will donate advertising time on its cable service to both non-profits for public service announcements that educate the public about how they can help with flood-relief efforts. In addition, Comcast-owned NBC and Telemundo stations are hosting local phone banks and telethons to raise public awareness of how communities can assist with mitigating the Houston-area crisis. In total, the donation adds up to about $1 million in cash and in-kind contributions, according to Comcast.
AT&T is waiving fees and plans to give $350,000 to emergency efforts. AT&T also is matching employee donations to support local employees and has partnered with Team Rubicon, which supports veterans.
And Altice -- which operates Optimum and Suddenlink in the US -- is making a $50,000 donation to the Red Cross of Texas, plus providing the organization with free advertising time across its networks, the operator said on Tuesday. Employee volunteers are traveling to the affected areas to help out, and impacted customers will not be charged for unreceived services or lost or damaged equipment, Altice added.
What other initiatives have you heard of? Share them in the comments.
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