NORFOLK, Va. — As more and more people's daily lives are being disrupted by the growing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, some utilities are announcing they will make sure customers will not lose service during this critical time.
Cox Communications, Dominion Energy, and Columbia Gas all announced they are suspending service disconnections for people who cannot pay.
"We know the communities we serve rely on us to provide an essential service. We remain committed to providing reliable energy service 24-7," said Dominion spokesperson Bonita Billingsley Harris.
Additionally, Cox said that as part of the FCC's Keep America Connected initiative, it will waive any late fees that residential and small business customers may incur and that it will open Cox WiFi hotspots to help keep the public connected.
Cox is also increasing access and speeds of its low-income internet service Connect2Compete. New Connect2Compete customers will receive their first month of service free, which is normally available to qualified low-income households for $9.95 per month.
Dominion and Columbia did not say how long they would suspend their shutoffs, but Cox said their initiative would last for 60 days.