Our Industry Responds to COVID-19
The world is currently navigating uncharted territory, with norms upended and new terms entering our vocabulary (like "social distancing"). Many of us are adjusting to full-time telework, and schools across the globe are closed as students and teachers use the internet to replace classroom learning.

Our industry provides content and connectivity to millions of customers, and we are proud to support the efforts of our stakeholders to enable people to continue to be active and engaged citizens. Below are just a few examples of the important role cable, media and technology companies play in keeping us connected and productive.

If your company has stories to share, please email pr@wict.org. W e'll include them in the next issue of the WICT Pulse.

The Ad Council is coordinating COVID-19 PSAs that will appear across all multimedia platforms, including ABC/Walt Disney Television, Charter Communications, Comcast, Fox Corporation, NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia and numerous other companies.

Altice USA is offering its Altice Advantage broadband solution for free for 60 days to new customer households with K-12 and/or college students who may be displaced due to school closures and who do not currently have home internet access.

Cable ONE and its Sparklight service announced that it will be make unlimited data available on all internet services for the next 30 days. It will also offer additional relief measures to support low- income families, seniors and college students. No documentation will be required to sign up for this plan.

Comcast has lifted data caps for the next two months, and is increasing access and speeds of its low-income Internet Essentials service. New customers can sign up for 60 days of complimentary service. Xfinity WiFi hotspots across the country will be available to anyone who needs them for free – including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers.

Charter Communications has opened its WiFi hotspots  across its footprint for public use and has pledged not to terminate service or charge late fees for Spectrum Internet, TV or Voice residential or small business customers who face difficult economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cox Communications is offering a special promotion on its low-cost Connect2Compete service and is also automatically upgrading broadband customers to higher speed tiers in the face of higher demand for telework. In addition, the James M. Cox Foundation announced its commitment to provide up to $5 million to Emory Healthcare for purchasing COVID-19 testing equipment.

Discovery, Inc. is leveraging all platforms on a global fundraising activation in conjunction with No Kid Hungry and Save the Children to help families in need, focusing on making sure children get healthy meals. The company will match donations until May 16 - learn more here .

Disney, ABC & ESPN will fill the void left behind by live games by ramping up production of live studio programming like SportsCenter and First Take. Jimmy Kimmel Live has shifted to an hour earlier on ABC, and daytime news coverage of current affairs has been expanded. The Walt Disney Company put the box office hit Frozen 2 on its Disney+ streaming service three months earlier than planned, as a special surprise for families during this challenging period.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai introduced the Keep Americans Connected Pledge to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity as a result of these exceptional circumstances. To date more than 390 organizations have signed the pledge - view the list here .

Fox Corporation will provide everyone in America unlimited free access to Fox News Channel and FOX Television Stations during the pandemic. The company pledged to work with television partners to ensure everyone in the nation has access to Fox News and FOX Television Stations regardless of their specific package, at no extra fee.

GCI has opened its WiFi hot spots to the public and increased speeds on its broadband tiers to meet customer demand. The company will also waive late fees any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances due to COVID-19.

Mediacom has increased the speed of its Mediacom Connect2Compete low-cost internet program and offers new customers 60 days of complimentary service. The company has also temporarily paused data allowances across all broadband tiers and will offer complimentary access to all Mediacom Xtream WiFi Hotspots for 60 days.

Midco will not disconnect services to customers financially affected by the coronavirus pandemic through May 15 and pledges to "lead with compassion and work with those directly impacted" by the pandemic. 

NCTA - The Internet & Television Association is tracking the industry's response on its website , sharing information and keeping the public informed of new developments.

Nickelodeon will offer Noggin free for three months for millions of kids in need, in partnership with the National Head Start Association and First Book. Noggin’s free trial period will also be extended to 60 days to all new subscribers, effective at the end of the month.

TBS is presenting a daily digital series, Beeing At Home with Samantha Bee, to help viewers stay sane during the quarantine. Conan returns to TBS at the end of March, with episodes shot remotely on an iPhone without an audience, and guests will be filmed via Skype. 

Tennis Channel will introduce a daily, three-hour edition of Tennis Channel Live while professional tennis tours are on hold. The show will serve as a central tennis news and conversation platform in a general talk show format. 

UP Faith and Family is offering free streaming for families staying in due to the pandemic, and will offer a specially-curated collection of titles at no charge on its website.

WICT has made its online distance learning library available to members and non-members for 30 days, giving free access to high-quality leadership development programs 24/7.

Sources include: Cablefax Daily, NCTA - The Internet and Television Association, The New York Times and various corporate websites.

Please do not reply to this message - direct any questions or concerns to membership@wict.org