What Viasat and HughesNet are doing during coronavirus (COVID-19) [UPDATED as of 5.19.20]
On May 11, Viasat announced it would extend its commitment to the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge through June 30. So, what does that mean for its customers? In short, Viasat will not terminate internet service for residents or small businesses that can’t pay their bills due to the coronavirus pandemic. It also means Viasat won’t deal out late fees either, as long as they’re pandemic related. And last but not least, Viasat will continue making its Wi-Fi hotspots open to the public.
HughesNet hasn’t provided an update since March 21, when it announced it would also sign the FCC’s pledge. If you’re looking for more details, you won’t find them on HughesNet’s website (we’ve been checking). HughesNet’s last coronavirus update, via Twitter and Facebook, states: “. . . we will not terminate service or impose penalties or late fees on those who cannot pay due to the impact of the coronavirus.”
HughesNet also says its “speeds have been increased for customers who exceeded their plan” and that “educational tools have been prioritized” (e.g., online portals serving students), but that was in March. It’s not clear at all if that’s still the case or if, like Viasat, it has extended its commitment to the FCC.
Service updates for other internet service providers
More than 750 companies have signed the FCC’s pledge. If you’re looking for more info on other, more centralized ISPs, like Comcast by Xfinity and Spectrum, you can read HighSpeedInternet.com’s guide to internet service during the coronavirus outbreak.