FCC Chairman Ajit Pai today issued a statement slamming the U.S. carriers for their Hurricane Michael recovery efforts.
“Even though efforts to restore communications services have been going well in most of the areas affected by Hurricane Michael, the slow progress in restoring wireless service in areas close to where the hurricane made landfall is completely unacceptable," Pai said in his statement. He explains that he's been in regular contact with the carriers and feels that their urgency in repairing their networks affected by Hurricane Michael hasn't matched the urgency that Pai and the FCC have conveyed in their meetings.
Because of this, Pai says that the U.S. carriers should waive the October bills of Floridians in areas affected by Hurricane Michael and let them change carriers wihout penalty. The carriers should also disclose publicly how long it will take to restore service to affected areas. Finally, Pai says that he's directed the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to begin an investigation into this situation.
Meanwhile, Verizon said today that all of its customers in Bay and Gulf counties in Florida will automatically be credited for three months of wireless service. This includes both consumer and business accounts. "Verizon is 100% focused on repairing our network in the Florida Pandhandle," the carrier said. "We are making progress every hour, and we expect that trend to continue at a rapid pace. We won't rest until service is completely restored."