Governor Rick Scott today laid out his expectations for telecommunications companies that are experiencing prolonged service outages in the areas impacted by Hurricane Michael. Due to these outages, families are having a difficult time communicating with loved ones, first responders have faced challenges communicating and people are having difficulty getting their prescriptions filled because of the inability to connect to a network. The Governor expects that a plan for full telecommunications restoration will be communicated today and consumers are treated fairly.
Governor Scott said, “Floridians deserve to be treated fairly and with transparency. Families understand that the telecommunications industry, like the power companies and other services, experienced catastrophic damage to vital infrastructure – but that does not change our expectation that each telecommunications company will be open and communicate a clear plan on how they intend to quickly restore service while treating families fairly.”
Verizon recently said in a press release that 98 percent of Florida has service. This statement, which includes customers in Florida that were hundreds of miles away from impacted areas, does not help Florida’s law enforcement in Bay County and families communicate with loved ones in Panama City and does not help those needing medicine call their pharmacy in Lynn Haven.
The Governor’s Expectations for Telecommunications Providers:
- Any Floridian in the impacted counties should be allowed to switch providers without penalty;
- Bills for Floridians in impacted counties that have been without service should be waived for the month of October; and
- Telecommunications companies should be open and transparent with Floridians and do so with a clearly communicated plan to quickly restore service.