WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2nd) announced that Comcast has now stated they will not raise their rates until at least 2022.
According to a release, during financial uncertainty in an ongoing pandemic, Van Drew also plans to introduce legislation that would limit the ability of telecommunications providers to raise rates and add penalties for usage.
Local providers in South Jersey, like Comcast, were initially planning to cap data usage and penalize those that crossed their threshold; they subsequently changed their plans after a large public outcry.
Van Drew stood in stark opposition to the penalties previously, as more people and families are forced to use internet services at home because of the Covid pandemic. Comcast has now said they would not increase rates until 2022, instead of August, but the health crisis and the lagging economy still may not have changed for those in hard-hit communities, like South Jersey, by that time.
“Putting telecom profits in front of those struggling from Covid-19, or any public emergency, is unconscionable,” stated Van Drew. “The internet connects our children to information and all of us to the ability to find and keep a job. I plan to introduce legislation that would protect those basic needs for all of us, without protecting the predatory practices that keep the pockets of executives lined.”
Comcast issued a statement regarding the hike:
“We are delaying implementation of our data plan in our Northeast markets until 2022. We recognize that our data plan was new for our customers in the Northeast, and while only a very small percentage of customers need additional data, we are providing them with more time to become familiar with the new plan.”