BBT Goes Above and Beyond
During COVID Pandemic
During the COVID pandemic, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asked telecom companies to take its Keep Americans Connected pledge to ensure families didn’t lose broadband access during a critical time. More than 800 companies of all sizes and varying services – ranging from small local rural telecoms like BBT to national companies like AT&T and Verizon – took the pledge to help their customers.
The FCC recognized BBT nationally for going above and beyond with its efforts, noting that the company: “increased the speeds of all customers until May 31, offered two months of free broadband to new customers, suspended data overage charges, provided Wi-Fi to first responders and utility technicians, and established Wi-Fi hotspots for educational purposes.”
“We treated seriously the pledge the FCC established about keeping Americans connected during all of this, with people losing their jobs, and the mess we’re in,” General Manager Rusty Moore told the Alpine Avalanche in an article highlighting BTT’s efforts. “We treated that like a foundation, and asked what else we could do.”
We’re focused on small businesses in our serving area. It’s not going to save the world, but it’s something that we can do.
BBT worked with school districts to identify students without access and to provide them with personal service. The company set up free WiFi hotspots throughout its 18,000 mile service district, and provided meals from local restaurants to healthcare professionals and first responders. BBT also promoted safety by publicizing its own efforts to keep employees and customers safe through the use of a Texas-based disinfection service, GermBlast. BBT committed $500-1,000 a day to the effort during the early weeks of the pandemic.
“We’re focused on small businesses in our serving area,” Moore said, pointing out that BBT was also a small business. “It’s not going to save the world, but it’s something that we can do. We target these small businesses everywhere we can.”