News from the ITA

March 17, 2020

 

State of Illinois COVID-19 Information

The ITA is closely monitoring Illinois regulatory and state agency actions, guidance and recommendations as the state establishes policies to deal with COVID-19. We will relay that information to our members as it becomes available and attempt to answer your questions or get answers to your questions and concerns during this time.

Current Status (as of March 17, 2020):

  • Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation in effect from March 9th through April 8th.
  • Gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited during the Gubernatorial Disaster Proclamation.
  • Restaurants and bars closed for in-person dining through the end of March.
  • Pre-K-12 schools are cancelled from March 17th through March 30th.

 

Regulatory Actions

Moratorium on Customer Disconnections

The Illinois Commerce Commission has a Regular Open Meeting scheduled tomorrow, March 18 at 1:00 pm. You may listen in to the meeting via the link on the ICC website. The only item potentially impacting the broadband and telecom industry on the Commission’s agenda tomorrow enacts a public utility moratorium on customer disconnections.

I have spoken with Staff at the ICC and I understand the Commission's Emergency Order will place a moratorium on investor-owned public utilities from disconnecting customers through the May 1 state emergency declaration and if the emergency declaration is extended beyond May 1, through the end of the emergency declaration. While the Commission's Emergency Order will not directly apply to telecom and broadband providers, the ICC will be asking telecom and broadband providers to voluntarily comply with the moratorium on disconnections as well.

Governor Pritzker's administration is also requesting changes to payment and collection policies to ensure Illinoisans aren’t saddled with utility debt as a result of COVID-19. Several companies across industries have announced plans to maintain services and waive late payment fees.

 

Customer Service Requiring Entry of Premises

I have received questions regarding customer service obligations and requests that may require an employee to enter the customer’s home. The ICC understands the importance of protecting the health and welfare of employees. Based on my conversations with Commission Staff, I do not believe the ICC will be providing any specific guidance on this particular issue. Each company will need to use its best judgment to balance the service needs of customers with the health and safety of employees.

Federal, State and local departments of publics health continue to provide guidance on interpersonal interactions. The authority on public safety regarding COVID-19 is the Illinois Department of Public HealthA list of local health departments can also be found on the IDPH website.

For more information about how you, your workplace, and community can prepare, please visit Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities.

For general questions about COVID-19, call the hotline at 1-800-889-3931 or email [email protected]

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is interested in learning about any supply chain issues or other issues companies are experiencing due to COVID-19. Please let me know if you encounter any issues.

Please contact Randy with any specific questions or concerns you may have. 


Business Resource Links:

8 Questions Employers Should Ask About Coronavirus (Harvard Business Review)

 

Lead Your Business Through the Coronavirus Crisis (Harvard Business Review)

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (US Small Business Administration)

Schools, Workplaces & Community Locations (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Illinois Telecommunications Association

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           Springfield, IL 62701             

 (217) 572-1262

www.il-ita.com