TRENTON – Governor Phil Murphy today signed Executive Order No. 126, prohibiting cable and telecommunications providers from terminating Internet and voice service due to nonpayment until 30 days after the current public health emergency has ended. The order also mandates that all service downgrades, service reductions, or late fees due to nonpayment are prohibited unless they are imposed in accordance with a policy approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. Additionally, any Internet or voice service that was disconnected after March 16 due to nonpayment must be reconnected.
“Most of our service providers voluntarily took these steps, in accordance with FCC policy, to protect their customers during this difficult time, and we are grateful for their partnership,” said Governor Murphy. “However, these policies have been implemented inconsistently among companies, so today we are prohibiting the termination of Internet and voice services due to nonpayment during this time. Our children need Internet access for remote learning, our workforce needs the resources to telework, and families need to be able to keep each other informed. It is critical for our New Jersey residents to maintain these connections and not have their ability to communicate with the outside world severed.”
“Thank you, Governor Murphy for issuing this order to ensure that residents will have access to internet and phone service during this crisis,” said Joseph L. Fiordaliso, President of the Board of Public Utilities. “I would like to again thank all of the electric and gas utilities and our water companies for their continued cooperation in voluntarily suspending all shut-offs and trying to help folks get through this very difficult situation. It is important that we all work together in a spirit of good citizenship during this unusual time.”
Governor Murphy’s executive order directs the following:
The order will take effect immediately and remain in effect until 30 days following the end of the public health emergency.
For a copy of Executive Order No. 126, click here.