Date of publication: 08/05/2020

Covid19. Ireland. Internet companies should halt disconnections during Covid crisis

Council General International

The Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) has called on telecommunication companies providing telephone and internet services to introduce clear guidelines and a consistent approach for dealing with customers in difficulty during the Covid-19 crisis. These guidelines should include a ban on disconnections which would ensure that no households are left without access to vital communication services while people need to remain at home. Furthermore, they ask suppliers to engage proactively and compassionately with customers that may be faced with large bills in the coming weeks. 

Kieran Stafford, SVP National President said, “[…] As we are asked to practice physical distancing, it is more important than ever that vulnerable and marginalised groups can stay connected with loved ones and access up-to-date health advice. We are also concerned that children in low income families will fall behind on their schoolwork if they do not have access to internet services.”
In this regard, the Society has contacted the Communications Regulator, Telecommunication Industry Ireland and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
 “These interventions make a real difference to those that are struggling in energy poverty. We now need a similar response from the telecommunications industry.” said Kieran Stafford.

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