All around the Region, organizations, community members, and businesses are responding in outstanding ways to the COVID-19 pandemic. NITCO, Northwest Indiana’s hometown telephone, internet, and cable provider for more than 80 years, is one of the businesses leading the way in making sure the community stays connected during these challenging times.
“NITCO’s job is to take a leadership role in this crisis and make sure that we’re taking care of our customers,” said Tom Carroll, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at NITCO. “Many of our customers have been with us for over 50 years, they’re our family, and that’s the most important thing we have. So first thing’s first - if you’re stuck at home and are having problems paying your bill, call us – we’ll figure it out together.”
NITCO is waiving late fees for customers in response to the pandemic, and will not disconnect anyone from their internet.
“The FCC asked every broadband company in the country not to disconnect their customers, and we agreed with the request wholeheartedly,” Carroll said. “We know that some of our customers might have difficulty paying their bills right now, so we decided that we’re not going to charge any late fees if they’re a few days late.”
With so many Region residents stuck at home sharing bandwidth with their families, the burden on their internet connection is even higher. NITCO is responding by providing all their residential internet customers with maximum speed to their home location with no additional charges for 90 days.
“We decided to open the spigot,” he said. “We’re giving people the fastest speeds they could get in their home with their equipment. For example, if they were paying for 20 Mbps but are capable of getting 40, they’ll be getting 40 for the next 90 days.”
They are also offering businesses and other organizations free access to their teleconference Conference Bridge for 90 days. To sign up, businesses may call 219-996-0230 or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“You can have up to 200 people on a conference call, with no problem at all,” Carroll said. “It’s a great tool for everyone working remotely to stay connected. I can’t tell you how many businesses have signed up just in the last few days, it’s incredible. We’re seeing local governments and school boards use it to stay in touch.”
NITCO’s Accession Communicator mobile app, which allows customers to connect their landline to their cell phone, is also free for NITCO’s business and residential voice customers for the next 90 days.
While many of NITCO’s own employees are working from home, they are classified as an essential business and are working at 100 percent of their usual capacity, according to Carroll.
“Our employees are really great people, and they’re stepping up,” he said. “Our people are coming to work, when they could be at home with their families or doing what they need to be at home. They choose to come to work every day, making sure that our network is up and running. They’re making sure that all those people who are doing e-learning and working remotely have the services they need to keep life going.”
NITCO encourages customers in crisis to contact them at 219-996-2981 or by email at email@example.com.
For more information about NITCO and their services, visit www.nitco.com.