Acknowledging “it is critical that the Internet continues to be an affordable tool for those working toward a better life,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) urged FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler to closely monitor Sprint’s WiMAX shutdown in a letter dated Nov. 20, 2015.
Senator Casey commended the FCC for its efforts to maximize broadband access to all Americans but pointed out “…there is more work to do to protect Internet access for the estimated 10,000 mostly low-income residents of Philadelphia and the hundreds of thousands of other Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon customers around the state and country…”
Around 300,000 vulnerable Americans are affected by Sprint’s shutdown of the WiMax network, which had been planned for Nov. 6.
A Mass. state court granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily stopped Sprint from shutting down its network in areas where Mobile Citizen and Mobile Beacon customers rely on its service. Despite all parties’ stated commitment to work together to migrate the customers to the new LTE network, Sprint has appealed the preliminary injunction and is dragging its feet, to seemingly little avail.