MONTRÉAL, March 20, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - At this time of uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cogeco (TSX: CGO) is hard at work supporting its residential, commercial and institutional customers as well as its local communities to ensure their connectivity and their access to information and entertainment.
"Our teams at Cogeco across Quebec, Ontario and the U.S. East Coast are all working tirelessly to ensure our customers' connectivity and their access to information and entertainment," said Philippe Jetté, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cogeco Inc. "More than ever, access to our Internet, TV, telephony and radio broadcast services, are of paramount importance for the communities that we serve, and I thank all our employees and partners for their commitment and resilience."
All of Cogeco's office employees transitioned to working from home over the past several days. For employees who must work on site in various Cogeco locations or on the road, all measures are in place to ensure their safety and those of our clients.
Cogeco's subsidiaries are adapting their services and have implemented personalized measures to offer customers more flexibility, while strongly encouraging them to make use of their online services. Cogeco Media also quickly transformed its radio programming in Quebec to provide all the information necessary to follow developments related to this crisis, doing so in each region of the province.
Here are some examples of proactive steps taken by our subsidiaries:
- For the time being, Cogeco will not terminate the services of customers unable to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 situation.
- Late payment fees will be temporarily waived if they are caused by a financial situation that is related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Our customer service agents are available to better adapt Internet, TV or telephone plans to the needs of our customers.
- More than 75% of Cogeco Connexion's customers already have unlimited Internet plans. To simplify the lives of our residential customers who are working from home due to the current situation and who do not already have an unlimited plan, Cogeco will make sure that there are no additional fees until April 30. At the same time, Cogeco is migrating its customers to higher speeds based on their needs.
- A high number of free previews of movie, family, and local news channels are being offered to Cogeco TV customers. The list of free preview channels is available here.
- Cogeco also voluntarily participates in the "Connecting Families" initiative, offering discounted Internet services to eligible lower income families.
- Teams at our YourTV community television stations have several initiatives in place to inform and entertain local communities.
- Atlantic Broadband has introduced "Atlantic Broadband Internet Assist" for a limited time for residents in need in its service areas who do not presently have internet with Atlantic Broadband. This includes free installation and a free modem.
- For its business customers that want to supply at home workers with voice and internet services, the company is also introducing a new "Atlantic Broadband Business Assist Package".
- For a limited time Hosted Voice business customers can provide employees who are working from home a virtual extension to their business phone system.
- Atlantic Broadband has opened up its WiFi Hotspots free to the public in several U.S. locations.
- Customers will have access to free news and entertainment channels.
- Atlantic Broadband is supporting the Federal Communications Commission's "Keep Americans Connected" initiative, which means they will not terminate service and will waive late fees for any residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bills due to economic disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Cogeco Media has transformed its radio programming to provide Quebecers with quality and continuous information related to the current situation, while still offering musical programming.
- The Cogeco Media team has launched a radio initiative to call on people to buy locally online, and support local businesses and suppliers. All Quebec broadcasters are joining their voices to the call.
About Cogeco Inc.
Cogeco Inc. is a diversified holding corporation which operates in the communications and media sectors. Its Cogeco Communications Inc. subsidiary provides residential and business customers with Internet, video and telephony services through its two-way broadband fibre networks, operating in Québec and Ontario, Canada, under the Cogeco Connexion name, and in the United States under the Atlantic Broadband brand (in 11 states along the East Coast, from Maine to Florida). Its Cogeco Media subsidiary owns and operates 23 radio stations with complementary radio formats and extensive coverage serving a wide range of audiences mainly across the province of Québec, as well as Cogeco News, a news agency. Cogeco's subordinate voting shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CGO). The subordinate voting shares of Cogeco Communications Inc. are also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: CCA).
SOURCE Cogeco Inc.
For further information: Media, Marie-Hélène Labrie, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications, Tel.: 514-764-4700