Altice USA said it has created a $10 million Community Relief Program aimed at supporting the recovery efforts of its small and medium-sized business customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Altice USA, the program will provide financial assistance and resources to customers facing financial pressure allowing them to recover and resume normal business operations.
A separate program to support Feeding America and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America has also been established by the company. Altice USA CEO Dexter Goei pledged 35% of his salary for the remainder of 2020 to support the effort. In addition, president of telecommunications and chief operating officer Hakim Boubazine, chief financial officer Michael Grau, and president of news and advertising Jon Steinberg pledged 25% of their salaries for the remainder of the year, while a number of other executives have also made donation pledges.
“We have the privilege of serving thousands of local small businesses and communities and that is a responsibility we take very seriously, especially during times like these,” Goei said in a press release. “Small businesses are the heartbeat of our communities and while we play an important role in delivering to them essential telecommunications services, we also recognize they will need further assistance as restrictions ease and they eventually return to normal. Our hope is that our programs and charitable contributions will help provide that support and assistance to our communities as we get through this difficult time together.”
Altice will be reaching out to small business customers directly in the coming weeks to provide these resources.The company, through its Optimum, News 12 and a4 brands also has been raising awareness of local businesses that are still operating through a “We Are Open” campaign on its News 12 station.
Along with other cable operators, Altice USA has stepped up its efforts to help customers battle the pandemic by joining the “Keep Americans Connected” Pledge; offering its Altice Advantage broadband service for free to homes without broadband and with K-12 and/or college students until the end of the school year.
In addition, Altice USA has partnered with school districts in its Optimum service area to offer its Student WiFi product for no cost through the end of June and so far has connected more than 240,000 student devices to its hotspot network.
Altice US also has opened its emergency WiFi outdoor hotspots for public use and has provided free airtime for public service announcements to health, community and government officials to educate customers; and has collaborated with large hospital systems, schools and government agencies to ensure they have the connectivity services they need.