Cox Communications announced Friday that all calls placed by its residential long distance customers to Haiti will be free through Feb. 28, 2010, joining several other providers in extending goodwill to the disaster-stricken country.
Cox said the free calls to Haiti will be retroactive to Jan. 12, 2010, and apply to all customers with Cox long-distance service. Calls to both landline and cellular telephones dialed to country code 509 are included in this program.
"We want to make it easier for our customers to get in touch with their friends and family members in Haiti; this is one more way that Cox can lend our support to the people of Haiti during this terrible tragedy," Cox chief operating officer Leo Brennan said in a statement. Atlanta-based Cox serves about 6.2 million residential and business customers.
Other providers, including Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems, have extended similar free calling offers in the wake of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan. 12.
Comcast, meanwhile, earlier this week pledged more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support for disaster relief for earthquake victims in Haiti, including cash contributions to the American Red Cross and Télécoms Sans Frontières (Telecom without Borders).
Last week, Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Communications, created the Cox Haiti Relief Effort, which consists of a media commitment in donated public service announcements by Cox media companies. In addition, the Cox Foundation donated $250,000 split equally between the American Red Cross and CARE, along with employee contributions.
Separately, on Friday night, the "Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief" telethon to benefit earthquake victims will air across a number of networks starting at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) and 7 p.m. (CT).