COVID-19 What you need to know from OTELCO

Monday, April 6th Update

OTELCO is still doing installations* throughout Shelter in Place orders, as Internet Service Providers have been deemed essential businesses. Please review the below information on installation practices during the time of social-distancing from our COVID-19 Operations blog.

We are working to ensure the health and safety of our customers and our outside plant technicians in several ways:

  • All of our technicians have been trained in precautions to protect themselves and the homes they visit.
  • We will not send staff displaying cold & flu symptoms to your location.
  • Technical support and customer service staff are calling all existing scheduled appointments and asking screening questions to establish whether our visit could put our employees at risk of COVID-19.  In cases where there is a concern, we are moving appointments out by 14 days.  In some cases, we will send technicians to do what needs to be done outside the home or business and drop off written instructions and inside equipment, for the customer to install.
  • We are also screening customers in the same manner when scheduling new appointments.

 It takes a village and we need your cooperation:

  • Please answer our questions during the screening call.  They are for the protection of all.
  • Please be honest with us.  If we can’t enter your home because of COVID19 and your service is critical to get you working from home or your child set up with online learning, we will do our best to employ our self-install protocol.
  • If we are entering your home, please help us with social distancing, we’re happy to wave and smile from 6 feet away!
  • Since we all should be hand washing and surface sanitizing, please do your best to have the area(s) where our techs need to be working as sanitized as possible.
  • If your health situation or that of your family changes between when we make your appointment and our scheduled arrival time, PLEASE let us know so that we can make adjustments to keep everyone safe.
  • If you or someone in your home is in a high-risk category and you would like to discuss special accommodations, please contact us before your appointment.

*We are no longer installing free student Internet in Alabama as we have reached our installation limit in that footprint. For more information click here. 

Thursday, March 26th Update

Attention Maine Residents: Mission Broadband has offered a quick survey to collect data on some of the impacts of this current COVID-19 is having on all aspects of our broadband network.  They put together a survey to try to capture the end-user perspective that might help guide efforts to improve broadband across the state. The survey focuses on a few key items during this crisis, the influx of at-home usages from families staying at home.  It’s designed to highlight the gaps in coverage, inadequate coverage, and social-economic factors. Please take the survey today to help speed up the expansion of broadband in Maine. 

Take the Mission Broadband Survey

Friday, March 20th Update

Missouri 11:00 am (CTS):

Please review this message from the Pettis County Health Center:

“There will NOT be Coronavirus testing on Saturday (March 21, 2020) at the Missouri State Fairgrounds as previously announced.

If you are ill, please contact your primary care provider to arrange for testing or contact the Department of Health and Senior Services hotline at 877-435-8411. We will let the community know when general testing will be available. We are sorry for the confusion.

Your Pettis County Health Center Administrator

JoAnn Martin”

OTELCO is Committed to Providing Safe, Reliable Service During the COVID-19 Outbreak

The safety of all members of the OTELCO community is our top priority.  We also want to maintain uninterrupted phone and Internet service for customers who will be more dependent upon these services than ever before. In an effort to balance the safety of the OTELCO Community and our obligation to provide these vital services, OTELCO has put several measures in place.

As you are already aware, it is important that all of us practice good personal hygiene and social distancing as recommended by health authorities.  Our employees are washing their hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, and sanitizing their workstations throughout the day.  We recommend that all of our customers take similar precautions.

Our dedicated team of employees are still here to assist you during this time.  Please reach out to us by phone at 1-833-OTELCO-1 (1-833-683-5261).  We also have several ways for you to interact with us online at www.otelco.com , including:

  • Online access to 24-7 Chat with our Technical Support team.
  • Access to Smart Hub, where you can view or pay your bill online.
  • Our Contact Form, where you can submit requests by email.
  • FAQ’s

Offices Closed to the Public

In the interest of limiting the possible spread of COVID-19, all of OTELCO’s offices will be closed for walk-in business as of the end of the business day on Monday, March 16, and will not reopen until the threat level subsides.  If your location normally accepts walk-in payments, drop boxes for payments and equipment will be provided and checked regularly through the day.

Service Appointments

If you have a service appointment and are ill, please contact us so that we may reschedule or take appropriate precautions.  This is vital for the safety of our entire community.

Financial Hardship

OTELCO understands that this is a difficult time for many of our customers and employees, who may not be earning as much due to reduced business.  At the same time, we recognize that many will be working from home, including students who are home from school. If you are concerned about paying your bill due to the ongoing public health crisis, we can help with programs to manage bills and maintain service. We have temporarily suspended residential disconnections for nonpayment. However, customers are still responsible for any balance due.  Please call our customer care team at 1-833-OTELCO1 to speak with a representative about payment options during this challenging time.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and are prepared to take further measures as necessary following guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.  To keep up-to-date on OTELCO’s COVID-19 response, please visit this page regularly.