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ISE Columnist Sharon Vollman, Editorial Director

Fortify Each Other

May 1, 2020
At the time of this writing, April 15, 2020, COVID-19 has infected more than 2M people across the world. By the time you read this note, the pandemic will impact […]

At the time of this writing, April 15, 2020, COVID-19 has infected more than 2M people across the world. By the time you read this note, the pandemic will impact more people than I can imagine.

Last evening, my iPhone frenetically buzzed with a county emergency update. It read:
Be kind.
Use good hygiene.
Practice social distancing.
Stay home.

I smiled after reading the first sentence. I also liked how the text offered clear, concise, action-oriented guidance.

With so much we CAN’T control during this pandemic we CAN do something powerful: Be good to others — at work and at home.

We need to remember that we have multiple opportunities to help or hurt others each and every day. Simply being kind may be some of the best preventive medicine we can offer in times of uncertainty.

On a corporate level, it’s good to see telecom providers doing that by waiving late fees to accommodate consumers who might be struggling. AT&T, Comcast, CenturyLink, T-Mobile, TDS Telecom, Verizon, and regional providers, have committed to a "Keep Americans Connected Pledge" issued by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to promote sustained connectivity during disruptions caused by the coronavirus. For the next 60 days (at the time of this writing, that’s from mid-March into May) they will not terminate service or assess late fees on customers and businesses that fall behind on their bills. Many also agreed to open Wi-Fi hot spots to any American who needs them.

Let’s follow suit and help others. Let’s also spread some joy when we see those acts of kindness. Simply send us short stories and photos of those in your organization who are going above and beyond to help customers, team members, and others they may not even know. We’ll post them on so our 25K readers can see and feel the kindness our industry so often exhibits during challenging times.

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Why? Because fortifying the confidence we have in each other is important during ordinary days. Right now, it is paramount.

For more information about the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, please visit

About the Author

Sharon Vollman | Editor-in-Chief, ISE Magazine

Sharon Vollman is Editor-in-Chief of ISE Magazine. She oversees the strategic direction and content for ISE Magazine. She also leads the educational content development for ISE EXPO. Vollman has created educational partnerships with the major communications and entertainment providers including AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink, Frontier Communications and Cincinnati Bell. She has covered the telecom industry since 1996. Prior to that, she worked in advertising with Ogilvy & Mather and CME. Vollman has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Iowa.