Telecom Ramblings

PR Archives:  LatestBy Company By Date


Press Release -- March 30th, 2020
Source: Verizon
Tags:

3/30 Update: Verizon is prepared to serve customers during COVID-19 crisis

Verizon delivers connectivity for USNS Comfort, enabling communication and technology

  • Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks have been able to meet the shifting demands of customers and continue to perform well.
0

Featured Updates

  • Verizon Network Report shows people are getting back to work - remotely
  • Verizon gives customers learning tools and premium TV at no additional cost to assist with new at-home realities
  • Verizon is delivering solutions that allow healthcare professionals to stay connected to patients and each other.
  • Verizon kicks off Pay It Forward Live entertainment series to support small businesses through the COVID-19 crisis; Will donate up to $5M to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
  • Reinforces pledge to Keep Americans Connected and goes further to protect most vulnerable.
    • Waives overage charges and late fees to support customers who may be financially affected by the COVID-19 crisis:
    • Announces two months waived internet and voice service charges for current Lifeline customers and new affordable internet option for low-income households.
    • Adds 15GB of high speed data for wireless consumer and small business customers to be automatically applied with no customer action necessary.
    • Provides first responders with priority and preemption abilities for voice and data.
    • No data caps for Consumer and small business Fios and DSL broadband internet plans
  • Expanding work-from-home policy to include reduction of retail locations and hours across the country; closed stores on Sundays; fewer employees working at stores; limiting the number of customers in our stores at one time.
  • Verizon owned and operated stores reduce hours of operation - and move to In Store Pickup Only transactions beginning 3/30
  • Tripling our data allowance for Verizon Innovative Learning schools; Total of $12 million donated to the World Health Organization, nonprofits directed at supporting students and first responder healthcare workers
  • Supporting our communities with $19 million dollars in donations to nonprofits directed at supporting students, healthcare first responders and small businesses
  • Investing in our economy by increasing our capital guidance range from $17 - $18 billion to $17.5 - $18.5 billion in 2020.
  • Yahoo creates coronavirus hub page, across the Yahoo ecosystem, to ensure consumers have trusted and reliable news and content about the pandemic in the U.S. and across the globe.
0

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – During this unprecedented period challenging the world’s health and economy, Verizon stands ready to support our employees and serve our customers and public safety.

Verizon’s networks have been engineered to perform during moments of crisis and disaster such as hurricanes, snow storms and flooding. During this time of heightened worry and concern, our primary goal is to keep our customers, employees and society connected to the things that matter most to them: their family, friends and business customers.

Verizon is closely monitoring network usage in the most impacted areas. We will work with and prioritize network demand in assisting many U.S. hospitals, first responders and government agencies, as needed.

We are providing daily updates to our employees and our consumer and business customers on our network performance, offering help and support for their connectivity needs, tips on how to work in this new environment and more. We encourage you to check here every day at noon ET, for the latest updates.

Daily updates, offers and resources:

0

Update: Effective March 30:

Verizon delivers connectivity for USNS Comfort

 Over the weekend, Verizon worked with the US Navy to deliver connectivity for the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, a Navy medical treatment facility that includes 1,000 hospital beds, 12 operating rooms, radiology capabilities and a pharmacy. Verizon was able to quickly enable connectivity via a secure, dedicated circuit, which allows the medical community to remain in sync with each other and patients and to support critical IT capabilities to staff. The USNS Comfort is currently deployed to New York City and will serve as a referral hospital for non-COVID-19 patients and alleviate stress on hospitals.

“Enabling the U.S. Navy to deliver on its mission is at the core of what we do at Verizon: we are here to serve wherever and whenever we’re needed,” said Andrés Irlando, senior vice president and president, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “Whether it’s providing mission-critical connectivity and mobile solutions to floating hospitals, work-from-home solutions for government agencies or enabling American students to learn from home, we are proud to be able to deliver necessary solutions in response to COVID-19.”

Update: Effective March 27:

Beginning March 30, Verizon owned and operated retail stores move to in store pickup only

For the health and safety of employees and customers, Verizon has taken the following steps in its owned and operated retail stores:

  • All Verizon owned and operated stores will be closed on Sundays through April 12.

  • Stores that are open will operate on reduced hours Monday thru Saturday, 11 AM-4 PM.

  • The number of customers in a store may not exceed the number of employees working at any given time in order to promote social distancing.

Beginning Monday, March 30, we’re  asking customers to limit visits to our stores for the following transactions only:

  • In Store Pick Up for critical equipment replacements (order online)

  • Critical troubleshooting by appointment only (schedule on VZW.com or the MyVerizon app)

Customers with the  following non-critical needs should visit VZW.com and the MyVerizon app:

  • Account maintenance including price plan changes

  • Non-critical equipment replacements/upgrades

  • Basic troubleshooting

  • Everything else

We continue to evaluate local conditions daily and are adjusting our operations accordingly. Customers can find an up to date listing of store hours/locations by visiting: https://www.verizonwireless.com/stores.

Update: Effective March 26:

Customers get access to SHOWTIME, Epix, Quizlet, Chegg Study, Bookful and more

Verizon announced an expansion of efforts to aid consumers dealing with work-from-home and shelter-in-place realities with the More at Home...on Us program, giving individuals and families more ways to learn and stay entertained at no additional cost.

  • Verizon Wireless and Fios subscribers will have free learning and additional TV channels
  • SHOWTIME and Epix offer premium entertainment for Fios TV subscribers
  • Students get free access for 60 days to valuable learning and interactive study tools
  • Fios TV extends access to dozens of top channels in news, entertainment and international content

Update: Effective March 25:

Verizon pays it forward to help small businesses

Verizon announced the launch of Pay it Forward Live, a weekly streaming entertainment series that will include music, gaming, comedy and more in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19. The weekly series will debut on Thursday, March 26, at 8:00 p.m. ET with a performance from Dave Matthews. The concerts will stream live at 8:00 p.m. ET on Twitter @verizon and on Yahoo Entertainment. Additional artists and partners will be announced at a later date.

“Small businesses are being impacted in extraordinary ways as we all fight against the spread of COVID-19,” said Hans Vestberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon. “These companies provide employment opportunities, goods, services, and gathering places that are the soul of local communities. Pay it Forward Live will give all Americans an opportunity to help their favorite small businesses survive this unprecedented hardship.”

Understanding the toll of small businesses closing their doors to help fight the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Verizon will donate $2.5 million to Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national nonprofit that has invested $20 billion to fuel economic opportunity for people and communities across America. Over the course of the series, all viewers who tune in will be encouraged to tag their favorite local businesses and make a purchase in advance for when the crisis is over and the businesses reopen. As consumers engage, Verizon will unlock an additional $2.5 million in funds, bringing the total donation to a potential $5 million.

Verizon is also giving its own customers an easy way to support small businesses by leveraging their customer loyalty program, Verizon Up, which will give members the ability to use their monthly reward for a Visa eGift card to use to support small businesses throughout the month of April.

Verizon delivers solutions that allow healthcare professionals to stay connected

The Verizon Response Team is currently leading nearly 160 engagements in the United States and has deployed mobile cell sites, WiFi hotspots, free charging stations and other solutions that help boost network performance and enable communications.

Verizon along with public and private healthcare agencies is delivering solutions that allow healthcare professionals to stay connected to patients and each other, including the enablement of coronavirus testing through connected technologies, such as mobile hotspots, smartphones and tablets. The delivery of a reliable, secure network helps healthcare workers stay connected to patient records, on-premise laboratory results and other critical information they need when time to diagnosis and care is critical.

“Our Verizon team has a tremendous sense of urgency when it comes to the critical technology and connectivity needs of both public health and public safety agencies,” said Andrés Irlando, senior vice president and president, Public Sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “When first responders and federal, state and local agencies on the frontlines need us— for mobile testing or quarantine sites or making sure healthcare professionals are able to connect with patients and each other—Verizon is here to serve.”

Update: Effective March 24:

Americans Increasingly Staying in Place

As people are being asked to stay physically distant, they are finding alternate ways to stay connected through a significant rise in calls, text and picture messages.

Data from the most recent Verizon network report show:

  • An average of nine billion texts each day on its wireless network.

  • An average of 800 million wireless calls each weekday – nearly twice the call volume of Mother’s Day.

  • Call durations are up 33% vs. a typical day, meaning not only are people calling more, they are staying on the phone longer.

“Typically, Mother’s Day is always our highest Sunday call volume,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer for Verizon. “The weekday calling numbers are now significantly exceeding the national holiday honoring Mom.

“The Verizon networks are built to keep people connected and though we are seeing changes in how people are connecting, we see the desire to stay connected growing,” said Malady. “Our networks are meeting customers’ changing habits. In small pockets where there has been a significant increase in usage, our engineers are quickly adding capacity to meet customers’ demand.”

Update: Effective March 23:

Verizon helps eliminate worry for customers during time of great need 

Verizon continues to support customers who may find themselves needing additional data in order to learn, work or keep connected during this challenging time. That’s why today, for those residential and small business wireless customers whose economic circumstances have been impacted due to the coronavirus, Verizon is waiving overage charges in addition to our Keep Americans Connected pledge to not terminate service and waive late fees. We’re also offering new internet options for low-income households and adding 15GB of 4G LTE data to consumer and small business plans automatically.

Verizon continues to support those at the forefront of response efforts to provide them with the connectivity and resources needed to complete their critical missions and protect the public. Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks have been able to meet the shifting demands of customers and remain ready to address changes in demand, if needed.

“We understand the hardships that many of our customers are facing, and we’re doing our part to ensure they have broadband internet connectivity during this unprecedented time,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO Verizon Consumer Group. “With so many Americans working and learning remotely from home, having access to reliable and affordable internet is more important than ever before.”

Our retail stores

Out of an abundance of caution and to balance the safety of our employees with the critical needs of our customers, Verizon has taken the following steps:

  • All Verizon owned and operated stores will be closed on Sundays through April 12.
  • Stores that are open will operate on further reduced hours Monday thru Saturday, 11 AM-4 PM.
  • In order to increase social distancing and allow more employees to take advantage of work from home, we’ve reduced by 50 percent, the number of employees working shifts in our retail locations and we are paying employees for any shifts they may miss due to these scheduling changes.
  • The number of customers in a store may not exceed the number of employees working at any given time in order to promote social distancing.

We’re also asking that customers limit transactions in store to the following essential transactions:

  • Critical equipment replacements and upgrades,
  • Critical accessories
  • Critical troubleshooting.

For everything else, please visit our website or use the MyVerizon app. We continue to evaluate local conditions daily and are adjusting our operations accordingly. Customers can find an up to date listing of store hours/locations by visiting: https://www.verizonwireless.com/stores.

Update: Effective March 21:

Verizon Network Report, reflecting March 12 compared to March 19

As Americans spend their first full week in the new normal and staying at home, they are finding their voices again. Voice usage, long declining in the age of texting, chat and social media, is up 25 percent in the last week.

The network report shows the primary driver of increased voice usage is accessing conference calling numbers. In addition, people are talking longer on mobile devices with: wireless voice usage notching a 10 percent increase and calls lasting 15 percent longer.

“For years we’ve seen a steady decline in the amount of time people spend talking to one another, especially on wireless devices,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer at Verizon. “The move to staying at home has reignited people’s hunger to stay connected, voice-to-voice. Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks are continuing to meet the shifting demands of customers and continue to perform well.”

No data caps on Verizon home broadband internet

Verizon customers are also benefiting from the company’s long-standing practice of no data caps on its home broadband internet.

For wireless customers, now through April 30, Verizon is offering unlimited domestic calling to customers on limited-minute plans. Eligible customers will receive a text message to inform them of the offer. No action is necessary; the offer will automatically be added to eligible accounts.

Need additional support? Most everything you can do in a Verizon store or via Customer Service can also be done on the My Verizon and My Fios apps on your phone, or on Verizon.com – from buying and activating a new phone to adding features or changing your plan. You can even troubleshoot common problems in our secure digital environment.

Update: Effective March 20:

Verizon Response Teams are on the frontlines

Verizon continues to support those at the forefront of response efforts to provide them with the connectivity and resources needed to complete their critical missions and protect the public.

“During an unprecedented crisis of this nature, no need is more critical than communication – whether it’s between loved ones or between first responders and healthcare professionals who are on the front line, staying connected is absolutely vital for everyone’s safety and protection,” said former NYPD and LAPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. “As a police commissioner of the nation’s largest cities and today as a private citizen, I have the opportunity to work with Verizon. I know that their network, their technology and most importantly their people will be there to support first responders when they need them most.”

Supporting the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund

Verizon has committed $2 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund in support of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s global response. Through the United Nations Foundation, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will help support WHO and partners’ efforts to track and understand the spread of the virus; to ensure patients get the care they need and frontline workers get essential supplies and information; and to accelerate efforts to develop vaccines, tests, and treatments. The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund is the only way companies, organizations, and people everywhere can donate to WHO’s COVID-19 response efforts. Verizon’s most recent donation is in addition to the $10 million commitmentthe company announced earlier in the week to aid nonprofits supporting students and first responder healthcare workers.

Update: Effective March 14:

In order to help flatten the curve of the pandemic, Verizon will be temporarily closing a number of its stores across the country in order to expand its work from home policy to include some of its retail employees.

As noted in a letter from Hans Vestberg, in order to help flatten the curve of the pandemic, Verizon will be temporarily closing a number of its stores across the country in order to expand its work from home policy to include some of its retail employees. Our teams are able to serve customers 24/7 by visiting verizonwireless.com/support/, calling 800.922.0204 or through the MyVerizon app.

In addition,Verizon announced support for relief efforts across communities impacted by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic by tripling its monthly data allowance for its Verizon Innovative Learning schools and committing $10 million to nonprofits directed at supporting students and first responders.

As the list of nationwide K-12 schools shifting to remote learning heightens, Verizon is supporting the students and teachers in its Verizon Innovative Learning program, the company’s education initiative targeting Title 1 middle schools, by tripling their data allowances.

Update: Effective March 13:

Verizon will waive late fees and keep residential and small business customers connected if negatively impacted by the global crisis.

Update: Effective March 12:

Verizon will accelerate network investment and increase capital guidance.

0

Verizon networks continue to perform strongly

Since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the company has not seen a measurable increase in data usage - despite some businesses, schools and other organizations encouraging employees to work remotely and students to take classes online. Verizon’s networks are designed and built to meet future demand and are ready should demand increase or usage patterns change significantly.

Customers rely on Verizon networks

With years of steady month-over-month wireless data usage growth, as a standard practice, the company’s engineers are constantly adding capacity on the wireless and fiber networks to better serve customers. The network improvements are often recognized by independent third party reviews including recent research by RootMetrics, which has ranked Verizon first in overall performance and reliability in each of their last 13 consecutive drive test reports.

Recent technological advancements including the addition of small cells, deployment of carrier aggregation, MIMO antenna technology advancement, use of shared spectrum such as License Assisted Access (LAA) and Citizens Band Radio Spectrum (CBRS), 256 QAM, and fiber advancements have increased efficiency in the wireless and fiber networks resulting in greater capacity and speed for customers.

“Verizon operates its networks every day as though it’s a snow day -- events when millions of Americans work from home while family members go online to watch videos, play games and talk and text to their friends and families,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer. “Delivering reliable networks is what we do. While this is an unprecedented situation, we know things are changing, and we are ready to adjust network resources as we better understand any shifts in demand. We have the best engineers in the world monitoring the situation closely.”

“We continually evaluate peak data usage times and build our networks to stay ahead of that demand,” said Malady. “While we may see the hours where peak data usage shifts from evening to daytime, our network is built to manage evolving demands. While it is not clear yet how having millions of additional people working from home will impact usage patterns, we are ready to address changes in demand, if needed.”

Like any crisis or significant event in which additional network resources may be needed, the company is able to deploy additional resources to add capacity and has a fleet of mobile assets including portable COLTs (cells on light trucks) and COWs (cells on wheels/trucks), mobile charging stations, and more to support first responders and their mission critical needs.

In addition to its wireless and fiber networks, Verizon also operates a global IP backbone network spanning six continents. It is built with resiliency in mind; it is one of the most connected Internet backbones in the world, offers speeds of up to 100 GB, and deploys mesh technology to enable multiple diverse paths for network traffic as required. Performance is constantly monitored by Verizon's five global Network Operations Centers, 24 x 7, 365.

Investing today, for the future

The company is pledging to use the power of connectivity now to help keep the nation’s economy moving forward. Equally important, it’s focused on the future, beyond this current crisis, as reflected in Verizon’s announcement on March 12, that the company is increasing its capital investment guidance from $17 to $18 billion to $17.5 to $18.5 billion in 2020.

“We’re looking towards the future and increasing our investments so that we’re poised to offer even more robust networks, to meet future demands, in the years to come,” said Hans Vestberg, Verizon Chairman and CEO. “We are very confident in our company’s ability to meet current demands in providing a great network experience.”

Vestberg added: “Our customers -- including critical government and public safety agencies -- rely on us for proven reliability. I want to thank our dedicated Verizon employees who continue to work tirelessly, day in and day out, to ensure our essential communications services are available to our customers so they can stay connected where and when they need it most.”

Keeping America connected

Verizon announced (March 13), for the next 60 days, it will waive late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus. In addition, the company will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus.

Verizon signed onto the FCC’s new “Keep Americans Connected” pledge. Verizon’s new customer commitment will help ensure connectivity and offer assistance to customers and small businesses facing challenges from the global crisis.

For first responders

We offer priority access to our network for first responders and public safety officials, and our Fios broadband customers always have unlimited access to home broadband service for their work from home or remote learning needs.

For consumers

Our consumer customers have access to competitively priced unlimited wireless plans and can use online tools to make changes to accounts or device upgrades 24 x 7, which includes access to virtual tech coaches and assistance.

Residential and wireless customer inquiries can be answered by using the following links:

For business customers

Verizon is encouraging business and government customers, in particular, to review their continuity plans. Proper planning can help mitigate impact and help minimize potential business disruptions.

Here are five strategies businesses should consider:

  • Prepare your networks for a remote workforce
  • Implement technology that enables remote collaboration
  • Prioritize and develop a critical infrastructure plan
  • Use tools to give customers confidence and access
  • Secure both physical and network access points

Our business customers have access to competitively priced unlimited wireless plans and can use online tools to make changes to accounts or device upgrades 24 x 7, which includes access to virtual tech coaches and assistance. Business customer inquiries can be answered by using the following links: https://www.verizon.com/business/gateway/

We’re all in this together

The health and well-being of our employees is very important and we are taking steps to mitigate risks for Verizon employees. We have increased our cleaning levels. Cleaning solutions approved by the EPA and recommended by the CDC are being used to provide a clean and safe work environment for employees. Surfaces and touchpoints are being wiped down daily as part of the effort to clean and sanitize the retail stores, office workspaces, garages and other people spaces. We are following recommendations of the WHO, CDC and other national health authorities, and are continuously monitoring the situation.

Following the guidance and direction of the U.S. Government, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, we’ve implemented best practices, travel restrictions and alternative working arrangements where possible to protect the health and welfare of our employees.

Helpful tips

YAHOO: COVID-19 News Resource During a time of crisis, it is more important than ever that our customers can rely on news and content they trust. We have created a coronavirus hub page, covid19.yahoo.com, across the Yahoo ecosystem (News, Finance, Sports, Lifestyle & Entertainment) that aggregates the latest news about the pandemic in the U.S. and across the globe to ensure that customers are getting trusted up-to-date news in real time.

FAQS: COVID-19 FAQs

Forward-looking statements

In this communication we have made forward-looking statements. These statements are based on our estimates and assumptions and are subject to risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include the information concerning our possible or assumed future results of operations. Forward-looking statements also include those preceded or followed by the words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “hopes” or similar expressions. For those statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We undertake no obligation to revise or publicly release the results of any revision to these forward-looking statements, except as required by law. Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The following important factors, along with those discussed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), could affect future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements: cyber attacks impacting our networks or systems and any resulting financial or reputational impact; natural disasters, terrorist attacks or acts of war or significant litigation and any resulting financial or reputational impact; disruption of our key suppliers’ or vendors' provisioning of products or services; material adverse changes in labor matters and any resulting financial or operational impact; the effects of competition in the markets in which we operate; failure to take advantage of developments in technology and address changes in consumer demand; performance issues or delays in the deployment of our 5G network resulting in significant costs or a reduction in the anticipated benefits of the enhancement to our networks; the inability to implement our business strategy; adverse conditions in the U.S. and international economies; changes in the regulatory environment in which we operate, including any increase in restrictions on our ability to operate our networks; our high level of indebtedness; an adverse change in the ratings afforded our debt securities by nationally accredited ratings organizations or adverse conditions in the credit markets affecting the cost, including interest rates, and/or availability of further financing; significant increases in benefit plan costs or lower investment returns on plan assets; changes in tax laws or treaties, or in their interpretation; and changes in accounting assumptions that regulatory agencies, including the SEC, may require or that result from changes in the accounting rules or their application, which could result in an impact on earnings.

PR Archives: Latest, By Company, By Date