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Press Release -- April 23rd, 2020
Source: Verizon
Tags:

4/23 Update: Verizon is prepared to serve customers during COVID-19 crisis

Verizon’s total COVID-19 crisis commitment now stands at over $50 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits around the globe

  • GRAMMY Award winning siblings Billie Eilish and FINNEAS will be performing a very special and intimate live concert from their home on Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live.

  • Verizon continues to support customers who may find themselves needing additional data in order to learn, work or keep connected during this challenging time.

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Featured Updates

  • Verizon partners with American Express for “Stand for Small” to support U.S. small businesses
  • Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live continues with Lilly Singh and gamers from DIG Fe on Tuesday, April 21
  • Verizon Media launches platform enhancements to maximize streaming reach and revenues
  • Verizon is donating $3 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of a partnership with Global Citizens One World: Together At Home.
  • Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, Verizon has committed $48 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits directed at serving students, healthcare workers, first responders, and small businesses.

  • Technologies enable federal, state and local governments to better serve our communities.
  • CEO Hans Vestberg and the CEOs of several other companies spoke with the President of the United States on April 15. Verizon is committed to finding ways of effectively doing business in the "new normal” and is focused on serving our customers and society through this pandemic and beyond.
  • For the second straight week, Verizon reports that data usage is basically flat or down slightly week-over-week — including gaming, streaming video, virtual private network (VPN) connections, web browsing and social media — indicating people have settled into their new routines.
  • Use of collaboration tools like video teleconferencing during Easter Sunday was up 36% compared to the prior Sunday, and up 13% during Passover compared to the previous week. Text messages were also up 28% Sunday over Sunday.
  • Nurses on the front lines and teachers keeping students engaged will join military and first responders in benefiting from up to $40 off when combining Verizon unlimited wireless and Fios internet plans

  • EMS FDNY Help Fund, NYC restaurants and Verizon partner to provide meals to EMS Fund members; Expands NYC program to serve more than 2,500 meals a day to frontline workers

  • Verizon introduces virtual assistant, video chat app, and self-service portal
  • Hunter Pence and esports organization Dignitas’ Tanner Damonte team up on April 14 #PayItForwardLive

  • For the first time in its history, the Verizon Response Team (VRT) is active on a nationwide basis, with more than 270 engagements
  • Alicia Keys to perform on Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live today, April 9
  • Voice and data usage stabilizing, indicating people have settled into their temporary new routines
  • Yahoo Sports and the Women’s Sports Foundation launch #WeKeepPlaying
  • 4/7 Network Update: Mobile handoffs continue to shrink, indicating more Americans are sheltering-in-place
  • Cizzorz and Pokimane will be live April 7 on Cizzorz’s Twitch, @verizon’s Twitter, Yahoo, and Fios Channel 501 at 8pm ET for Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live supporting small businesses
  • ​Verizon joins forces with NY Times to aid all students and teachers in high schools within the U.S. with free digital access to NYTimes.com
  • Verizon debuts Small Business Webinar Series April 7, to help small businesses navigate challenging times.
  • The Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions appear to have the most people in the nation staying at home, according to the latest Verizon Network Report.
  • As online collaboration surge nearly 10X versus a typical day and growth in other internet uses has started to stabilize
  • We’re giving access to learning tools, news and premium entertainment channels, at no additional costs
  • Verizon offers enhanced pay for essential on-site employees

  • Verizon teams up with FaZe Clan and Marshmello to expand its Pay It Forward Live into gaming and support for small businesses

  • Latest Verizon Network report shows customers are creating a new weekend normal of fun and fellowship

  • 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.
  • 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. In accordance with CDC recommendations, all customers who visit a Verizon corporate store are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering. Those who do not, will be asked to reschedule their appointment.
  • 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 $20 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.
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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 & resources:

Update: Effective April 23:

Verizon has today announced a $2.5 million grant to be shared across a group of international countries and charities offering healthcare support and food relief. Each charity will receive a portion of the funds to bolster their ongoing humanitarian activities.

Verizon recently donated $3 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO), in addition to a previous $2 million donation, as part of a partnership with Global Citizen’s “One World: Together At Home” global broadcast special to help aid healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Verizon’s total COVID-19 crisis commitment now stands at over $50 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits around the globe.

Update: Effective April 22:

Pay It Forward Live Concert

GRAMMY Award winning siblings Billie Eilish and FINNEAS will be performing a very special and intimate live concert from their home on Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live. The live stream will take place on 4/22 at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on Twitter @Verizon, Yahoo, Verizon’s Facebook and YouTube pages, Fios Channel 501 and 604, AXS TV, FOX NOW or listen on iHeart and SiriusXM. Pay It Forward Live is Verizon’s weekly streaming entertainment series in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19.

15GB free high-speed data

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, we announced we are automatically adding an additional 15GB of 4G LTE data to consumer and small business* shared data plans, hotspots and jetpacks to be used  from May 1 through May 31. There is no action needed as this data will automatically be added to consumer and small business accounts.

* Includes small business customers with 50 lines or less

Update: Effective April 21:

Verizon partners with American Express for “Stand for Small” to support U.S. small businesses

Today, Verizon announced its participation in the American Express ‘Stand for Small’ program, which is a coalition of more than 40 companies across media, technology, consumer goods and professional services, and many other industries, that have come together to provide meaningful support to small businesses as they navigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live continues with Lilly Singh and gamers from DIG Fe on Tuesday, April 21 

Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live, the weekly streaming entertainment series in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19, continues on Tuesday when professional esports athlete Emmalee “EMUHLEET” Garrido and other members of Dignitas’s all-female gaming team DIG Fe will stream Riot Games’ VALORANT with Lilly Singh. The action will start at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT and stream live on Twitter @Verizon, EMUHLEET’s Twitch, Yahoo, Verizon’s Facebook page, Fios Channel 501, YouTube, and XBOX. The event will be available on Verizon’s platforms for one week following the live stream.

Verizon Media launches platform enhancements to maximize streaming reach and revenues

Verizon Media has launched a range of capabilities to enable broadcasters, content owners, and service providers to grow audiences and monetize content in new ways. These include advanced advertising tools that improve transparency in the bidding process and track ad performance. Additional features that maximize audience reach and enhance live event streaming have also been announced.

Update: Effective April 17:

Verizon is donating $3 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for the World Health Organization (WHO) as part of a partnership with Global Citizens One World: Together At Home global broadcast special to help aid healthcare workers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. The globally televised and live-streamed special will air on April 18 and feature performances and appearances from international entertainers. Through the United Nations Foundation, the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund will help support the 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.

Verizon is also powering a text-to-action campaign during the U.S. broadcast to engage the audience and encourage viewers to take action to beat coronavirus. Viewers can visit Act.Me to take action or text ‘ACTION’ to 31318. From taking care to wash their hands, to staying at home, to calling on governments, big business and more, viewers can pledge to take action to increase their impact and help support recovery efforts.

Verizon’s most recent donation brings the company’s total support of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO to $5 million and their total COVID-19 crisis commitment to $48 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits directed at serving students, healthcare workers, first responders, and small businesses.

Update: Effective April 16:

Technologies enable federal, state and local governments

New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Term Services Department worked with Verizon to distribute hundreds of tablets to nursing facilities across the state.

A mobile cell site and landline connectivity were recently delivered to Fort Totten Park in Queens, NY, which is being used as a base of operations for the military, fire department, up to 300 ambulances, and as a potential site for a field hospital. Hundreds of smartphones and devices were delivered to the U.S. National Guard who were recently deployed to New York City in a 24-hour window.

Verizon also partnered with the State of Rhode Island Department of Health on a new COVID-19 hotline to better serve Rhode Islanders during this crisis.

Update: Effective April 15:

Network Usage Continues to Normalize

For the second straight week, Verizon reports that data usage is basically flat or down slightly week-over-week — including gaming, streaming video, virtual private network (VPN) connections, web browsing and social media — indicating people have settled into their new routines.

Use of collaboration tools like video teleconferencing during Easter Sunday was up 36% compared to the prior Sunday, and up 13% during Passover compared to the previous week. Text messages were also up 28% Sunday over Sunday.

In addition to the global health crisis and a holiday weekend, severe weather and tornadoes ripped through the South causing significant damage and power outages for millions. With damage to network facilities, the Verizon Network team quickly deployed mobile cell towers and mobile satellite cell equipment to re-establish communications in the wake of the storm.

Unlimited Pricing for nurses and teachers now and moving forward

Starting April 23, Verizon is expanding our best wireless unlimited pricing to nurses, who are doing such critical work keeping our friends, family and neighbors cared for, and teachers, who are keeping our students engaged and learning. They join active-duty military, veterans and people who work as first responders who already benefit from this ongoing pricing for their personal accounts and for their families. Fios internet customers can also take advantage of the discounts starting May 7.

Verizon and EMS FDNY Help Fund Partner to serve EMS Help Fund members and support NYC restaurants

The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) Help Fund and Verizon began a joint effort to provide more than 700 EMS FDNY Help Fund members/emergency medical technicians and paramedics with daily meals prepared by NYC restaurants on Sunday. As a result of this partnership, over the next four weeks, nearly 22,000 meals will be provided to EMS Help Fund members in all five boroughs.

Verizon’s ongoing commitment to those who serve

Verizon has long recognized the impact of those who serve in our community through unique offers, discounts, recognition and donations. And, over the past weeks, Verizon has centered COVID-19 relief efforts on healthcare workers, small businesses, teachers, students, military and those who serve as first responders. To date, Verizon has committed $45 million in contributions and donations to nonprofits directed at serving students, healthcare first responders, and small businesses.

Update: Effective April 13:

New tool allows technicians to assist customers while maintaining social distancing

Verizon has deployed a new tool to serve residential and small business customers who need repairs for their wireline voice, data or video services. The virtual assistant, video chat app, and self-service portal enables technicians to assist customers while maintaining social distancing recommendations, removing the need for technicians to enter residences or premises. Thousands of technicians are using the tool and have resolved 90% of repair requests when the tool has been used.

“We know how critical communication is, especially now as more and more people are working from home, engaging in distance learning and moving their family and friend interactions online,” said Kevin Service, Senior Vice President of Operations for Verizon. “This new tool gives us the ability to provide the excellent service our customers deserve while minimizing the need for in-person interaction in these unprecedented times.”

Hunter Pence and Damonte team up on Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live 

Pay It Forward Live, continues on Tuesday, April 14 when professional baseball player Hunter Pence and esports organization Dignitas’ Tanner Damonte team up to play League of Legends at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT on Twitter @Verizon, Damonte’s Twitch, Yahoo, Verizon’s Facebook page, and Fios Channel 501. The event will be available on Verizon’s platforms for one week following the live stream.

Update: Effective April 9:

Verizon teams on the frontlines with COVID-19 first responders

The Verizon Response Team (VRT) has been engaged since the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic and to date, has deployed emergency services and solutions to hundreds of COVID-19-related response sites in more than 30 states. In addition to day-to-day support of federal, state and local government agencies on the frontlines of the pandemic, the VRT delivers on-demand, emergency assistance during crisis situations to government agencies, emergency responders, nonprofits and communities on a 24/7/365 basis. Its solutions include portable cell sites, WiFi hotspots, free charging stations and other devices and solutions that enable communications and/or boost network performance.

Alicia Keys to perform on Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live on Thursday, April 9

Fifteen-time Grammy winner and global music icon Alicia Keys will perform on Pay It Forward Live, Verizon’s weekly streaming entertainment series in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19, on Thursday, April 9. The performance will stream live at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Twitter @VerizonYahoo and Fios Channel 501. The event will also be available on these platforms for one week following the live stream.

Verizon Network Update:

After weeks of significant increases in voice and data usage as a result of millions of people transitioning to working from home, distance learning and virtual socializing, new routines and usage behaviors are stabilizing, according to the latest Verizon Network report.

The report also shows that as new routines emerge, on-demand entertainment is taking center stage. On-demand movie viewing is up 32% compared to the typical pre-COVID-19 average weekly viewing. Customers have also embraced TV series filled with action, suspense and comedy.

Last weekend, the top 5 Fios Video on Demand HD titles were:

1. 1917
2. Bad Boys for Life
3. Onward
4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
5. Jumanji: The Next Level

The top 5 Fios on-demand TV series viewed last week include:

1. Homeland
2. Westworld
3. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
4. Curb Your Enthusiasm
5. Outlander

Update: Effective April 7:

Yahoo Sports and the Women’s Sports Foundation launch #WeKeepPlaying

Yahoo Sports and the Women’s Sports Foundation announced #WeKeepPlaying, a first of its kind live event bringing together some of the most iconic women in professional sports to inspire young athletes during the COVID-19 crisis. The elite athletes will share their own stories of personal resilience to engage and inspire young athletes across the globe during this unprecedented time. The event will stream live on Saturday, April 11, 2020 at 4:00 pm ET exclusively on the Yahoo Sports mobile app and YahooSports.com.

4/7: Verizon Network Report

More and more people across the country appear to be following shelter-in-place mandates as cell site handoffs continued to decline. According to the latest Verizon Network Report, handoffs have decreased by 35% nationally compared to a typical day, down another 6% from what was reported last week. Verizon’s New York Metro and Upstate New York markets showed the biggest declines at 51% and 61% respectively vs. a typical day. Other Verizon markets like the Mid-Atlantic/Greater Washington, D.C. metro area and New England also showed significant declines of 39% and 41%, respectively, with the Southern California and Northern California markets both declining 41% vs. a typical day.

Update: Effective April 6:

Small Business Webinar Series

Verizon will debut a Small Business Webinar Series to share practical advice, insight and tips to help small businesses survive during these unprecedented times.

The first event begins April 7 at  2 p.m. EST and will feature entrepreneur Mike Michalowicz, best-selling author of “Profit First,” and U.S. Small Business Association entrepreneur of the year. Mike will offer specific steps small business owners can take now and how to be ready to grow after the crisis.

Access to the Times

From April 6 to July 6, students and teachers will have free digital access to NYTimes.com. The New York Times Company and Verizon joined forces to offer all students and teachers in high schools to support student learning during these turbulent and uncertain times.

Cizzorz and Pokimane joinVerizon’s PayItForwar LIVE line-up 

As part of Verizon’s PayItForward LIVE Cizzorz and Pokimane will be live April 7 on Cizzorz’s Twitch, @verizon’s Twitter, Yahoo, and Fios Channel 501 at 8pm ET for Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live supporting small businesses. Verizon’s  PayItForward LIVE connects big names to small businesses by offering streaming entertainment to those at home and financial support to those small businesses in need.

Update: Effective April 2:

"We're proud to highlight our Verizon network performance following today's call with the President and his team. Our network is providing a necessary lifeline today - and everyday - and continues to operate the way our customers have come to expect. I'm proud of our team as we deliver critical connectivity, and essential products and services to millions of Americans, businesses and those on the frontlines.  We are all in this together."

— Hans Vestberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Verizon Communications Inc.

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Update: Effective March 31:

Verizon offers enhanced pay for essential on-site employees

Verizon announced today that it’s immediately implementing a significantly enhanced compensation plan for the company’s dedicated employees who must deploy outside their homes to meet critical customer needs. These mission-critical employees are unable to work remotely as they fulfill and repair broadband orders and connection issues, maintain networks and offer products to customers immediately and in person when deemed essential.

“Now, more than ever, our networks must remain operational as we continue to provide essential services to healthcare workers and facilities, first responders, schools, businesses, and families,” said Christy Pambianchi, Verizon’s Chief Human Resources Officer. “From the very beginning, ensuring the health and safety of our employees has been our highest priority. We’re leaving no stone unturned and doing everything within our power to make sure our employees are kept safe and healthy as they bring essential products and services to our customers.”

In addition to its frontline employees, the company has more than 100,000 employees working from home as part of a major redeployment effort to continue serving customers.

Verizon teams up with Faze Clan to expand Pay It Forward Live into gaming

Verizon expands Pay It Forward Live, the weekly streaming entertainment series that includes music, gaming, comedy and more in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19, with Tuesday night gaming events. The match-ups will pair a member of FaZe Clan, one of the world’s most popular esports and gaming entertainment collectives, and a celebrity guest going head to head. The kick-off event on Tuesday, March 31, will feature FaZe Clan’s Nate Hill going head to head with a surprise challenger in a game of Fortnite. The weekly 45-minute events will stream live at 8:00 p.m. EST/5 p.m. PST on Twitch, Twitter @verizonYahoo Entertainment and on Fios Channel 501.

The duos will not only play, but also surprise some of their favorite local businesses, engage with viewers, and create small-business-themed in-game experiences - all while encouraging viewers to support local businesses in their own communities and to use the hashtag #PayitForwardLIVE to unlock funds from Verizon to support small businesses on both Twitch and Twitter.

3/31 Verizon Network Report

While things are far from normal, it seems Verizon customers are creating a new weekend normal of fun and fellowship, according to the latest Verizon Network Report.

Over the weekend, the company is seeing a steady increase in Sunday morning collaboration tool usage (8 AM– 12 PM ET), including a 163% increase between Sunday March 15 to the 22 and another 224% March 22 compared to this past Sunday.

On the entertainment front, Fios TV customers are turning to Video on Demand content, with a 49% increase week-over-week.

This weekend, the top 5 Fios Video on Demand HD titles were:

  1. 1917

  2. Jumanji: The Next Level

  3. The Invisible Man

  4. Onward

  5. Knives Out

The report also shows a 2% increase in peak video traffic, a 7% increase in web traffic and a 3% increase in gaming over peak weekday traffic.

While many retreat to gaming, videos and fellowship, people continue to stay up-to-date with the news. The Verizon Media brand portfolio continues to see a surge in engagement with more than 2 billion pages views and one billion video streams related to COVID-19 news and content.

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 commitment the 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.

Verizon will accelerate network investment and increase capital guidance.

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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.

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