In the past week of abundant school and business closures, many people have come to rely on their home internet for work-from-home purposes, remote learning, buying supplies, receiving healthcare advice and keeping in touch with family. In short, virtually every action that can transition to an online model already has or will soon.
In quick response to this shift, the FCC introduced a 60-day action plan called Keep Americans Connected, which asks telecommunication companies to refrain from terminating services due to past unpaid bills, among other measures.
Verizon’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak is especially pivotal to the country. As the largest telecom provider in the U.S., many other businesses will be looking to them to set the precedent for policies and behaviors during this time.
Verizon has aligned with the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge and seems confident to meet the increased online traffic and data demands. Here are some of the actions they have taken over the last week:
- On 3/12/20, Verizon increased its capital guidance range by half a billion dollars. (This essentially means they raised their annual estimates of revenue, earning and capital spending for 2020.)
- Verizon is monitoring network usage in hotspot cities and keeping hospitals and first responders as top priority in connectivity.
- Waiving activation fees on new lines of service and upgrade fees.
- Offering free international calling through 4/30/20 to countries identified by the CDC as Level 3.
- Enabling more Verizon employees to work from home and enhancing social distancing measures by allowing one customer per employee into their retail locations.