Apr 28, 2020 12:13 PM

Verizon prepared to serve customers during pandemic

Posted Apr 28, 2020 12:13 PM

News Release

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 27:

Verizon is extending its commitment to keep our customers connected through June 30. This means we will neither terminate service nor charge late fees to our postpaid wireless, residential, and small business1 customers that notify us of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Customers can notify us by visiting here.

1 includes small business customers with 50 lines or less

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. 19172. Bad Boys for Life3. Onward4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker5. Jumanji: The Next Level

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

1. Homeland2. Westworld3. Keeping Up with the Kardashians4. Curb Your Enthusiasm5. 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.