Verizon to Prioritize Network Demand for First Responders, Hospitals Amid COVID-19
Thursday, March 12, 2020 | Comments

Verizon said it has not seen a measurable increase in data usage since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) despite some businesses, schools and other organizations asking 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, the carrier said.

Verizon has been closely monitoring network usage in the most impacted areas. The company will work with and prioritize network demand in assisting the needs of many U.S. hospitals, first responders and government agencies.

In addition, Verizon announced that it is increasing its capital guidance range from $17 billion to $18 billion to $17.5 billion to $18.5 billion in 2020. This effort will accelerate Verizon's transition to 5G and help support the economy during this period of disruption.

“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. 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.”

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 cells on light trucks (COLTs) and cells on wheels/trucks (COWs) and mobile charging stations to support first responders and their mission-critical needs.

“We continually evaluate peak data usage times and build our networks to stay ahead of that demand,” said Kyle Malady, Verizon’s chief technology officer (CTO). “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.”

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 and is one of the most connected internet backbones in the world, the company said.

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