Verizon is pulling back on in-home internet installations and visits to reduce the continued spread of coronavirus, a company spokesman told the Daily Caller News Foundation Tuesday.
“We are minimizing our in-home installation work to critical needs to keep our employees and customers safe and to reduce the spread of COVID-19,” Verizon spokesman David Weissmann said.
Verizon’s move comes as major telecommunications companies work to keep the U.S. online. The announcement came as a surprise to Defense One Executive Director Kevin Baron, who broke the news about the move on Twitter.
Defense One is a digital outlet providing national security analysis.
“As of last night a major change apparently, their website says they are ‘minimizing installations for the safety of our customers and employees,” he noted, adding: “Agent tells me next date for a house call: November 30, 2020.”
Baron said Verizon gave him the runaround when he attempted to increase his home internet speeds.
“I’m sure now 1000s of home and businesses are in dire straits. I’ll manage with what I have, trying to stay connected like everyone else. But my lord, how is America’s internet connection not considered as essential as power/water/gas in a lock-down pandemic,” he told followers.
Customers can self-install, which requires Verizon to mail people the equipment, or they can pick it up at one of the company’s Fios Locations, according to the Verizon website. However, many of the stores are working on reduced schedules as the company tries to prevent the virus spread.
Internet connections are staying steady so far, according to some analysts.
“The performance of the networks up to now doesn’t give any indication that we’re going to be in that type of situation,” Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr told Axios Monday. “There’s nothing in the current traffic patterns and traffic flows that suggest that.”
Carr was referring to Netflix, AYouTube, and Amazon’s decision to reduce their bandwidth usage in Europe as demand skyrocket thanks to more people working from home. Other analysts share Carr’s optimism.
“We’re having to go out and do some augmentation of networks, and so we’re sending our employees out to get that done, but right now, the network is performing quite well,” AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, said Sunday on CNN’s Reliable Sources.
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