How the Telecom Industry is Helping Small Businesses and Keeping Them Afloat

December 16, 2020

Telecom companies have been stepping up to the plate, offering a hand to help small businesses. Comcast, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless have each contributed in their own ways to help small business owners, students, essential workers, patients, and healthcare teams.

The Telecom Companies Rise Against Threats From the Pandemic

Comcast announced earlier this month that it would help people connect to the internet during the pandemic. Millions of people continue to stay at home, while many workplaces and schools hold virtual meetings and operate from employees’ and students’ homes.

Comcast is providing:

  • Free internet service for the first two months for new Internet Essentials customers.
  • They are also giving free access to over one and a half million public Xfinity WiFi hotspots.
  • This hotspot platform is the largest network of its kind in the nation.

Comcast has committed to operating at peak performance and helping communities during the crisis. It is making its services available to families and students who don’t have internet access. They are helping families and individuals stay connected as well as empowering small businesses.

Dave Watson, Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable, said, “For nearly a decade, we’ve been on a mission to ensure students have the resources they need to be successful. We have accelerated that work during COVID-19 by partnering with public schools to provide Internet for more low-income students and by working with community centers to create safe spaces for families to connect to free WiFi through Lift Zones.”

Comcast has committed to network investment with more than $12 billion to expand and upgrade.

Since the start of the crisis, teams have worked :

  • to enhance networks
  • install new hardware,
  • upgrade their software
  • meet their customers’ needs

More than one and a half million Xfinity WiFi hotspots have been put in businesses and outdoor areas.  It is the largest public network in the country and triples the size of any other network. It is available to anyone to need them. Comcast is helping students get online in “Lift Zones.

They created Comcast RISE to empower small businesses, starting with those who may need the most help in the Black Community. The RISE program will help thousands of small businesses over the next few years through grants, marketing, tech upgrades, equipment, media campaigns, and insights. 

T-Mobile has launched new rate plans, “Magenta for Business Plans,” for small and growing businesses.

T-Mobile is giving Microsoft 365 to give people access to:

  • the one standard Office apps,
  • cloud services,
  • device management,
  • security.

They have updated more than 7,000 T-Mobile locations to serve small and medium business customers. The Microsoft apps are the standard for business and can help improve remote business collaboration, increase productivity, and help establish a professional manner. When the pandemic first hit, T-Mobile was first to step up, offering up to 90 days of free service to new customers who switched to their network.

“We celebrate small businesses every day at T-Mobile — they are the backbone of our communities. Today, we’re going even bigger for small businesses with Microsoft 365 on Us, providing critical Microsoft tools to help them survive and thrive in the face of new realities,” said Mike Katz, EVP T-Mobile for Business.

AT&T is doing its part by waiving data overage charges for its customers through December 31. They also offer free expert guidance and resources to help small and medium-sized businesses. These companies can save money and digitize their business to press forward despite the crisis. At the start of the pandemic, AT&T offered resources, payment relief, and other forms of help to small and medium-sized businesses to help them cope.

AT&T is offering:

  1. Social Media and Going Virtual Playbooks are free guides to help SMB understand how to digitize their business and meet online users’ needs. They assist in e-commerce, digital marketing, social media marketing, and cybersecurity.
  2. Barbara Corcoran Webinar Series features experts who give insight, advice, and guidance to small businesses. The AT&T Aspire Accelerator is hosting the second $1 Million Skills Building Challenge to locate, support, and guide startups.

Small businesses transform their operations, improve efficiencies, and succeed. They do this despite the challenging atmosphere of companies during this pandemic.

  • AT&T’s Constant Companion gives network smart speakers to agencies, hospitals, and assisted living centers across the nation. The sick, disabled, and elderly can connect to care providers. AT&T also powers Treker, a communication network that provides tools for bus drivers, parents, and administrators, supplying bandwidth, IoT (Internet of Things) expertise, and secure connectivity.

“With consumer habits moving to more digital and touchless, brand loyalty is out the window. The best news is that small and nimble can win in this environment. Small and medium businesses can meet customers where they feel most comfortable and bring new value outside of a physical store through unique experiences. We’re delivering the solutions and resources to help them thrive,”  says Stacey Marx, President, AT&T National Business and Channels 

Verizon Has a New Security Deal

Verizon Business is offering SMB a new business-quality security deal to protect devices on the internet. Verizon provides SMB  technology support to help them get the feel of onboarding, set-up, and end-user support for Business Internet Secure.

“With Business Internet Secure, we provide easy-to-deploy solutions that help small business owners to protect themselves against cybersecurity threats,” says Aamir Hussain, senior vice president, and chief product officer for Verizon Business. 

What Community is About

The telecom companies have really shown us what community is all about and have been more than helpful in keeping small and medium-sized businesses afloat.

Our telecom community is working to support small businesses and so are we at NextGen. Contact us today!

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