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How Investing in Our Networks Can Create Shared Value

by Employee ‎02-01-2012 08:59 PM - edited ‎02-06-2012 11:26 AM

kathy_brown_133x175.jpgI've talked before about the need for American companies to adopt business practices that create shared social value to benefit both society and businesses, how we at Verizon are well-positioned to do this, and how we have started down the path toward building that value. We've recently taken two big steps down that path by signing agreements to pay billions for wireless spectrum and announcing plans to upgrade our IP data network.

 

Both of these investments will strengthen the foundation of our networks. The $3.6 billion we will pay for advanced wireless spectrum from a consortium of cable providers will increase our network capacity and allow more connections. Upgrading our core IP network infrastructure using 100G technology allows us to seamlessly accommodate growth where traffic demand is greatest, increase reliability, and strengthens our FiOS and wireless networks.

 

But what do you do with that network capacity? Watch more cat videos faster than before?

 

Maybe. But how about enabling remote analysis of 3-D MRI scans? Or the ability to watch video programming on any device, anywhere? Our spectrum purchase was accompanied by an agreement that will give consumers this kind of control. A new joint venture backed by Verizon and the leading cable providers will develop the technology to let consumers send programs to any device, across different wired and wireless networks, effortlessly.

 

That's an example of something clearly in our sights. But the future is wide open, and we can't see all of what's coming. We do know that massive network upgrades that increase capacity and reliability will create a foundation upon which other will innovate. And that innovation, shepherded, tested, and revised many times, will create something of lasting value to our business and to society that might not have been seen at the outset. Our CEO, Lowell McAdam, firmly believes this, and has called buying this spectrum "rocket fuel for innovation."

 

Mark Kramer has blogged about the need for CEOs to see through walls — to see past the limitations imposed by the needs of day-to-day operations and embrace a new dimension of strategy by focusing on the social issues underlying the business. Indeed, he specifically cited Lowell McAdam.

 

What can we see coming from ubiquitous high-speed data networks? Anywhere-on-anything video is clearly within reach. The rest is not as certain, but some things in the works reveal the possibilities. For instance, our Innovation Center helped a small company enhance wireless data connectivity in their product: a telepresence robot called the VGo. One robot now enables a 15-year-old boy with a compromised immune system to attend classes at his local school. Following that success, we've started a pilot project that will deploy the VGo in 15 institutions this year to explore uses for this technology, such as creating virtual field trips to a distant zoo or helping doctors visit their patients in nursing homes.

 

Another example of shared value can be seen two southern Virginia school districts. The local school district in Mecklenburg County has issued a netbook equipped with our wireless data network to every 9th and 10th grade student, and in neighboring Halifax County, a class of sixth graders learn pre-Algebra with modified Verizon smartphones. Through the use of a cell tower that extends our network to a remote area, we gain customers and make money. And children who never had ubiquitous Internet service now have it as a routine part of their daily lives. Students are more engaged in their studies. It's the shared value that Kramer envisions: initiatives that simultaneously benefit society and our business.

 

Kramer argues that the greatest new business opportunities lie in the world's unmet social and environmental needs, especially when conventional business opportunities are scarce and social needs are most acute.

 

We see our greatest opportunity in things such as enhancing health care infrastructure and in enabling remote energy management.

 

Paradoxically, if our continuing investment in our network really succeeds, and there is enough spectrum to make massive wireless and fiber-optic bandwidth ubiquitous, it will become invisible — so woven into the fabric of our daily lives, the value so obvious and so large, that it will be taken for granted, like the air we breathe. But we will owe a debt to those who have seen through walls and had enough faith to invest and innovate for the long haul.

Comments
by pollyana2 on ‎02-02-2012 05:06 AM

I don't believe Verizon is acting responsibly!!!!!!

We had a Verizon Fios salesman come around door to door with a bundle package offer. One of the attractive parts to the offer was a "Free 30 day trial". When I questioned where that offer was on the paper work he wrote it in along with the number of boxes, the date of installation, the special price offer and other details. Before I had the installation done I called Verizon to verify the free 30 day trial. I was told it is only "free" if you cancel within 30 days of installation. That made sense so I allowed the installation. It took them a full week to get one of the phone lines working! I was told my "trial" started from that date. With in weeks I had a fire in my garage. The fire started where the Verizon equipment was plugged in. The fire inspector from my fire department showed me the place the fire started and told me he believed it was from the Verizon equipment. We have been in the house 25 years. All electrical the electrical plugs had been in place for 20 + years  were installed by professional electricians, been inspected by the city building inspector and had city issued building permits. Our garage was burned beyond repair. It must be torn down and rebuilt. It was an attached 3 car garage. It was only because of excellent building codes and a wonderful lady jogger who woke us up at 7 AM on a Sunday that the fire did not burn the house down completely with us in it. We could have all died before we awoke. The house has smoke damage through out. We have had to move out until repairs can be completed. We lost 8 six week old Springer Spaniel puppies who died in their pen of smoke inhalation. The day after the fire  (within the 30 day free trial offer) I cancelled the service. When I canceled the service they told me they did not and could not offer a 30 day "free" trial. I told them their salesman did offer it and put it in writing. They continued to tell me that it was not so. I have it on the contract but they don't want to believe me. I told them I wanted to "dispute" the charges but so far I have not even been able to get the information on how to do that. I had already paid the first months bill. I can't get them to give me a credit. They continue to bill me for service I am not receiving and have "interrupted" the phone service. Since the fire burned all the wiring to the house we couldn't answer a phone that couldn't ring anyway. No one at Verizon seems to give a concern or care about the problems or my request to dispute the bill. I haven't asked them to take responsibility for the fire, just credit me for the free trial period and not charge me for their equipment that burned. They are ignoring that request. No one from Verizon cares about the problems!

by Employee on ‎02-02-2012 09:49 AM

I’m sorry to hear this. If you can email your contact information to me at responsibility@verizon.com, I’ll have someone investigate immediately. 

by Employee on ‎02-03-2012 03:36 PM

Our regional operations and customer service teams are working with the customer to investigate the situation and provide assistance.

 

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