How is CenturyLink preparing to maintain operations during the COVID-19 outbreak?
We continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) global outbreak, using the most relevant and current information to determine any actions to care for our employees and our customers, and to help ensure critical services are available when people need them most. Our global Network Operation Engineers are monitoring and adjusting the network around the clock. Our network is performing well despite significant increases in traffic volume across our network due to the many stay-at-home and work-from-home situations across the globe. For more information about how our network is performing during COVID-19, visit the Network Strength page on our COVID-19 site.
We seamlessly transformed to a work from home environment, with about 75% of our workforce successfully performing their jobs at home. For our technicians, who are critical to keeping customers connected, we provide the recommended personal protective equipment, and they are practicing CDC guidance on keeping themselves and our customers safe while they perform their essential work. In addition, we have instituted some really innovative and creative ways to get these jobs done – including using videos and virtual partnership – to keep people safe.
What has CenturyLink done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?
We have taken precautionary measures (varied by location and the severity in the region) that include:
Identification of critical functions and employees, emphasizing the need for enhanced personal hygiene (hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette);
Practicing social distancing by staying home if ill and encouraging virtual meetings;
Requiring visitors to sign in to facilities so we can responsibly track contact;
Suspending business travel to business-critical only and instituting a self-quarantine policy for 14 days minimum for employees who have traveled to countries or regions significantly impacted by coronavirus.
Increased the cleaning of our facilities. Visitor records are being maintained for contact tracing, and we are asking customers to minimize visits where possible
Has COVID-19 affected your operations or ability to provide services?
Currently, the impact to our network and service continuity to our customers is minimal. We have seen significant increases in traffic volume across our network due to the many stay-at-home and work-from-home situations across the globe, but our network is performing well. Our network and services are monitored, managed and maintained virtually by technicians across the globe. Our Network Operations Center is constantly monitoring usage across our network. These teams can quickly add capacity, modify paths and adjust traffic as needed based on customer utilization. We know our customers are relying on us to stay connected, and we will continue to provide those services in a safe and effective manner.
What concerns do you have and how are you preparing for increased work-from-home traffic?
Our network has scaled to support the increased traffic we’ve seen as more businesses and schools transition to work from home with minimal performance issues. We are always monitoring traffic across our network, but now even more so during COVID-19. Our Network Operations Center engineers are ready to add capacity, modify paths or adjust traffic as needed based on customer utilization. For more information about how our network is performing during COVID-19, visit the Network Strength page on our COVID-19 site.
How is CenturyLink supporting customers that are impacted by COVID-19?
Please visit news.centurylink.com/covid-19. As part of our commitment to the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge, we will waive late fees and will not terminate a residential or small business customer’s service through mid-May due to financial circumstances associated with COVID-19. Residential customers do not need to contact us to ensure their service remains active. However, due to system limitations, our pre-paid residential customers may need to contact us if they are unable to access the internet due to a missed payment. Small business customers with 50 or fewer employees should contact us to request relief for late payment charges. We are also suspending data usage limits due to COVID-19 for our residential customers.
How do you plan to repair service issues in high-risk areas?
In the event of service issues in high-risk areas, we will coordinate with the appropriate governmental officials to restore our customers’ service as quickly as possible while minimizing risk. We have well-established partnerships with governments around the world and have been designated a critical infrastructure partner. This designation means we collaborate with government and industry to plan for emergencies to protect your network and services.
What if I need a technician to come to my home or business for an install or repair?
Our technicians will perform installation and repair activities from outside the home or business where possible. For residential service, we'll complete any exterior work as usual and talk customers through the interior work. For business service, we'll work with onsite contacts to find options for safe access to equipment rooms and closets while maintaining social distancing guidelines. If we cannot complete an installation or repair, we will reschedule the appointment when we can safely enter a home or business.
I'm a residential customer and am not sure I feel comfortable completing the inside work. What then?
We may be able to install or repair service from outside your home applying our Safe Connections process. If not, the technician may enter your home provided both you and the technician are comfortable with that solution, that you maintain at least a six-foot distance from each other, and that no one in the home is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or is suspected of having COVID-19.
How are you ensuring your technicians are healthy and don’t spread the disease?
Our incredible technicians have a tough job – it is their priority to care for our customers, even during difficult times. They recognize the importance of delivering, which is why we are following CDC and OSHA guidelines. And we are going beyond best practices out of an abundance of caution to protect our technicians and customers. This includes processes such as Safe Connections, which promote social distancing.
We have provided our public-facing team members with hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and face coverings to use where it is difficult to maintain social distancing guidelines.
Our technicians know to stay at home if they are not feeling well. And we are thinking not only of you but also the customers who come after you, which means if a customer is not feeling well, we ask to reschedule install and repair appointments. We're committed to working together with our customers to ensure the safety of our communities.
How will you communicate if services are disrupted or threatened due to coronavirus?
Business customers: We will communicate with you directly through your account representatives and enterprise sales account managers. If you experience service disruption, please create a repair ticket and use normal repair processes.
Residential customers: We will communicate with you through various channels depending on the specific situation. These contact methods may include social direct messaging, blog posts, email, text messages, and phone calls. If you experience service disruption, please use our Service Troubleshooter, or contact us to create a repair ticket. Daily updates can be found here.
Where can I go to stay updated on how CenturyLink is responding to COVID-19?
Please visit news.centurylink.com/covid-19. In the event CenturyLink is affected by the coronavirus and your services are impacted, we will communicate with you directly through your account representatives and enterprise sales account managers. If you experience service disruption, please create a repair ticket and use normal repair processes.
How can I optimize my internet speed/ensure I have the best connectivity?
How do I check for outages in my area? How do I report a disruption in my service?
Residential customers can contact us online to test their services visit or use our Live Chat feature on www.centurylink.com to troubleshoot any issues they may be experiencing. We understand how important it is to be connected during times like these. Our teams are constantly monitoring our network, and we continue to take every step to ensure our customers' services are operating normally.
How is CenturyLink supporting communities that have been affected by COVID-19?
It has never been more important for our communities to be connected. We stand ready, willing and able to meet your near- and long-term technology needs as we work through these unprecedented times together. Take a look at some of the things we've already done as a company to keep our promise and check out what our employees are doing within their communities.
How can I manage my consumer account online?
We understand how vital staying connected is for our customers during this unprecedented time. We are committed to providing you with support 24 hours a day by visiting our website at www.centurylink.com/help/chat to work with an online agent. If you need to speak with an agent, please call during our temporary hours of operation, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Central time, 7 days a week. Again, for afterhours assistance please visit our website at www.centurylink.com/help/chat
For other self-help options, please download the MyCenturyLink App at CenturyLink.com/CTLapp.