With its beautiful, pristine beaches, lovely mountain views, bustling cities, nationally recognized universities and high tech industries, North Carolina has a lot to offer. It’s no wonder that since 2010, the state has added over a million residents, and welcomes tens of millions of visitors each year. And Verizon is there to support customers and communities in North Carolina in a number of critical ways. Verizon has continued to grow the strength and reliability of the network that serves the state. Citizen Verizon, the company’s responsible business plan for economic, environmental and social advancement, continues to provide financial contributions to help vulnerable communities. Verizon Frontline provides mission-critical communications capabilities to the first responders who serve the state.
Growing the strength and reliability of the network
In 2021, Verizon invested over $200 million in its network in North Carolina. That investment expanded capacity on the company’s 4G LTE network and introduced 5G service to nearly 2.5 million customers throughout the state, and North Carolinians are loving the new service. There has been a 215% increase in 5G data usage in NC since January of 2022. To meet that growing demand, Verizon plans to deliver 5G Ultra Wideband to 175 million POPs in the US by the end of this year, and will deliver at least 250 million POPs by the end of 2024.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in January of 2020, nearly 100,000 Verizon customers have moved to North Carolina and data usage in that state over the same period of time has continued to increase. To meet the growing demands in the state, Verizon engineers in NC will build thousands of new network solutions including new macro towers, small cell sites and repeaters to increase 4G LTE capacity and coverage, expand 5G Ultra Wideband service in areas where 5G currently is and to new markets throughout the state, expand the underlying fiber footprint that carries data throughout the network, and continue to support North Carolinians and first responders in the upcoming hurricane season. Network enhancements will take place throughout the state including in the focus areas of the south end of Charlotte, the Duke campus in Durham, the airport in Greensboro, and the communities of Fayetteville, Asheboro, Raleigh, Winston Salem, Boone, Western NC, Wilmington and coastal markets near Wilmington.
This aggressive network expansion will deliver incredible speeds, strong reliability and high performance for mobile, home, and business customers, and will continue to support Verizon’s core areas of growth and innovation across mobility, nationwide broadband, mobile edge compute and business solutions, the value market and network monetization.
“We greatly value our customers in North Carolina and will continue aggressively investing in the state so they have access to game-changing advanced technology and sufficient capacity for all their home and mobile networking needs,” said Kyle Malady, EVP and President, Global Networks and Technology. “We are absolutely committed to providing North Carolinians the reliability and advanced technology they have come to expect from Verizon.”
Supporting first responders who serve North Carolina
During 2021, the Verizon Frontline Response Team deployed more than 30 times in support of public safety agencies in North Carolina to provide mission-critical communications capabilities to the first responders on the front lines of multiple emergency response operations. More than 400 Verizon Frontline devices and solutions ranging from mobile hotspots, routers, smart devices and drones, to dozens of deployable satellite solutions such as Satellite Picocells on Trailers (SPOTs), were deployed in support of North Carolina first responders.
During 2021, a year of unique challenges, the Verizon Frontline Response Team provided support to North Carolina public safety agencies during Winter storms, hurricanes, wildfires, flooding events and supported first responders in North Carolina’s Wake County during a mass COVID-19 vaccination effort at PNC Arena.
This support has continued during 2022 as the Verizon Frontline Response Team has already participated in nearly 20 public safety operations and training events alongside North Carolina public safety agencies such as the North Carolina Emergency Management Department and Richmond County Emergency Services. This ongoing support is provided at no cost to local agencies and represents a continuation of Verizon Frontline’s commitment to investing and innovating in partnership with public safety and government.
Verizon’s responsible business efforts in North Carolina
In 2021, Verizon invested over $5,000,000 in charitable contributions and programs (estimated market value) in the state. As part of Verizon’s commitment to digital inclusion and taking action by expanding digital access and resources, the company’s signature education initiative, Verizon Innovative Learning, has welcomed 25 schools throughout North Carolina in the past decade.
Through the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools program, in partnership with non-profit partner Digital Promise, students and teachers at select Title I schools across the country are equipped with free technology devices, internet access and innovative STEM learning programs. The program also provides schools with extensive teacher training focused on technology integration into the learning experience and more.
Verizon Innovative Learning’s project-based STEM learning program, STEM Achievers, is a year-round program open to all middle school students and is held in partnership with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and community colleges across the country. The program works to empower underserved middle school students to explore STEM subjects, learn problem-solving skills and consider career opportunities in tech fields. In North Carolina, Verizon has partnered with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University since 2015 to offer the program. Kicking-off with a summer camp program, North Carolina residents in or near Greensboro can sign up their middle school students for free for programs that run through the end of July.
In addition, Verizon’s next-gen online education portal, Verizon Innovative Learning HQ, is available for free to all, including educators and students, and is a key driver in Verizon’s quest to provide 10 million youth with digital skills training by 2030. The education portal enables any K-12 educator to access innovative learning apps, professional development and tailored lesson plans to empower students to be social innovators and to create solutions using emerging tech.
As part of Citizen Verizon, the company’s five-year investment to help vulnerable communities is on track to exceed $3 billion by 2025.