Expertly Doing the Right Things to Help Out in Troubling Times
Every January I’m asked what I think federal, state and local government agencies will be focusing on in the upcoming year. This year, even as recently as eight or nine weeks ago, I would have said in the federal space, they are a quarter of the way into the new fiscal year and would be focused on writing their fair opportunities for GSA’s EIS contract. And in the state and local space, they are half-way through their fiscal year and making plans to balance their budgets by June.
This year is different. Our world has changed. Modernizing an organization’s infrastructure and IT systems and solutions is not something that needs to happen sometime in the future. It’s something that needs to happen now, given the importance of the network these days.
Agencies at all levels of the public sector are facing some of their greatest challenges to date, responding to immediate mission-critical needs and trying to maintain day-to-day operations, all while trying to digitally connect a newly distributed workforce. We have seen first-hand how the need for remote network access from home, has become a government-wide priority.
So, if it’s the government’s priority, then it becomes our priority. CenturyLink serves the mission needs of our public sector customers, including civilian and military agencies, state and local governments, research and education institutions, and public safety organizations. They trust us to weather this crisis, to reduce the threat of service outages and to ensure data continues to flow smoothly despite increased demand. For instance, in the healthcare segment alone, in the last few weeks we have upgraded a federal customer’s internet capacity by 200 Gbps within a 48-hour window of time.
Our company knows that trust comes from consistency, and that business continuity plans are among the best ways to ensure that. Preparing for natural and man-made crises is part of what we do, because clients rely on us and trust us to be there.
During this pandemic, that means we’ve been focusing on serving those who serve. Here are some of the ways that we are doing our part:
- When the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) needed high-capacity network services delivered safely, securely and quickly for the U.S. Naval Ship Mercy when it arrived at the Port of Los Angeles to provide emergency hospital facilities, CenturyLink stepped up, waiving installation fees, donating 12 months of service to the ship, and providing a gigabit Ethernet circuit that connects DISA’s shore-based Naval Air Station North Island to the USNS Mercy.
- We’re offering K-12 schools, colleges, universities, libraries, and state and local government agencies increased broadband speeds for free at existing service locations with qualifying facilities.
- We are also providing free connectivity for temporary hospitals, to help cities that need to plan for patient overflow at existing hospitals.
- Extended our commitment to the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected Pledge”.
There are many more examples of how CenturyLink is helping to meet critical challenges during this time for our community, customers and our employees. We are continuing to take the necessary steps to maintain their productivity and safety with a well-being, focused approach.
Additionally, we recently participated in a virtual panel with the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) and government leaders from U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Transportation and Naval Enterprises Network. The conversation included discussions on the digital needs of government over the last few months, the acceleration of network modernization and the importance of securing the enterprise with the majority of the workforce now working remotely.
We are all adapting and adjusting to a new normal. At CenturyLink, we’ve been preparing for our new environment by monitoring, adjusting and leading with our knowledge and network expertise. The activities and interaction of so many people are dependent upon secure and reliable network connectivity. Consistent, resilient, high-bandwidth connections are more essential than ever for consumers, businesses and public sector organizations. Our network is strong. Our infrastructure is strong. And our people are staying strong so that we can support you.
The CenturyLink family is doing the right things. And maybe more importantly, we are doing things right. We stand ready, willing and able to meet the needs of public sector agencies, no matter their size, no matter their mission, both in the short and long term. We will continue to work though these unprecedented times together and look forward to brighter days ahead for all of us.
Learn more about CenturyLink’s solutions designed for the public sector.
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