CenturyLink continues to closely monitor developments related to the coronavirus.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

March 30, 2020

6 Min Read
Coronavirus Pandemic

CenturyLink, in its latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), said the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on its business remains unknown.

Earlier this month, before the pandemic began impacting businesses, CenturyLink said it is now the largest public internet service provider in the world, which means more opportunities than ever for partners in cloud communications, cybersecurity and more.

In its SEC filing, CenturyLink said the impact of the COVID-19 global health crisis on its operations will depend upon several factors, including the effectiveness of outbreak mitigation steps, changes in spending patterns, economic conditions in its markets, work-from-home trends, the financial position of its customers and the sustainability of its supply chains.

“These factors could increase demand for some of our products and reduce demand for others, and could impact our ability to serve customers,” it said. “We are not able at this time to estimate the impact of the global health crisis on our financial or operational results. We do not have any current plans to provide any further update on the financial impact of the global health crisis until we release our earnings for the first quarter of 2020.”

Garrett Gee, CenturyLink’s channel chief, tells Channel Partners his company “understands the critical role of our network services in these times.”


CenturyLink’s Garrett Gee

“We continue to closely monitor the developments related to coronavirus and we are continually updating our plans to prepare for its potential impacts to our people, our communities, and our valued customers and partners,” he said. “We’re maintaining a continuous state of operational readiness around the globe, with emphasis on the strength, performance and security of our network.”

CenturyLink‘s network operations center constantly monitors usage across the company’s network, Gee said. These teams can “quickly add capacity, modify paths and adjust traffic based on customer utilization,” he said.

“We’re prepared to ensure traffic flows smoothly across our network, regardless of increased demand,” he said. “We are constantly reviewing, refining and updating our approach to the coronavirus to ensure business continuity and, ultimately, service to our customers. To ensure our supply chain continues, we are working with suppliers around the world to ensure a coordinated response surrounding potential coronavirus impacts on our business.”

CenturyLink “stands ready, willing and able” to meet the near-and long-term technology needs of its partners as “we work through these unprecedented times,” Gee said.


In other COVID-19 related news, AudioCodes has unveiled  a range of solutions to support the growing trend for work-at-home employees and contact center agents, and ensure business continuity in times of pandemic and other health issues requiring social distancing or office shutdown.

We recently compiled a list of 20 top UCaaS providers offering products and services via channel partners.

Based on AudioCodes’ software and hardware voice products, these solutions deliver voice communications for work-at-home employees using a variety of unified communications (UC) and contact center platforms. The work-at-home solutions provided by AudioCodes focus on Microsoft Teams users, remote contact center agents and secure, VPN-less …

… voice connectivity, the company said.

“With the recent COVID-19 outbreak imposing business lockdowns and social distancing regulations that challenge traditional working routines, businesses of all sizes are seeking ways to sustain business operations,” said Nimrode Borovsky, AudioCodes‘ vice president and general manager of enterprise. “With our range of high-quality, versatile voice-enabling products and solutions, AudioCodes is well positioned to deliver reliable, cost-effective solutions that ensure work-at-home employees and agents remain connected and productive.”

For work-at-home contact center agents, AudioCodes has a solution that leverages WebRTC and the Opus codec for native browser-based audio over the unmanaged internet, even at peak load times, according to the company. The solution integrates with existing contact center solutions and includes a session border controller (SBC) with integrated WebRTC gateway for remote worker connectivity.

For businesses with on-premises IP PBXs or UC systems, AudioCodes SBCs offer secure, VPN-less connectivity for remote workers with advanced media processing and voice coder capabilities. Furthermore, AudioCodes SBCs support browser-based communications (WebRTC).

Extreme Networks

Extreme Networks is offering two channel program updates in response to the pandemic. Earlier this month, the vendor announced a list of products and promotions designed to improve life for customers and partners.

The latest updates include:

  • All current partner levels will be extended until the end of this year.

  • In the third and fourth quarters, Extreme will grant alleviations regarding training compliance to achieve certain rebates. Additionally, it will reduce the achievement targets for the Diamond Growth Rebate during the quarters.

Natalia Vianden, Extreme’s director of global partner programs, tells Channel Partners that “as we go through this unprecedented time, we understand that the events surrounding COVID-19 could make it challenging for our partners to stay compliant with our program and training requirements.”

“We’re here to help our partners navigate those changes and build an achievable, flexible plan for their partner program milestones,” she said.


WOW! CEO Teresa Elder was admitted to a Denver hospital on March 27 after testing positive for COVID-19. She had been working remotely since March 16, following WOW!’s decision to transition all non-essential positions to work-from-home status.

As Elder recovers, Bill Case, chief information officer, will serve as acting CEO.

In addition, WOW! announced updates for its customers during the pandemic. Effective immediately and until further notice, WOW! will not disconnect any services for customers in non-payment status, and payment plans will be made available for customers unable to pay their bills.

In addition, WOW! internet customers aren’t limited by data caps. With families transitioning to working from home and learning online, “it’s important that you have this benefit so that you never have to worry about your data usage — and it’s already included with WOW! Internet,” it said.

J2 Global

J2 Global, an internet and information services company, said it will offer health care providers free access to on-demand patient record query during the pandemic through its recently introduced Consensus health care interoperability platform.

“Consensus can be used to quickly and securely obtain patient data on past and current conditions and treatments from a surrounding healthcare community,” said Nate Simmons, president of J2 cloud services. This helps enable care teams to make better decisions at the point of care. Consensus can be used by providers with or without an electronic health record system (EHR). Some EHRs already connect to Carequality. If not, Consensus users now have the benefit of on-demand query for no charge.”

The full version of Consensus offers one connection with an inbox-like dashboard to manage all incoming and outgoing patient documents, including cloud faxes, direct secure messaging, patient query and API integration into exchanges.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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