Every industry has been hit a little differently from COVID-19 and its subsequent mandates, restrictions and consumer needs.
Before COVID, business owners didn't put too much research into their phone and internet services. They knew it was simply a necessity for running their businesses, so they signed contracts without a second thought.
Lindsay Swanson, Marketing Manager for Simplified Communications, explains, "Back in March, a lot of businesses put big telecom decisions on hold and went into downsizing mode. Now, things are moving again and customers are pivoting and finding their new normal."
The demand for internet and virtual connection skyrocketed in the early days of the pandemic, and then business, government and personal systems accepted that level of usage the "new normal."
Now, customers are thinking more diligently about their telecom contracts and needs. They are taking more time to make decisions, thinking about the direction of their businesses, what their outlook looks like and then future-proofing their systems.
Much like when businesses started bringing on multiple phone and fax lines, businesses are now considering things like having two internet connections. This is crucial to meet the new demands of consumers and remote staff. Businesses are also looking more to voice and collaboration tools to work remotely and in office.
We trust that the telecom needs of businesses will continue to change. This "new normal" will change again at some point, too. We encourage our clients to schedule regular Telecom Audits to ensure you are receiving the best possible service for the best possible price.
CenturyLink has a new brand name and bold new purpose. As Lumen Technologies, or simply Lumen, the company will help lead enterprises through the challenges and opportunities of the 4th Industrial Revolution – a time when smart, connective devices are everywhere. Lumen® brings a new focus to how it views the marketplace and the world with the purpose to further human progress through technology.
The 4th Industrial Revolution represents the latest technological shift to change how everyone lives, works and thrives. At its core, this new age requires companies to effectively acquire, analyze and act upon their data to stay ahead of the curve and to be competitive.
Here at Simplified, we are excited to see CenturyLink transforming to meet the increasingly data and technology driven needs of businesses, and Lumen's combination of global technology infrastructure, powerful business solutions and industry-leading services creates the platform to help our customers excel in this new industrial age and produce amazing things.
Lumen president and CEO Jeff Storey comments on new brand name, new purpose:
"Our people are dedicated to furthering human progress through technology. Lumen is all about enabling the amazing potential of our customers, by utilizing our technology platform, our people, and our relationships with customers and partners."
Speed and options are key in a time when internet usage has sky-rocketed as businesses switch to remote working, and schools switch to virtual learning.
A proposal to provide more broadband funding across Minnesota faces an uncertain future this year as state officials consider how to spend federal virus-related aid.
The Minnesota Senate passed a $27 million broadband bill that relies on federal CARES Act money during the June special session, but the House never took up the bill. Republicans say House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Gov. Tim Walz have held up the bill over political issues, while Democrats say Walz is carefully weighing state spending priorities when it comes to federal COVID-19 funding.
As a result, the state may not get more broadband funding at a time when more Minnesotans are using the internet for work and school, something lawmakers agree will hurt Greater Minnesota over time.
"Rural broadband is a very important issue on par with rural electrification of the United States in the 1930s," said Sen. Nick Frentz, DFL-North Mankato.
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