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Verizon Boosts Free Digital Education Amid COVID-19 Tension

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Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) teamed up with The New York Times Company (NYT - Free Report) to provide free access of educational content to 14 million students in the United States. With millions of people staying indoors, the longstanding partnership underscores the telecom giant’s commitment to educate the nation’s youth, especially at a time when majority of the population is forced to work from home to avert exposure from the deadly virus.

Per the agreement, New York Times is providing free access of NYTimes.com to the students so that they remain informed about all the current happenings as they deal with social constraints. Apart from disseminating its expertise on journalism, the media company aims to educate students with an in-depth knowledge in various disciplines, ranging from arts and culture to politics. The offering is currently available to the students as well as faculty members and will be available for the next three months at no additional costs.

With utmost stress on digital inclusion, the latest offering is an extension of New York Times and Verizon’s dedication to provide free access of its educational content to more than seven million Title 1 teachers and students across the country. The high school students will be availing an out-an-out access to the digital content available in The Times, when connected to the school network whereas middle school pupils can access the content via Verizon’s  learning platform — Verizon Innovative Learning. The educational program, which supports more than 100,000 low-income students, is providing hands-on experience of avant-garde technological skills with free Internet access.

But the list of educational benefits provided by Verizon does not end here. Last month, the New York-based company offered a 2-month free access of learning tools from various e-learning platforms like Chegg, Bookful and Quizlet. Notably, these services have been designed to develop the mental well-being of various students in this hour of crisis. The leading wireless carrier also announced an offer to provide 15GB of high-speed data to small businesses and wireless customers in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Apart from providing customers with its high-speed broadband Internet, Verizon is giving the first responders and federal agencies a priority access to their streamlined networking facilities so that they can communicate effectively within their departments as well as with other hospitals, health care and public sector agencies. With an impressive track record of helping U.S. communities with dedicated emergency services, Verizon is coordinating with various law enforcement agencies to deploy portable cell sites across multiple quarantine areas, Emergency Operation Centers and mobile testing sites nationwide. It is focused on leveraging these platforms to boost network performance and reinforce unprecedented voice responsive services to help customers and first responders manage incoming calls amid this pandemic.

With one of the most efficient wireless networks in the United States, Verizon deploys state-of-the-art technologies to solve complex business challenges and deliver increased capacity, lower latency and faster speeds, backed by customer-focused planning, disciplined engineering and strategic investments. Seeking competitive edge in a saturated and price-sensitive market, which includes the presence of major players like AT&T Inc. (T - Free Report) and T-Mobile US, Inc. (TMUS - Free Report) , the company aims to retain its lead in promulgating 5G mobile networks nationwide by using virtualized machines and advanced levels of operational automation, which are likely to reinforce its market position while stoking growth.

With a forward P/E ratio of 11.7, Verizon has long-term earnings growth expectation of 3.2%. The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has lost 2.4% compared with the industry’s decline of 2.2% in the past year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.



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