FirstLight has always and will always be vigilant about all potential threats, including cyber threats, natural disasters and pandemics. We have a cross functional Security Board, including Engineering, Operations and IT, that meet regularly to assess threat levels of all types. The Security Board has a comprehensive security plan for FirstLight and has been meeting regularly to discuss our continuous preparedness in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
We understand that our services are the foundation upon which wireless carriers deliver important calls, medical facilities provide critical patient care, schools provide a high-quality in person and remote learning environments, and government workers are able to support their constituents. In essence, our service and support allow our customers to deliver on their missions to the broader communities they serve. In all the states where we operate, FirstLight has been deemed an “Essential Business” under applicable “Shelter in Place” Executive Orders. The steps we are taking are focused on ensuring we meet our obligations while being mindful that the well-being of our team and many business partners remains a top priority.
Other steps we have taken to date include:
- Conducted a thorough review of our detailed preparedness and response activities
- Actively monitoring and application of information shared by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO)
- Comply with all Shelter in Place Executive Orders
- Distributed employee guidelines, based on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, to help stop the spread of the virus
- Provide employees with PPE as recommended in the CDC Guidelines
- Reinforcing social distancing mandates for all employees
- Signed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pledge to “Keep Americans Connected” demonstrating our commitment to support national response efforts
- Mobilized our team to engage with customers that need increased services and/or support while providing flexibility related to costs and commitments to meet customers’ evolving needs during this challenging situation
- Enabled additional bandwidth and voice routing services to support remote workforces for our customers
- Created internal processes for expedited turn up of services to support critical businesses such as hospitals/healthcare, remote learning and work-from-home customer needs
- Distributed a Vendor Expectations communication to all vendors whose workers could be on FirstLight or customer premises
- Distributed a Customer expectations communication to all customers whose workers could be on FirstLight premises
Resilience is at the Core of What We Do
From an operating perspective, FirstLight is ideally situated to withstand a pandemic. We are a geographically diverse organization with offices and employees strategically located throughout the Northeast. We have multiple 24x7x365 repair and customer service centers that are capable of failing over to one another in the event of a localized issue, such as a storm or an outbreak. Our network infrastructure is purpose built to support growth. We are able to add additional wavelengths/circuits or light additional fiber pairs when the need arises, ensuring that we are able to keep pace with our customers’ bandwidth needs. Our Internet network is built with robust peering arrangements and excess capacity so that we are able to support increased volume should our customers need to increase their utilization to support its dispersed workforce during a disaster.
How FirstLight Is Helping Its Customers
FirstLight has signed the FCC Chairman’s ‘Keep Americans Connected’ Pledge which provides protections for residential and small business customers experiencing financial difficulties during this outbreak.
FirstLight is also proactively reaching out to its customers to understand their needs and working closely with them to quickly increase network capacity where and when possible. We are also offering free trial periods on certain services that will help facilitate remote working arrangements such as Cisco’s Webex as well as Cisco’s Umbrella. For our data center customers, we are offering enhanced Remote Hands support to eliminate the need for our customers’ employees to travel to a FirstLight data center to perform tasks. Finally, through Engineering Services Agreements (ESA) with FirstLight, customers can gain access to the engineering talent they need to keep their business operational.
If you have networking needs, please feel free to contact us.