As the cord-cutting trend continues, even prior to the coronavirus shutdowns, Verizon was one of many providers to announce a loss of subscribers in the first quarter of 2020.
In quarterly earnings announced late last month, the company announced that it had lost a net 84,000 Fios video subscribers in the first quarter of this year, which the company stated was "reflecting the ongoing shift from traditional linear video to over-the-top offerings."
However, the news wasn't all bad for Verizon. It does still have 4.1 million total video subscribers, and the company didn't lose nearly as many video subscribers in the same quarter as some of its competitor. AT&T, for example, shed over a million video subscribers across its many product offerings in the first quarter.
Also, Verizon said that it added a net of 59,000 Fios Internet subscribers, it said, because "work-from-home, in-home schooling, and other related measures increased the demand for high-quality broadband offerings."
During the quarter, Verizon closed nearly 70 percent of its company-owned retail stores due to the coronavirus, while reducing hours at most of its other stores.
"In an unprecedented time, Verizon took decisive and balanced actions that will serve our stakeholders in the long term, including protecting our employees, maintaining our network quality and reliability, serving our customers, and supporting our communities," Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg said in the earnings announcement.
"We will emerge from this crisis stronger, knowing we provided critical connectivity to our customers, and especially our first responders, while maintaining our commitment to investing in our 5G and Fiber strategies."
Verizon is currently rolling out its 5G network. Vestberg, in a recent CNBC interview, railed against conspiracy theories that tie 5G technology to the spread of coronavirus.
There is no correlation at all between 5G and coronavirus," Vestberg said in the interview. "It's just fake news. We have seen some of those articles coming out here and there, but we are very clear that there's no correlation between the two, and we're gonna combat that with our communication and the industry's communication and the health organizations' communications."
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons.