COVID-19: Looking Back to Move Forward!
2020 will always be a year we will remember, not only because of COVID-19, but because of talented people who managed to rise above this unprecedented situation in their enterprises. Of course, we can’t predict how 2021 will unfold, but with what we all managed to accomplish together, we can certainly be conﬁdent for the future of our local organizations! However, even if we can’t control the future, we are able to anticipate or at least question ourselves: how can we picture the future of work? Will it be full-time working from home? A hybrid model both working from home and at the ofﬁce? We can all start thinking about that not only as individuals but as organizations as well as it is our responsibility to anticipate.
‘’Anticipate’’ is a key word we should all keep in mind as businesses to support our employees and customers when the time comes for economic recovery and a return to work. At Cogeco, we realized how important it was that we have tools, such as our self-install kit enabling easy installation for customers by themselves, and a robust network in which we have invested in the past couple of years. In March, when our Governments requested the lockdown, Cogeco was experiencing signiﬁcant peaks in utilization from customers, teleworking, and greater-than-usual use of online educational and digital entertainment platforms. Fortunately, since 1972, we have invested heavily in our network to accommodate increased levels of demand. In 2019, Cogeco Communications Inc. committed to invest more than $1 billion, over a period of four years, in the operation and expansion of our Canadian hybrid ﬁbre coaxial cable net-work to extend regional high-speed Internet coverage. With this investment, we were able to conﬁdently meet the growing needs of customers during that period.
Moreover, we managed to take immediate actions and quickly respond, thanks to our previous investments and to our talented employees. Each of our employees put all their efforts toward the same goal: to protect and better serve our customers. We knew they needed us more than ever and we had to get this right! We took charge of their needs and we dedicated ourselves to maintaining connectivity for all of our customers, and made sure there were no disruptions in service, thanks to our heroes working tirelessly in the ﬁeld. To help our customers feel comfortable and safe at home, among several initiatives, we offered a high number of free preview movies, family and local news channels, increased bandwidth quickly for many clients in the HealthCare industry, and we facilitated more VPN connections for our midsize business customers.
In addition, at Cogeco, we knew that we were not alone in facing such an unprecedented situation. So when COVID-19, hit, we looked to the communities we serve to see where the greatest need would be and immediately provided donations to 20 Food Banks. We also provided a treat to hospital staff throughout Ontario to thank them for being our Heroes.
To be an active part of the economic recovery in the coming months, our focus will remain on our customers and our communities as well as to continue our longtime partnership with the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.
By Matt Wickham, Vice President and General Manager, Ontario, Cogeco