One of the more exciting things I’ve seen with our customers in Philadelphia is a greater adoption of tech to scale their businesses. From point of sale technology to simplify transactions to using collaboration platforms to better enable customer and employee contact in a work from anywhere environment–those small and midsize businesses who have navigated this have given themselves a leg up already.
One of the necessities in facilitating this growth has been the investment in high speed internet. In fact, according to our recent Verizon State of State Business survey, small businesses did not just see the need to increase their bandwidth amidst the pandemic, rather they are continuing to invest year after year. Consider the fact that in 2020, 27% of small and midsized businesses upgraded their internet connection bandwidth. Since then year on year, more than half of small and midsized businesses have done so with 53% of those businesses surveyed having upgraded their internet bandwidth in 2023.
And to help small business customers in Philadelphia take advantage of high speed internet, we have rolled out our best plan in this market, because as a business owner you have a lot of things to juggle and connectivity shouldn’t be one of them. For $99 per month, businesses in select zip codes in the Philadelphia area can sign up for 1 Gig Verizon Fios Business Internet service. Backed by the Verizon Fios 100% fiber-optic network, small business owners can take advantage of our best price coupled with 99.9% network reliability.
One of the most gratifying parts of my job every day is helping businesses in the Philadelphia area drive their operations forward and I believe this Fios offer provides a unique opportunity for businesses to do so. Like businesses all across the country, our Philadelphia business customers are looking for guidance on how to leverage technology, have real concerns regarding cybersecurity, all while looking to see what Artificial Intelligence can mean for them.
Consider the fact from our recent State of Small Business Survey, 31% of small and midsize businesses started or upgraded cybersecurity training for their employees in the past year, but 50% either think they do not or are not sure that they have the expertise in house to protect their business from cyber risks. Similarly when it comes to leveraging AI, small and midsize businesses are excited at the potential, with 43% of businesses believing that AI can help generate additional revenue streams, but 45% concerned about integrating AI solutions into their business and an additional 43% worried that AI tools will open their business up to more cybersecurity risks.
While these figures do highlight a concern, this is exactly where our teams have been able to help local businesses best navigate this divide. Be it our Small Business Days where we provide local small businesses the opportunity to engage directly with our Verizon Business consultants in store or through our Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program where small businesses can benefit from free online personalized courses, peer mentorship, 1:1 coaching and grant opportunities. Digital Ready is part of Citizen Verizon, Verizon’s responsible business plan to support 1M small businesses by 2030.
But we know that at the core of the transformation of our small business customers is strong connectivity which is why I am personally so excited about this newest Fios offer for Philadelphia small businesses. I look forward to helping you and demonstrating all the ways that best-in-class connectivity can drive your business forward.