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Liberty Global Creates Global Response Fund to Assist Employees Impacted by COVID-19

Liberty Global said it has created a fund to help its employees and their families who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19, the Liberty Global Response Fund.

Liberty Global said the program will be funded initially by senior executives and members of its board of directors who will donate $2 million out of their remaining 2020 salaries and directors fees. The amount includes $1 million from CEO Mike Fries. Those initially contributing to the fund include 15 senior executives working at its central offices and operating companies in the US, UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Eastern Europe.

Liberty Global has agreed to match all contributions for the fund, bringing the total to $4 million. All of Liberty Global’s 27,000 employees will be eligible to apply confidentially for assistance through an online portal.

Mike Fries

Mike Fries

“At Liberty Global, we are a family first,” Fries said in a press release. “On a day-to-day basis we are doing everything we can to protect the safety and well being of our employees, but sometimes that is not enough. Those with elderly parents, partners out of work, or other challenges need additional help to get through this crisis. We want them to know that we are here for them in their time of need. I am hopeful that the Liberty Global Response Fund continues to grow in size and will serve as a model for future support inside our company.”

Liberty Global is one of the largest pay TV service providers in Europe via its Virgin Media, Telenet, UPC and Vodafone/Ziggo units. Those companies continue to deliver critical broadband, voice and television services throughout its operating areas and have initiated support programs to help customers during the COVID-19 pandemic such as:

Virgin Media

  • Offering unlimited minutes and a 10GB data boost to mobile customers in the UK at no extra cost
  • Providing enhanced connectivity to critical public services such as NHS hospitals
  • Delivering extra TV channels for free, including kids, drama and documentary programming

Telenet

  • Working with care homes in Belgium to connect elderly people in with their families through robotic virtual communication tools
  • Providing its TV product Yelo TV to over 1,000 hospitals, nursing homes and other care institutions free of charge, plus WiFi vouchers to underprivileged students
  • Donating laptops to school children from disadvantaged communities
  • Offering double data to mobile customers until the end of the lockdown period in Belgium

Virgin Media Ireland

  • Providing free public WiFi hotspots in communities across Ireland
  • Offering free anti cyber-attack technology to hospitals

UPC Switzerland

  • Providing free speed upgrades to 100 Mbps to all customers
  • Upgrading all B2B customers to its top broadband package and providing security packages for free

UPC Poland

  • Launching programs to provide free broadband for teachers
  • Running free coding lessons for children

UPC Slovakia

  • Upgrading all customers to 150 Mbps, at no extra cost

VodafoneZiggo

  • Launching a special telephone helpdesk for the elderly
  • Helping educational institutions with remote teaching
  • Introduced new online portal for businesses and their employees working from home