What is your policy for COVID-19 in your facility?

Uniti insights - Covid-19 policy

Written by unitiweb

February 12, 2022

As we move forward into a new reality in the wake of COVID-19, ensure that your establishment is well-equipped with the latest tech solutions.

The reality of the world we live in and the road to recovery across all industries, facilities, and institutions has proven an extremely challenging one in the wake of COVID-19. In fact, the road to recovery and the emergence into a new reality is rewriting itself in the world as we know it. Our relationships with multiple global institutions – political, consumer, capital markets, religious, education, and social — are all undergoing tremendous change. While different industries and markets will follow diverse paths and speeds into this uncharted future, all will exist in a much more digitally connected world.

That’s why, no matter the nature of your facility, business, or industry, we as a collective society need to create appropriate policies and procedures that can be put in place and sustained to ensure safe, secure, and healthy environments – professional or otherwise.

What we refer to as the digital world — the cloud, network, and modern IT infrastructure components of a technological environment — is the foundation that gives us as a society the ability to navigate necessary changes and to move forward. The shift to cloud-native and public cloud has radically accelerated, and with that in mind, we provide some insights that you might want to consider as we move forward in the age of business/industry and the coronavirus pandemic. The following is what we predict in terms of policies and procedures for COVID-19 and IT in your facility.

The Necessity of a Connected World

Cloud, network, and modern IT infrastructure will help enable enterprises to navigate the new reality of all of the changes set in motion and/or accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. If not already in place, it is all but imperative for your facility, no matter which vertical it falls into, to advance to a modern network of connectivity.

With millions working remotely, the necessity for more modern infrastructure has become evident. For example, the increased demand for 5G networks should be anticipated if it hasn’t already become evident. The same goes for any mobile devices, re-imagined remote workplace setups, integrated SaaS (Software as a Service) collaboration tools, and highly secure PaaS (Platform as a Service) solutions. If you carefully and purposefully embed these solutions into your facility’s IT infrastructure now, it will almost certainly pay off in the future.

Take it to the Cloud

Your company, facility, or establishment must be resilient during such times. It’s important that you make well-informed and calculated decisions for the longevity of your enterprise. Where possible, it’s critical to disperse risk, increase work-load relevancy, and gain flexibility.

It would also be beneficial to consider shifting your facility’s network to a multi-cloud system. We at Uniti believe that cloud and modern infrastructure solutions will be an essential part of the path forward in today’s IT world. Take this time to examine your entire strategies and policies, how cloud-compatibility will fit into your business, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What cloud strategies are required to deliver the speed and flexibility you require?
  • Will your establishment support a secure, connected, and seamless experience?
  • Is your architecture built to support a broader digital ecosystem within the next year?
  • Are you properly optimizing the spend on your current infrastructure environment?

Thermal Cams and the Extras

With new policies set in place by coronavirus, it’s also important to equip your facility with modern and necessary solutions for keeping everyone safe. One such popular device is thermal imaging. Many companies have taken to installing thermal cameras – a high-resolution camera that detects body temperatures with an accuracy of one-half a degree Fahrenheit.

The system interprets the data and alerts a technician when anyone presents an above-average temperature, a potential symptom of a COVID-19 infection, so the person could be pulled aside for additional screening.

Such devices aren’t necessarily just for medical use, either. Energy companies, for example, use this technology to spot leaky pipelines. Factories use them to detect worn out parts in machinery.

Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, thermal cameras were implemented in high-traffic facilities such as airports, shopping malls, nursing homes, factories, office buildings, schools, and more. But the implementation of such equipment is raising questions about their safety and accuracy.

The thermal imaging cameras of today are quite accurate — with few moving parts and simple operating mechanisms. In order to get an accurate temperature reading, however, it’s imperative that these cameras are positioned in such a way that they’re able to target the correct area of a person’s face. According to the Conversation, during the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic, the forehead was the target area used, and this gave misleading results.

Using Thermal cameras in a workplace or public environment must be accompanied by policies that consider the health data information, discrimination, and necessary protections of the entity deploying the camera and the individuals subject to the screenings.

A Precaution, Not a Solution

Fever is an important symptom to look out for when it comes to COVID-19 but will not always be present. This is why the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency in the UK warned that temperature screening cannot be relied upon for detecting cases of COVID-19.

Still, there is clinical evidence to support the use of thermal cameras for fever screening. The reality is that with the right thermal imaging camera, the right lens, and following the correct guidelines and standards, it can be effective as a screening tool.

Work with a Trusted Provider

Uniti is a leading provider of wireless infrastructure solutions for the communications industry. We know things are changing daily and want our partners to always be prepared. Network requirements today are very different from what they will be in the near future, therefore our solutions prepare companies for future growth – using reliable infrastructure and scalable solutions.

As we combat COVID-19 and move into a safe and connected future, team up with the pros at Uniti Fiber for safe and secure IT solutions.

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Kenny Gunderman
President—Chief Executive Officer
Kenny Gunderman

Kenny Gunderman is president and chief executive officer of Uniti Group Inc. He has 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and is focused on growing Uniti’s real estate portfolio of mission critical communications infrastructure. He has prior experience at Stephens, Lehman Brothers and KPMG. He currently serves on the board of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, the Hendrix College Board of Trustees, and the NAREIT Board of Governors. Gunderman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix College and an MBA from Yale.

Paul Bullington
Treasurer—Chief Financial Officer
Paul Bullington

Paul Bullington is the chief financial officer and treasurer of Uniti Group Inc., previously serving as senior vice president of Strategic Operations for Uniti Fiber. Until its acquisition by Uniti in 2017, he served as the CFO of Southern Light, a position he held since the company began operating in 2001. During his time as CFO, the company was named one of the “5,000 Fastest Growing Companies in America” by Inc. Magazine for nine consecutive years.

Bullington also has prior experience at Accenture and Royal Cup Coffee. He currently serves on the board of Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre and is a former director of First Community Bank in Alabama. Bullington holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Birmingham-Southern College and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Daniel Heard
EVP, General Counsel and Secretary
Daniel Heard

Daniel Heard is an executive vice president, general counsel and secretary for Uniti. Heard is responsible for the company’s legal affairs and corporate governance.

Heard previously was a partner in the law offices of Kutak Rock LLP in Little Rock, Arkansas.

At Kutak Rock, Heard represented public companies in corporate, securities and merger and acquisition transactions. His clients comprised a wide range of industries, including telecommunications, information technology and food processing. He has extensive experience in negotiating, structuring and consummating mergers and acquisitions, public offerings of debt and equity securities and other corporate finance transactions.

Heard graduated from the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Central Arkansas.

Michael Friloux
EVP—Chief Technology Officer
Michael Friloux

Michael Friloux is an executive vice president and the chief technology officer of Uniti. He has over 30 years of telecommunications and information systems technology experience and is focused on future proofing Uniti’s information technology systems.

Friloux previously was chief executive officer and president of PEG Bandwidth where he led the wireless backhaul provider through a time of rapid expansion serving 2,400 cell towers over a 15,000 route mile network through 16 states.

Prior to joining PEG Bandwidth, Friloux served as president and chief operations officer for Citynet Fiber Networks where he developed the company into a leading regional wholesale carrier network spanning 13 states and 8,000 route miles.

Friloux started his career as a software engineer for Sabre Computer Services (American Airlines.)

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Oklahoma State University.

Jennifer Ragsdale
SVP—Chief Administrative Officer
Jennifer Ragsdale

Jennifer Ragsdale is senior vice president and chief administrative officer at Uniti, a Certified Great Places to Work company. Ragsdale oversees Uniti’s customer experience management, human resource efforts, diversity and inclusion programs, and leads execution strategy to create a culture of high performance.

Prior to joining Uniti, Ragsdale spent more than a decade in the human resources field, building and executing programs to drive operation strategies and organizational transformation.

Ragsdale is a certified professional in Human Resources (PHR), a SHRM certified Human Resources Professional (SHRM-CP) and is certified in Diversity and Inclusion in HR Management. Ragsdale previously served as the president of the Central Arkansas Human Resources Association. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Arkansas.

Ric Chura
SVP—Chief Information Officer
Ric Chura

Ric Chura is the senior vice president and chief information officer for Uniti. He previously served as Vice President of Information Technology at PEG Bandwidth, which was acquired by Uniti in 2016. He is responsible for setting Uniti’s cybersecurity strategy, technology governance and compliance and has led the integration of the multitude of companies acquired by Uniti.

Chura has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications industry working at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Predictive Systems, Callisma and FiberTower, a startup telecommunications backhaul provider. He has completed the Program on Negotiation from Harvard University and holds a Bachelor of Science, Mechanical Engineering degree from Iowa State University.

Ronald J. Mudry
SVP—Chief Revenue Officer
Ronald J. Mudry

Ron Mudry is chief revenue officer of Uniti Group Inc. In this role, Mudry is responsible for Uniti’s holistic growth opportunities across its fiber and wireless infrastructure segments from edge to enterprise.

Mudry previously served as President of Sales and Business Development at Uniti Fiber. Mudry has over 30 years of experience in the telecommunications industry and was the founder of two start-up fiber operating companies that grew to become leaders in their industry segment. He leads Uniti’s sales and business development initiatives which include providing fiber based services to wireless carriers, wireline carriers, content companies, cable MSOs and other wholesale customers. He joined Uniti in 2016 following the acquisition of Tower Cloud, a company he founded in 2006, that was a leader in fiber, small cell and cell site backhaul services in the Southeast, U.S. Earlier in his career, he founded Progress Telecom (formed in 1998) and before that spent 15 years with GTE Corporation (now Verizon) where he held key management positions in finance, sales and marketing, international operations, treasury, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisitions.

Mudry serves on the Board of Directors of INCOMPAS, a telecommunications industry association, and was previously chairman of the CEO Council of COMPTEL.

Mudry holds a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in finance from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the University of Tampa.

Travis Black
VP - Chief Accounting Officer
Travis Black

Travis Black is the chief accounting officer of Uniti Group Inc. In his current role, Travis leads a team of over 40 employees and is responsible for the company’s financial accounting, external reporting and financial compliance activities. Additionally, Travis oversees the company’s technical accounting matters, including merger and acquisition transactions and critical accounting estimates.

Travis has been with Uniti Group since 2015, and previously served as the Director of Financial Reporting. He began his career at FedEx, and he has over 18 years of experience in financial accounting and reporting for public companies. Travis holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the University of Memphis. He is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Andy Newton
President—Uniti Fiber
Andy Newton

Andy Newton is president of Uniti Fiber where he stewards Uniti’s efforts to design, build and operate its fiber network infrastructure.

Newton was the co-founder of Southern Light, and for the previous 19 years served as its president and chief executive officer where he led the overall operations, strategic guidance and culture of the company. Under his direction, Southern Light grew to become one of the top 10 largest pure fiber optic providers in the country.

Newton received an Economics degree from Birmingham Southern College and enjoys providing leadership to non-profits that focus on education and community planning and development.

Bill DiTullio
Vice President - Investor Relations
Bill DiTullio

Bill DiTullio has over 10 years of investor relations experience, joining Uniti’s investor relations team in 2017. Bill was promoted to Vice President of Investor Relations and Finance in August of 2019. Bill originally joined Uniti through the acquisition of PEG Bandwidth in 2016, and has held several various finance roles within the organization. Prior to joining the Company, Bill served as Sr. Investor Relations Analyst at Comcast Corporation. Before that, Bill worked as an associate equity analyst at Boenning & Scattergood. Bill began his early career working for Prudential Financial in several accounting and finance roles.

Bill holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Temple University and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and accounting from Villanova University.