It's Friday, so no crying allowed.

By: Katie Regner

From Apple Watches to Vanity Fair and V Teamer babies, we cover it all on today's Up To Speed.

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Happy Friday, everyone. Lots of big news from today and the past week so let’s get to it.

Storm/wildfire update

Our teams continue to keep communities connected in western states affected by wildfires and southern states after Hurricane Sally. In the impacted areas, our Response Teams are on the ground working alongside our Network teams to support first responders and the impacted communities. For the latest updates on our relief efforts, including free call, text and data offers for customers, visit our Newsroom. Plus, the Verizon Foundation just committed $300,000 to West Coast wildfires and Hurricane Sally relief efforts.

New devices, new deals

This week, Apple introduced the new Apple Watch series 6. We’ve announced that the LTE plan to connect smartwatches, including the new Apple Watch, has been lowered to just $10 per month.

We also debuted Unlimited Plus, a new plan for laptops, hotspots and tablets that gives you more connection options on the go or as a backup at home.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, one of the most exciting phones of the year, is available beginning today. From its 5G connectivity to its phone-meets-tablet flexibility, there’s so much to love about this phone. You can learn more about all of these new devices and plan options at Verizon.com.

Also, employees on the Employee Phone Program can get exclusive offers on Samsung’s latest phones starting today. Check your email for more info.

Ring news

Thanks to our expanding relationship with Amazon, you can now feel more secure at home. The Ring Alarm Security Kit with Verizon LTE connects to your wi-fi but includes a cellular backup on the Verizon network just in case your home wi-if goes down. This is just another way our relationship with Amazon continues to provide unique products and services for Verizon mobile, Fios, and 5G Home customers.

Spoiler alerts spoiled

It’s happened to all of us: You’re reading a review of that new movie you’re planning to see and before you know it, you’ve unwittingly seen a spoiler that you can’t unhear or unread.

Now there’s a way to avoid learning these big secrets. A special Vanity Fair article helps readers get caught up on Disney’s The Mandalorian with a dynamic way to read that literally covers the sensitive details, with our own advertisements for the Disney bundle throughout the page. Of course, when you have the bundle, you’ll see the big moments from the best TV shows before they’re spoiled.

Paley Center partnership

Earlier this week, we announced a partnership that will grant us exclusive streaming rights to the Paley Center’s robust lineup of 2020/2021 signature events. Verizon will serve as the official sponsor of the Paley Center programs as well as of the Center’s “Tribute to Hispanic Achievements in Television” as part of the Center’s inaugural Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

One good green bond deserves another

On Wednesday, Verizon became the first U.S. telecommunication company to issue a second green bond. What does that mean? As CFO Matt Ellis explained to Katie, similar to our first bond, the proceeds from this second bond will help us further invest in renewable energy and get us closer to our carbon neutral goals.

Another aspect of this deal involves our continued commitment to take action toward racial justice. We chose as lead underwriters of this second bond two partners that are minority-owned — Luke Capital and Siebert Williams — who took on leadership advisory roles in this process.

A new addition to the family - Tracfone

We kicked off the week with some big news: Our acquisition of Wireless prepaid brand Tracfone. Tracfone will establish Verizon as the leading cellular provider in the prepaid value segment, which complements our leadership in the premium segment.

After the deal is finalized, Tracfone customers will get the best of both worlds – more choices, better services, and new features – thanks to Verizon’s investment, with the flexibility and control that they have come to value with Tracfone’s prepaid plans.

Hispanic Heritage Month

And we also kicked off Hispanic Heritage Month on Monday, where Marissa Munoz, one of the leaders of our Employee Resource Group (ERG) SOMOS, joined Up To Speed to talk about their mission and how we’re celebrating this month. The Verizon and Verizon Media ERGs have recently joined forces and, while some now have new names, their missions remain the same.

Verizon is also teaming up with Univision's Uforia to bring back the Uforia Music Series with an exclusive livestream concert on Sunday, September 20. Featuring global superstar Bad Bunny, the show is part of the Uforia Live series of concert specials that will continue through the end of the year. Music fans across the country can watch the special performance by Bad Bunny via UforiaMusic.com, Bad Bunny’s YouTube, @UforiaMusic on Twitter and Twitch. Verizon is offering customers who are Verizon Up members the chance to win a virtual Meet & Greet with the artist. Visit here to learn more.

V Teamer profile - Anthony Boudas

Monday was National Sobriety Day, and today we get to meet V Teamer Anthony Boudas. Anthony is celebrating four years sober after struggling with drug and alcohol addiction since the age of 11. He hopes his story helps make uncomfortable conversations comfortable and urges anyone who is struggling with addiction to ask for help.

Thank you so much Anthony for sharing your experiences. You can check out the full story here.

My Why - Jhonathan Montenegro

In this week’s My Why feature, we get to know Jhonathan Montenegro, who not only helps build our 5G network as part of the Global Network and Technology team, but also knows how to run to a crisis, throw a left hook and star in a TV ad.

A parent-friendly company

We’re thrilled to have made the 2020 Working Mother 100 Best Companies and 100 Best Companies for Dads lists, recognizing Verizon for fertility and adoption benefits as well as resources like parental leave. This year has presented working parents with so many new and different challenges and it’s great to see this recognition.

We’ll be back on Monday with Hans talking about the United Nations General Assembly and more.

If you have any questions, email them to live@verizon.com.

Click here for a transcript of the webcast.

Get the latest information on our Coronavirus Resource Page (Inside Verizon, The Street).

Reminder, tune in to Up To Speed Live Monday at 12 PM ET/9 AM PT.

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About the author(s):

Katie is a member of the Verizon Corporate Communications team and a regular host of Up To Speed. She's a new mom with a passion for show tunes trying to keep up with the latest trends in tech.

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