22 years after Verizon fiber promise, millions have only DSL or wireless
Verizon is also failing to "maintain a working telephone system," union claims.
By Jon Brodkin, artechnica.com.
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..... Separately, a union of telecommunications workers today accused Verizon of failing to maintain landlines throughout the Northeast.
"As a public utility in these states, Verizon has a duty to maintain services for all customers. But we've seen how the company abandons users, particularly on legacy networks, and customers across the country have noticed their service quality is plummeting," Communications Workers of America (CWA) official Dennis Trainor said in the group's announcement that it has filed Freedom of Information Act [FoIA] requests to obtain "details regarding repair, maintenance, and installation of Verizon landline services" across the region. The records requests were filed in New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC.
Instead of wireless-only voice service, Verizon will bring FiOS to Fire Island.
"The public deserves to know about Verizon's failure to serve its customers and maintain a working telephone system-and these FoIAs aim to do just that," Trainor said.
"Rates for basic telephone service have increased in recent years, even as Verizon has refused to expand their broadband services into many cities and rural communities, and service quality has greatly deteriorated," the CWA also wrote. "Verizon's declining service quality especially impacts customers who cannot afford more advanced cable services, or who live in areas with few options for cable or wireless services."
The union is also seeking information on Verizon pitching wireless "Voice Link" home phones as a substitute for copper landlines.
Verizon told Ars that "absurd union claims are very typical at this point in the bargaining cycle," noting that bargaining for a new union contract begins in two weeks.
Verizon also issued this statement:
We hear all sorts of meaningless rhetoric and hyperbole from the unions at the start of each bargaining cycle and this time is no exception.
The reality is that Verizon continues to invest billions of dollars in its wireline networks each year. To claim that we've abandoned or have neglected our copper network is total nonsense.
Millions of our customers effectively communicate using voice or data services delivered over our copper network. When an issue arises, we work quickly to mitigate it.
Keep in mind, we have about 10.4 million voice connections that use our fiber or copper networks. There are about 13,000 Verizon Voice Link customers, almost entirely by choice. And those customers who use the service overwhelmingly tell us they like it. For the union to assert that Verizon has abandoned our network-and the customers who use it-is ludicrous. Verizon last year invested $5.8 billion in its wireline networks (both copper and fiber) and there's no indication that's about to change. At the start of each bargaining cycle, it's customary for the unions to make all sorts of dysfunctional allegations. Unfortunately, it seems this upcoming bargaining cycle will bring more of the same.
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